Experience the Joy of Mind Mapping

I have used Mind Maps for the past several years in order to help me manage, create, and keep track of my life.  I used to have “Busy Mind” every minute of the day before I began using this concept. 

There are several books on the subject when you do a quick search on Amazon but the outline of how to use this tool is fairly simple.

The benefits to each person are uniwue but an general list would be:


  • Reduce those ‘tons of work’.
  • Feel good about study, revision and exams.
  • Have confidence in your learning abilities


  • See the whole picture, the global view, at once.
  • Understand the links and connections


  • Focus on the task for better results
  • Using all your cortical skills attracts your attention


  • Easy recall
  • ‘See’ the information in your mind’s eye


  • Easy recall
  • Be on top of all the details for parties, holidays, projects or any other subject


  • Speeches are clear, relaxed and alive. You can be at your best


  • In all forms with clarity and conciseness


  • From planning to agenda, to chairing, to taking the minutes…the jobs are completed with speed and efficiency


  • From preparation to presentation, they make the job easier and much faster


  • Having a method to analyse thoughts – almost a ‘way station’ for them


  • All issues, your position and maneuverability on one sheet

Brain Blooming

  • The new brain-storming in which more thoughts are generated and appropriately assessed.

via Buzan Centre Australia : Benefits of Mind Mapping


Mind Maping Products

There are several products on the market that you can use but the beauty of using Mind Mapping is that you can use a sheet of paper and a pen/markers/crayons.

I personally use Xmind for 90% of my Mapping and then Xmind for mind mapping when I’m mobile.  I have put links to some of the programs that are popular down below, just like anything it will come down to your own personal preference.

Mindjet (Windows/Mac/iOS)
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Mindjet is more than just mind mapping software—it’s a total suite of applications and tools designed to help you and the people you work with brainstorm, stay on top of projects, collaborate on tasks, and stay organized together. It’s more like a complete project management and collaboration suite. It has an extremely powerful mindmapping and brainstorming tool however, designed from the ground up to help you organize your projects, assign different arms of your projects to different people, flesh out all of the individual to-dos and jobs required to make the whole project a success, and it works just as well if you’re working with a hundred people, a dozen people, or just organizing your own to-dos. Plus, it integrates with web services and tools you already use, like Microsoft Office, Box,net, and more. Anyone familiar with the old tool MindManager will be happy to learn it’s been rolled into Mindjet’s individual apps. Most of Mindjet’s users are companies willing to pay for it though: It’s $15/mo per user for the individual plan, and $30/mo per user for the enterprise plan.

XMind (Windows/Mac/Linux)


XMind has been around for a good long time, and it even made the roundup the last time we looked at mind mapping apps. It hasn’t lost its power though; it’s still extremely flexible, works great on any desktop OS, and makes it easy to organize your ideas and thoughts in a variety of different styles, diagrams, and designs. You can use simple mind maps if you choose, or “fishbone” style flowcharts if you prefer. You can even add images and icons to differentiate parts of a project or specific ideas, add links and multimedia to each item, and more. If you’re a project manager, you can even use XMind’s built-in Gantt view to manage tasks in a way your colleagues may be familiar with. Best of all, XMind is completely free and open source. If you have some cash to spend, XMind Plus and XMind Pro offer some additional import/export and presentation features, along with some featured targeted at project managers and businesses who want to use XMind on the enterprise level. Plus will set you back $79 one-time, Pro is $99 one-time, and a subscription to Pro and all of its updates is $79/yr.

Coggle (Webapp)


Coggle is a completely free, simple to use mind mapping tool that’s easy to get started with. Sign in with a Google account of your choice and you’re off and away. Double-click on any item to edit it, and click the plus signs on either side to add branches to your mind map. Click and hold to drag them around the canvas to design your mind map any way you like. Coggle will automatically assign different colors to your branches, but clicking on a branch will bring up a color wheel so you can personalize it yourself. When you’ve finished a map, you can download it as a PDF or PNG, share it with others who can just view it or, if you allow it, edit your mind map. You even get auto-saving and revision history, so if you want to see what your mind map looked like before someone you invited started working with it, you can. Best of all? Coggle is completely and totally free.

