,In "Microsoft OneNote", handwritten notes can be placed next to typed or copied-in notes - from photos to videos. — photo Microsoft/dpa
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Need to collaborate on a creative project with other people while working remotely? That’s when digital tools for idea management are indispensable.
You can use them to brain-storm and create post-it notes, and they make it easy to organise and structure the content produced.
Mind maps are one way to collect ideas. The technique combines structure with creativity, says Andre Kramer of c’t magazine.
”In the middle there is a topic, from which branches and sub-items emerge, each branching out further, ” he says. “At the end you get a structure that subordinates each object to another object.”
Mind maps can be used, for example, to create a table of contents or the structure for a presentation.
There have long been ways to create digital mind maps. One of the oldest programs for this is MindManager. However, the software is no longer just solely a brainstorming tool.
”You can create all kinds of diagrams and run project management, including cost estimates,” Kramer says.
There’s also a brainstorming mode in which everything else is hidden in order to simulate the idea of a blank page.
Depending on the subscription model, integration into Microsoft Teams is also possible. The mind maps can be exported as an image file or in PDF format.
Patrick Kurz is a specialist in efficient workflows. He recommends Microsoft OneNote as a digital notebook into which videos, texts and images as well as hand-written texts and drawings can all be imported.
”For example, if you sketch a mind map by hand on your tablet, you can integrate it into OneNote,” he says.
Ideas created in this way can be converted into to-do lists, tasks or appointments. “It is often extremely important that idea management can flow optimally into the workflow, ” Kurz says.
You can work on OneNote on any device and project the notes on to a screen. “If everyone is in the home office, one person can share the screen and everyone can work on it at the same time,” he says.
According to time management expert Cordula Nussbaum, anyone who not only wants to collect ideas, but also structure them, will be well served by the digital pin board Padlet or the board-based project management software Trello.
As a pure browser application for mind maps, MindMeister is also popular. The program also offers a collaborative mode for brainstorming. The basic version is free.
”The application has a large user community and many mind maps that can be called up online for inspiration,” Kramer says.
When deciding whether to choose a real world or a digital solution for your brainstorming and idea-generating activities, it’s important to consider how haptic you are.