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Problem Solving –

Using NovaMind Mind Mapping Software

Mind Mapping is a very powerful tool when it comes to solving problems. About Mind
The first and most important step of all is defining what the problem is. Now
this may seem pretty obvious, but actually a thorough examination of what the
Mind Maps are
problem is can lead to a redefinition of the problem, or turning a huge diagrams that work the
problem into something manageable, and helps get you in the right frame of way people think —
mind to solve problems that initially seem overwhelming. they organize the
information in the same
way our brains organize
information. They make
it easy to understand,
remember, and
communicate complex

Our brains like thinking

in pictures. The smooth
curves and colorful
pictures used in Mind
Mapping create
powerful images for
your brain to

Mind Maps cater to both

logical left brain
thinking and pictorial
right brain thinking at
So the goals here are to have a narrowly defined problem that we are sure is the same time, which
makes them a very
not multiple problems, but a single well defined problem. We need to be sure
good way of storing and
that it really is the problem, and that the problem is not obscured by emotion,
recalling information,
opinion, hidden or open agendas or anything else. It is also important to presenting things to
understand why it’s important to solve the problem, because this will give other people, and
you the impetus to actually follow through with the process. brainstorming new
Now the first four ways we examine the problem are based on what are known
as the cartesian quadrants, based on the work of René Descartes, and the
concept was originally applied to proving a theorem - if you could prove it by
examining it from all of these perspectives, it was taken to be proven true.
However, we are using it in a slightly different way here, because we are using
it to examine the problem it from all four of these perspectives, which will
eliminate everything that is not the problem, and we will have a clear and
concise grasp of what the problem really is (or at least what we believe it to

Don’t be surprised if viewing the problem from these four perspectives

completely changes the problem you are solving, or even proves that it
wasn’t a problem in the first place. Often our original idea of what the problem
is, is actually symptoms of the problem, and this method allows you to break
through to the core problem.

Asking these questions helps you define the boundaries of the problem, the
environment of the problem, what has been done about it before it, what
could have been done but hasn't, and how others see the problem. Also very
importantly, it defines why it is important to solve the problem and what
constitutes an acceptable solution.

About NovaMind

NovaMind is used by
businesses, in
education, and for
personal effectiveness,
for tasks such as:

• note taking,
• managing to-do
• brainstorming,
• research,
• problem solving,
• decision making,
As you go through the definition of the problem, you add branches to your mind • presentation
map, narrowing down the definition to the core issue, but also generate some preparation and
strong starting points for brainstorming solutions.
• project planning,
• knowledge
Some people also try to define the objectives and what constitutes a good management,
solution very tightly during this phase of problem resolution. I believe this is • writing,
counter-productive, because it narrows your thinking. The process we have
gone through with the definition of the problem has already narrowed things and many other uses.
down quite sufficiently.
NovaMind has been the
top Mind Mapping
Also, while we have been talking about this in terms of problems, I prefer to use program available on
the word Challenge, because our thinking about problems are often ones of Mac computers for the
fear and dread of these heavy things that weigh us down and hold us back, last 7 years, and has
whereas challenges are things that we step up to and overcome, and feel been available for
positive about our progress. Also, this methodology doesn’t need to be about Windows for over 3
solving problems - you can use exactly the same method for identifying and years.
going after new opportunities.
It is rapidly gaining
recognition for its many
Next, the four step method of solving the problem. unique and innovative
features and ease of
Part of this process is brainstorming. Brainstorming is designed to be free from use.
judgment, and the idea is to get as many ideas out there as quickly as possible.
The concept is that quantity yields quality, and the more ideas generated, the NovaMind makes Mind
Mapping intuitive and
more solutions you will find. This is the opposite of linear thinking, where
you arrive at one solution and then stop thinking.
For more information
With brainstorming, you want to generate as many ideas as possible just about NovaMind, please
throwing them out there and recording just the keywords on your mind map visit
so you can keep up - maybe using the BranchStorm™ feature of NovaMind. To or
get things started, you have probably generated some ideas or categories of e-mail Gideon King at
ideas just from the problem definition exercise. Add those categories to your
Mind Map, and then add sub-branches for specific ideas. Think from the
perspective of no resource constraints - assume you have infinite money,
staff, time and expertise available at your disposal. You can pull it back to
reality later.
If the ideas come too fast to organize them as you go, just get them down there
and organize them later.

But what if you run out of ideas?

