Everything Is Connected. It’s Time to See the Links.

June 5, 2015
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People NetworksAdding People and Mind Mapping Social Networks in Your Brain

If you don’t have your family or colleagues in your Brain you are missing out. Adding people in your Brain whether it’s their name connected to a project or their contact info will help you get the big picture on your relationships. Creating a people centric Brain will improve the quality of your interactions so you can remember key details that might otherwise be forgotten.

Visualizing Teams and Organizational Expertise

Getting a handle on complex projects can be challenging. Part of the equation in any large project is people. Connecting people to projects will help you understand who is responsible for what and yield more productive meetings.

Create a Thought in your Brain for your team and create Child Thoughts below for all team members. Once a team member is in your Brain you can then start to link and connect them to all aspects of your project that they are related to.

Thought Types can be used to illustrate company position or role.

Based on TheBrain’s display you instantly see who Terry Mason reports to (the person above) and who he manages (the people below). You get a complete picture of his role in the company immediately.

Link types let you see how people are related. You can further specify connections with labels.

Connecting people as Jump Thoughts to key project information is a good way to depict expertise for escalation.

Then when you click on Fred you can see who he manages and his role in the company.

Link thickness and color can be customized to convey the strength of relationship.

For large organizations I recommend mapping out your employees.

If your employee directory is in a relational database you can use BrainEKP’s database connector to dynamically visualize large information repositories.

Integrating Outlook, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Salesforce.com Contacts

You can drag and drop contacts from Outlook or select multiple contacts and add them in all at once. This creates a direct connection to the information inside Outlook. Additionally contact information is copied into your TheBrain notes area for your convenience.

Drag and Drop Contacts from Outlook in your TheBrain.

Remember, any item with a unique URL can be dragged into your Brain. This means you can drag and drop people from social networking Web sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Dragging and dropping URLs from Facebook and LinkedIn let you further contextualize networks.

Adding Connections for Expertise Location

As you are building a team activating the right people in your Brain can save loads of time and get projects off the ground faster.

Moving a Contact from Outlook into your Brain enables this information to be connected to anything else.

Once you add a contact in your Brain you can create a full context for this person so you have a complete understanding of their involvement in your company or personal life.

This context can be especially important for managers who are building teams for new projects. For instance I spoke to a CTO who has a very extensive list of people in his Brain. As a contractor his network is large and timing for new jobs fluctuates. He uses his Brain to find the right people for new business projects. When a project comes up that requires an SQL DBA he simply activates this Thought, and all DBAs in his Brain appear and he can easily staff up. This skill is connected to other related skills so related expertise can be leveraged.

Seeing Your Family Matters in Action

Having a Thought for your family members gives you a conceptual space to store and organize all your information and thinking on them.  For instance you might be helping your sister with her résumé or receive a copy of her travel itinerary for her next visit. You can drag and drop her email, PDF formatted itinerary and Word formatted résumé all under her. Now when she calls you because she lost her résumé again you can come to the rescue by activating her Thought in your Brain.

Link all relevant Web links and files related to important people in your life.

This is also the area where you can add information on important health matters that any family member might be dealing with. For instance, if one of your parents has diabetes or a heart condition you can use TheBrain’s built-in search web feature and get the information you need to learn about their medical condition and then add it all in under their Thought.

You can also use the parent-child relationship to visualize family tree structures.

Expanded View lets you visualize and customize your Relationship Map.

Adding Images for your People Thoughts

Adding pictures to your people Thoughts enhances your connection to them. And TheBrain’s zoomable images are simply awesome for this. You can drag and drop JPGs and PNGs or copy and paste the image in as a Thought icon for the Thought.

TheBrain’s zoomable icons can help you visualize the person you are thinking about.

If it is a well known person or blogger that you are creating a Thought for, you can copy their image from the web and simply right click on the Thought and select “Paste Thought Icon”. In the age of Web meetings and telecommuting I find that this really helps me remember more business colleagues and journalists that I speak with and whom I am skyping and meeting with over the Web.

People + Ideas = Good Things

As you build your Brain and connect all kinds of interesting ideas and trends don’t forget about the people who created them or contributed. We think about people every minute of the day. Putting them in your Brain will help you focus, hone your thinking and see these relationships in a new light.

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Filed under: Applications. How You Can Use TheBrain! | Posted on June 5th, 2015 by Shelley Hayduk

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