I've been responding to a Tender for the first time in years and years.
That must bring memories back to some of you.
Working late. Stress. Knowing in your head what you want to say, and struggling to get it down in a 2 dimensional serial proposal.
And why are large tenders always urgent and set just before Christmas?
It also reminded me of University days. Late night essays, large projects to write, many sleepless nights, turning to my colleagues and stating "Never Again" and bursting into laughter because we knew, "Always Again". I struggle to write for someone else, in a "business" language. In this weblog, I write for myself, whatever idea comes into my head, and it's so much easier.
Interesting that my writing in the tender was starting to take on the language of a blog, with some exclamation marks as well!! We had to submit printed copies of the tender, so unfortunately we couldn't use hyperlinks. I'd love to have referred to things on the web.
I used MindManager to run the tender response. We brainstormed ideas using a projector on to a wall. We reviewed our progress every day as a group. We planned our response, and did lots of rearranging of all the info and ideas we'd gathered, across the MindMap. And finally, I wrote my part of the response in MindManager, whereby I'd write my response in the Notes section of each main Topic/Branch, whilst looking at all the sub-branches I'd gathered. Then I exported all the notes into Word - a complete response that needed nothing but formatting.
On the whole it worked extremely well, and this was hardcore stuff with hundreds of sub-topics and not just a few pretty branches. Sometimes difficult to keep track of so much information, but how else can you do it, in the two weeks we had to respond, and we now have an electronic capture of our whole planning and writing process.
We're due to hear this week if we've been short-listed, and if we have, we present in January to the client. I'm tempted to present in MindManager presentation mode, which is a bit different to the usual PowerPoint (yawn) thing. (Damn, just read Kathy Sierra's list ....but is it interesting; we could have gone further!)
I've not worked with a group of people using MindManager, but that's starting to happen. Very Exciting. Stuff like MindManager doesn't excite others as much as it does for me. I have intense curiosity. If I'm walking past someone's screen with lots of graphics and colours on it, I want to know what it is. If I see something colourful on a desk, I want to see what it is.
Others don't have my visual curiosity, so I guess MindMapping isn't always for them.
The one thing I haven't done yet, which MindManager 6 can do, is package the whole project, including supporting documentation, into a single MindMap, whereby all the supporting documentation is carried by the MindMap so if I send it to someone, it sends the attached Excel, Word documents with it.