Productivity December 1, 2020

MindMaps VS Notes? which one is the most productive, secure, and easy to use?


I am very bad with structure, I almost never take notes, even in my first few years of coding I never made any documentation and did the minimum on Jira/confluence and other agile boards required by my employees to fill. But as I gained experience, I realized the things I was missing. I usually put things on keep and oh github. I dabbled with one note, Evernote and xmind too.

I just can't find one permanent solution which I can continue and build on. What are your suggestions? which one app is to rule them all, mind-mapping or note taking?

What's your goto productivity tool

  1. 1

    I usually find that it really depends on what I'm trying to accomplish.
    For brainstorming or organizing (more on this later) I'll jump to a notebook or large piece of paper (think Numberphile style) and build a complex mind map. I love mind maps, but I don't like them for generalized note-taking.

    For note-taking or keeping important information, I use Evernote. While I love my google drive, Evernote it much cleaner for organizing info that needs to be quickly accessed. One example of this is that I'm applying to a lot of jobs right now. Each interview, questions and answers, company research information, and lists of places to call or email go into Evernote so I can find it immediately when I get that random phone interview. If you'd like, I can go into more detail about how I organize my Evernote, I find it easy and again quick to search through without my organizational OCD taking over too much.

    For important documents, resumes, financial information, or things I want to keep long term without immediate access, I have Google Drive. I also downloaded backup and sync and moved my windows folders (Docs, Pictures, etc.) To the google drive installation. Everything is auto-synced and I don't need those pesky "Computer X" folders in Drive.

    For notes, I take on concepts such as the neural networking "courses" I'm taking, a pen and notebook are great. Once I'm done I can reformat, or just leave for reference later. If it involves code or mathematical formulae, I'll move it to Google Colab (online python jupyter notebooks) but I very rarely find a need for this. I wish I had more urgent uses as Colab is really cool but I simply don't.

    If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Writing this out makes me want to blog about it and I'd love to know what others might like to hear or what questions need to be answered

    edit: I forgot the part about MindMap organizing.
    I have ADHD from hell. One of my problems lately is that all of my coding interests (like, coding is my video games to a highschool teen) began to clash together in an unorganized mess. I'll end up overwhelmed and not know what to research or work on or how it meshes with another idea. I'll jump from one end of the spectrum to the other. From microchips to web development to trying to work out High-Performance Computing on my own, it never makes any sense. So what I'll do is sit down and start with a general concept, like "Programming Concepts" and I'll use the mind map to just start writing out my thought process. I know the concepts I'm interested in are organized in my head somewhere and I'll use the map to help me figure that out. So in the end, I end up with Neural Networking > GPU Development > Parallel Programming > High-Performance Computing > Computer Clustering > My own "data-center" build planning, and so on. These really never end but it really sorts out my ADD thinking and makes it easier to see "hey, this concept falls here, and I'm over here on this path, I need to either determine if this is REALLY THAT IMPORTANT or change my current focus to achieve my goal.

  2. 1

    I find them all not great. For my own stuff I just don't do it. It's all in my head.

    Where team collaboration is required I use Jira solely.

  3. 1

    I'm pretty into Notion these days. Roam is another tool that is popular, I'm experimenting with that too.

    Mindmaps just don't work for me.

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