Freemind (Windows/Mac/Linux)


Freemind is a free, GNU General Public Licensed mind mapping app built in Java, so it runs on just about anything you throw it at. It was the winner of our last poll, partially because of its flexibility, and because its features and performance are pretty consistent regardless of the operating system you use with it. It’s a pretty powerful mind mapping tool too, offering complex diagrams and tons of branches, graphics and icons to differentiate notes and connect them, and the option to embed links and multimedia in your mind maps for quick reference. Freemind can export your map as HTML/XHTML, PDF, OpenDocument, SVG, or PNG. Compared to a lot of the newer tools it may look a little dated, but it’s still powerful and useful, especially if it’s function you’re looking for, not form.


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MindNode is an elegant mind mapping and brainstorming app for OS X and iOS. The iOS version is designed to work well on touch devices, specifically the iPad, and makes it easy to drag branches around, add new nodes, connect nodes, share documents with others, and more. The Mac app is similar, and supports sharing your mind map with others and exporting as PDF and as a Freemind project. MindNode can automatically hide branches that have nothing to do with the items you’re working on, embed images and screenshots onto nodes, create links on nodes, and even automatically organize your branches for you if they get messy. It can also support linked mind maps. The UI is relatively clean and hides a lot of its features in order to keep things clean, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. Many of you who nominated it pointed out it’s one of the first mind mapping apps you’ve seen that really does things right on a tablet. MindNode is $20 for the Mac app, and $10 for the iPhone/iPad app.

via Five Best Mind Mapping Tools – lifehacker.com


There are several books that outline how you should create a mind map and I have included one below. 

I honestly just always start with a circle in the middle and put whatever Questions/Person/Idea/Etc. that I am trying to figure out and work off from there.

Don’t get too caught up in the steps, start with a circle and then start asking yourself “And then what” or “What would I like to do” and then work out from there.


7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

  1. Start in the CENTER of a blank page turned sideways. Why? Because starting in the center gives your Brain freedom to spread out in all directions and to express itself more freely and naturally.
  2. Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea. Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focused, helps you concentrate, and gives your Brain more of a buzz!
  3. Use COLORS throughout. Why? Because colors are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Color adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, adds tremendous energy to your Creative Thinking, and is fun!
  4. CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc. Why? Because your Brain works by association. It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.
  5. Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined. Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.
  6. Use ONE KEY WORD PER LINE. Why Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.
  7. Use IMAGES throughout. Why Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words. So if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 words of notes!

via Mind Mapping | Tony Buzan


Below is a 20 minute video discussing the power of Mind Mapping from Tony Buzan.  I know you probably don’t have 20 minutes but be patient and watch it.  There’s a reason you have read this so far and a 20 minute investment could return hours of your time and less stress in the future.


I have used Mind Mapping to plan my life/week/day, create a sales plan, create follow ups, business plans, and I once spent an hour with my bride discussing our marriage using Mind Mapping and “solved” many of the problems we had. (Or thought we had before we were able to put it all down on paper)

I wish you luck and if I can ever be of help please feel free to reach out to me.













The Facebook Pixel | Facebook Help Center | Facebook

The Facebook Pixel is the best Advertsiting Budget Hack I have found when it comes to Facebook ads. I created a quick  Youtube Video that goes over the Pixel in under 5 minutes.

If you are the reading type and not into videos, here are some great resources that i have used myself when trying to figure out the FB Pixel.


3 Ways to Use the Facebook Pixel

There are three very important uses for the Facebook Pixel:

  • Retargeting (building audiences of people who have visited your website, retargeting throughout a sales funnel)
  • Optimization (creating higher converting Facebook campaigns focused on a specific action)
  • Tracking (tracking the performance of a campaign, for example… you can track how many leads or sales were generated from a particular ad)
  • via How to Use Facebook Advertising Pixels to Create High …

OK, so now you now WHY you should be using the Facebook Pixel, but HOW to install it is yet another thing.  Social Media Examiner had a great explination on how to to this step by step:


#1: Install the New Pixel

The first thing you need to do is to install the new pixel on your website. This is the easy part if you’ve used the Facebook pixel in the past. First, navigate to the Ads Manager and then follow these steps:

Click Tools and select Pixels from the drop-down menu.

facebook pixel areaNavigate to the new Facebook Pixel area.

On the Facebook Pixel page, click Actions and select View Pixel Code from the dropdown menu.

facebook pixel dropdown menuSelect View Pixel Code.