Here are some ways of getting the creative juices flowing again:

• Get up and go for a walk, or do something else completely different

and come back after half an hour
• Add blank branches to some of your categories and ideas, and your
subconscious will work on ways to complete these branches by supplying About Gideon
ideas - you can do this before going for your walk, so your subconscious King
has been triggered to search for specific ideas
• Use the NovaMind Suggesterator™ to come up with new words and Gideon King is an
associations, and build your ideas from there. Choose some of the words internationally
from near the end of the list of suggestions where they are more “off the recognized expert in
wall” suggestions, and work out connections with the problem Mind Mapping, having
• Think of ways of “improving” an existing solution or proposed founded NMS Global,
solution producer of NovaMind,
• Ask the question “If there was another solution what would it be?” the leading Mind
Mapping program for
- this tricks your brain into supplying another idea when you don’t think
Apple Mac computers
there is one, and once you have come up with one more idea, the flow of
for over 6 years.
ideas starts again. NovaMind is also now
• How would other people solve this problem? People from another available for Windows
country, your competitors, your ancestors, children, etc. and is rapidly taking a
• What limitations on your thinking have you imposed? Although you are leading position in the
supposed to be brainstorming from the perspective of no constraints Windows Mind Mapping
whatsoever, your mind is probably so attuned to judging ideas and market.
limiting what you come up with as potential solutions, that you need to
ask “what other solutions are there if there are no restrictions?”. How
can you reverse or get rid of those assumptions and limiting decisions.
What possibilities open up when you do?

During the brainstorming, you were not judging anything. Ridiculous ideas were
recorded along with sensible ones without judgment. Now it’s time to organize
the information on your Mind Map into different categories, where you have a
branch for each category, and the proposed solutions and ideas as sub-
Remember that there are always multiple solutions to problems. What our
So check what is going to be feasible, what fits with practices and policies, or
where changing those practices and policies would be a better solution. Make are saying :
sure you take into consideration the effects of your proposed solution on
everyone involved, and whether the idea really does constitute a solution to NovaMind in Medical
the problem. If a solutions looks ridiculous, ask how you could accomplish the Education
same thing in a different way, or which parts of that idea can we actually use.
I just wanted to let you
Make sure the solutions fit with the facts of the situation, and judge the impact all know that I've been
on both the problem and anyone and everyone affected. Every potential solution using NovaMind in
will have pros and cons - make sure you think about that as you make your teaching Psychiatric
Residents in post-
decision as to which of the proposed solutions to follow first. Make sure the cost
graduate training, in
and time to solve the problem is worth it. Which solutions are you best
addition to residents in
equipped to implement? What are the short term and long term benefits of each some other medical
solution? How do the solutions fit with your time and resource constraints? specialties as well.

Record further details under the preferred options on your Mind Map, such as I'll be presenting some
time frames and the steps involved in achieving the desired outcomes. of the material at a
conference in New
I wish you all the best with using NovaMind to solve all your problems and Orleans soon related to
new technologies in
generate new ideas and solutions.
teaching in residency
programs and medical
NovaMind for your iPhone education.

I've been very

impressed with the
versatility of the
NovaMind software, and
very pleased with it's
presentation mode in
the new version 4.

Gregory Brown : Las

iBlueSky mind mapping software the iPhone and iPod Touch now integrates with
Vegas, United States
NovaMind, so you can create your Mind Maps in iBlueSky and automatically
generate a NovaMind file ready to work with in NovaMind, or upload a file you
"Every important
have created in NovaMind to your iPhone or iPod Touch, and edit it there.
business decision
begins with
Obviously there are many benefits of being able to transfer your Mind Maps NovaMind."
between NovaMind and iBlueSky, because you can:
Every single
• Start your Mind Map either on your Mac or PC and transfer it to your iPhone presentation (there
to show people or continue editing during a meeting. have been scores, if not
• Get the benefit of faster typing and easier access to resources on your PC or hundreds) and every
Mac, and the benefits of mobility on the iPhone or iPod Touch. important business
• Use different topic shapes and styles, and add images and adornments to decision begin with
your topics in NovaMind
• Add hyperlinks to the topics in NovaMind
• Add task and resource information in NovaMind Larry Kerr
• Give presentations from your Mind Maps using the NovaMind presenter
com): United States
• Export to other programs such as MS Word, Powerpoint, MS Project and
...and have all the capabilities of NovaMind to create stunning looking and
powerful Mind Maps

The iBlueSky and NovaMind integration works for both the Windows and Mac
versions of NovaMind, and works with NovaMind Express, Pro, and Platinum.
Books by Gideon King - A guide to … "NovaMind is great" -
Licensed Buzan
Gideon has written the popular book I am a licenced Buzan
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Helsinki, Finland

"I use it every day for

a range of tasks"

NovaMind is simply
superb. I use it every
day for a range of
tasks, everything from
organising my holiday
to sorting a
€120,000.00 project in

Rupert Granville: UK
"Teacher's guide to Mind Mapping", which goes into detail about the research,
theory, and practical use of Mind Mapping in primary, secondary, tertiary and "As a professional
business education. More recently he has released his second book: movie director and

I just wanted to
congratulate you on
starting to address the
need for a truly
screenwriting program.
I am a professional
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screenwriter, and
recently wrote the
movie SYLVIA, starring
Gwynneth Paltrow. As a
long-standing and very
disillusioned user of
other screenwriting
applications, I am
delighted to see the
way NovaMind is going.
I already structure all
of my scripts in
NovaMind and am
"Business Guide to Mind Mapping", enormously looking
forward to using the
which covers everything you need to know about using Mind Mapping in a app to do much more of
the work on my next
business environment.

John Brownlow: Deep

Fried Films, Inc.
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