If you’re like most people, your maps are stored in a variety of project folders. Finding one specific map frequently turns into a frustrating scavenger hunt.
One elegant solution is to utilize Evernote to keep track of them. The process is very simple:
Create a template in Evernote that summarizes all the relevant data you need to know about each mind map. I created one in about 30 minutes using Evernote’s table feature and am really pleased with how it turned out. Here’s what it contains:
Title: This short but descriptive name for your mind map. I formatted it in bold text with a background color to make it stand out.
Description: Use several sentences to summarize the purpose and contents of your mind map.
Keywords: Make a list of words and phrases related to the subject of your mind map. The main focus of this field is to enhance its findability later.
Format: This field reminds you of the program you used to create this mind map and the format in which it’s stored. That may not be intuitively obvious when you first look at your mind map summary note, so I thought it would be useful to add it.
Source: If you downloaded a mind map from an online map gallery, you may want to capture the URL of its original location here. You could also add separate fields for map author and capture date.
Local link: The path name to the mind map file, if it’s stored on your computer’s local drive or on a drive of your network at work.
Online storage link: Isn’t this redundant? Not if you tend to access your files on more than one device. Cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive or Box make it possible to access your files from any device with an internet connection. So why not include the URL here?
Map image: All of this data is meaningless if you can’t remember what your mind map looks like. So I took a screen shot of it and included it here. That’s one of the advantages of a tool like Evernote – you can insert just about any type of content into your notes.
Limit the width of the table: Otherwise, you’ll need to resort to horizontal scrolling to view its contents on a smartphone. I discovered that while testing my sample record. If you drag and drop the screen shot file below the table, it will automatically resize to the width of your screen.
Perfect for personal knowledge management: If you’re trying to implement a personal knowledge management system like Building a Second Brain – where you’re trying to capture all of the knowledge, information and insights you encounter on a single platform – then you ought to expand this concept to additional types of visuals, including diagrams, infographics and even sketchnotes.
Make it your own: What you see here is the result of my little experiment. Feel free to create table rows and fields to capture the structured information about your visual creations that is most meaningful to you!