Ask and you shall receive. MindMaple for OS X will be out later this summer, but soon we’ll be opening up beta testing to eager early adopters. To be notified, please fill out the following form below, or head to our Facebook page and select the OS X Beta Test tab. As soon as we upload the beta version to our website, we’ll email everyone who signs up.
How to be productive? Good time management is definitely one of the keys. Today, I’m going to share with you a little trick that helps you stay focused to maximize your productivity in a certain time period, and most importantly, get things done. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you, Pomodroro technique!
Some of you might have heard of it, some might not. Pomodoro technique is a time management method originally proposed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. Pomodoro means tomato in Italian. But why is it called Pomodoro technique while it has nothing to do with tomatoes? The inspiration was from the tomato timer in the kitchen that was originally used for baking cookies or turkey! But we can use it to time tasks and to enhance our time management.
The idea of pomodoro techniques is to using timer to break down works or tasks into sessions with several 25-minute intervals. The theory behind this is that frequent breaks can improve mental agility. No matter if you’re a student who is struggling for your finals, or if you’re a project manager who is always chasing the deadlines, your to-do list can go on and on. That’s why you need this little tomato trick!
How it works?
1. When applying Pomodoro technique, break down a project into several steps or small tasks that can be finished within 25 minutes.
2. Try to pull all your concentration and resources to complete one task in 25 minutes and cross it out from the to-do list. Then you can take a 5 minutes short break.
3. Every 4 “pomodori” (sessions) you may take a longer break for 25-30 minutes.
There are also many pomodoro apps available for free on mobile devices; such as Pomodoro Timer Lite for Android, PomodoroTime Management Lite or 30/30 for iPhone. This method is just one of the many methods that helps to stay productive. We’ll share more tricks to you in the later posts; or you can share with us! Tell us your trick!
As for now, it’s time for my 5 minutes pomodoro break 🙂
Students and instructors: you’ve made it. It’s finally summer. Congratulations on finishing another successful semester/quarter. You’ve got at least two months of freedom ahead of you, and staying productive with few obligations can be very difficult.
This summer, your options are endless, but it’s important to use your time wisely and continue to build upon your current skill set.
- Finding a job is one of the standard options. Summer jobs can often be in short-supply, but many places hire short-term positions. Use any of the sites listed in the template, or apply at your local movie theatre or amusement park. Seasonal workers are always needed.
- Get an internship. If you’re in college, or close to it, a internship is one of the best ways to gain new skills and hone in on your current set. The closer you are to completing your undergrad, the more important it is to consider this option, especially considering the high competition for entry-level jobs.
- Volunteer. Giving back to your community is one of the best things you can do this summer. Not only is it incredibly helpful to many organizations with limited budgets, it’s beyond rewarding to know you’ve made a difference.
- Take a course at your community college or local community center. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook, or maybe sculpture has always piqued your interest, there’s no better time to enroll in a class you may not be able to during the school year.
- Last, but certainly not least, read that novel you’ve been putting off. Review the lists linked in the template for good places to start, or ask a friend for recommendations. Many students and instructors find it difficult to squeeze leisurely reading into their packed schedules; using summer vacation to turn a few hundred – or thousand – pages is a wise decision.
What are your plans for staying productive this summer? Did you procrastinate on spring cleaning?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I believe we’ve all been asked the same question since our childhood; we might even still hear it now. Back in elementary school, a group of 8-year-old kids were talking about their mighty plan for their exciting, unknown future. It was an age that you can be anything or anyone before the reality steps in. Scientists and astronauts are some of the most popular “grown up” jobs children hope to have. Being a president of a country or being a ninja is not impossible either.
I wanted to own a food truck and sell popcorn chicken with boba tea because my mom said I could make a lot of money and be my own boss. If my goal didn’t change, I guess what I meant was to become an entrepreneur!
Every business starts with a business plan.
You’ve already had your Eureka moment! Now your next step is to build a comprehensive plan that leads you the way. Starting a business and making it sustainable is always a long journey, while plans can never catch the changes. Your plan may evolve as time goes on. Therefore, building a business plan with mind map tools helps you to layout your idea and to organize them as a guideline for you to follow. Here’s an example of retail business plan template for you. Download this template for free here.
Some tips when creating a business plan…
1. Hide/Expansion details: Creating a business plan with mind mapping software helps you see the big picture; you will always come back to the core value of your business as the plan changes along the time. You can always click the + button beside the subtopic box to expand the detail.
2. Task scheduling: MindMaple allows users to schedule add memo to the tasks and on the side panel. You can also put down task priorities and task completion icons to keep tracking the task progress.
3. Collaborating with partners: Share your business plan with your business partner(s) and modify the plan simultaneously in-real time! Best of all, it’s always wise to have a back-up in cloud database like Google Drive.
What is your business idea? Do you have a plan yet? Download the free template and start your plan today! Good luck with your future endeavors and enjoy MindMaple!