In the pop-up box that appears, copy the pixel code that is in the top box. At the moment, don’t worry about the conversion tracking event codes.

facebook pixel codeCopy the pixel code in the top box.

Next, go to your website and paste the code in between the main head tags. Some WordPress sites have themes that make this easier (a Header Script area), or you may have to go to the header.php file and edit that. It’s typically under Appearance > Themes > Editor > Header.php. Get a webmaster to help you if you don’t know where to find this.

You’ll know that your code is working if you start to see some traffic recorded in the Total Traffic area after you’ve visited the site where the pixel is installed.

facebook pixel code trafficView your total traffic.

via Facebook pixel – Social Media Examiner

There are plenty of other steps to the Facebook Pixel, you can get pretty creative depending upon the conversions you are trying to get.  The bottom line is the Facebook Pixel will allow you to target your clients instead of spending your Facebook Advertising budget on general audiences.



Seattle Housing Stats Reveal All

Swimming through the complicated waters that are the current Seattle housing market is not so easy these days.


Seattle’s housing market is the hottest in the nation, according to new data from The S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price Index. Home prices in the Seattle region rose 11 percent between September of 2015 and 2016, inching past Portland which saw 10.9 percent year-over-year growth.

The chart above summarizes the results for September 2016. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices are revised for the prior 24 months, based on the receipt of additional source data.
The chart above summarizes the results for September 2016. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices are revised for the prior 24 months, based on the receipt of additional source data.

Seattle’s booming technology industry is driving record population growth as transplants flock to the region for jobs. Those newcomers tend to be skilled recruits, meaning they can afford pricier homes.


As GeekWire has reported, there are now more than 80 engineering
offices in the Seattle area operated by large tech giants, including fast-growing offices for Facebook, Salesforce, eBay and others. Homegrown tech companies such as Amazon.com, which now employs more than 25,000 people in the Seattle area, also are adding to the boom.

According to Zillow’s index, home prices in the broader Seattle region were $409,900 in September. In King County, the median value was $518,400 and in Seattle proper home values were starting at $611,500.

The rising prices, coupled with low supply, have discouraged some house-hunters.

via Seattle becomes nation’s hottest housing market, driven by tech boom

So, you may ask, What’s In Store For The 2017 Seattle Housing Market?

In an article written by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate, Matthew addresses some key items that my come into play for 2017. Matthew writes:


  1. Our market has benefited greatly from very healthy job growth, driven in no small part by our thriving technology companies. Economic vitality is the backbone of housing demand, so we should continue to see healthy employment growth in 2017; however, not quite as robust as 2016. Migration to Seattle from other states will also continue in the coming year, putting further pressure on our housing market.


  1. Are we building too many apartments?  The answer to this question is “maybe”. I believe we are fast approaching oversupply of apartments; however, this glut will only be seen in select sub-markets, such as South Lake Union and Capitol Hill. Developers have been adding apartments downtown at frantic rates with many projects garnering very impressive rents. In the coming year, look for rental rate growth to slow and for concessions to come back into play as we add several thousand more apartments to downtown Seattle.


  1. The Millennials are here! And they are ready to buy. 2016 saw a significant increase in the number of Millennial buyers in Seattle, and I expect to see even more in 2017. The only problem will be whether Millennials will be able to find – or afford – anything to buy.


  1. Home prices will continue to rise. But price growth will taper somewhat. The market has been on a tear since bottoming out in 2012, with median home prices up by a remarkable 79% from the 2012 low, and 14% above the pre-recession peak seen in 2007. Given the fact that interest rates are now likely to rise at a faster rate than previously forecasted, I believe price appreciation will slow somewhat, but values will still increase at rates that are well above the national average. Look for home prices to increase by an average of 7.5 – 8.5% in 2017.


  1. More homes for sale? I am optimistic that inventory levels around Seattle will increase, but it still won’t be enough to meet continued high demand.


You can read more of the article that was written on Windermere’s Blog


via What’s In Store For The 2017 Seattle Housing Market? | Windermere Blog

What this all boils down to the home buyer is the desperate need for a competent team that is helping them to navigate these difficult housing waters in Seattle right now.

Making sure you have a Real Estate professional that truly understand the market is extremely important.  Making sure your financing is set up ahead of time will often times come into play when a seller is deciding which offer to take.

In times like these you have to be smarter if you’re going to reel in that home you want to get into.