Anyone using Miro for Academic Research or Personal Knowledge Management? Looking for inspiration and use cases


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Hi all,

I’m a knowledge worker.

While looking for a good tool to build my Personal Knowledge System (aka Second Brain), someone suggested Miro.

I’ve searched a lot, but I wasn’t able to find any use cases related to Academic Research or similar jobs.

I see Miro is mainly used for UX Design, meetings and similar.

I wonder if and how I could use Miro for complex knowledge, often related to projects.

I ask because I’m a visual guy, I really love mind maps, and I see being text only only takes so far when it’s time to learn.


22 replies

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Oops I totally missed the point, my apologies.

 I see your workflow is platform agnostic, as you can have multiple options on each step.

I’ll have a look at Mendeley, though I’ve heard good things about Zotero too.

As for the quotes, your method suits well on notes too, though on a mind map you have a good view pf the whole, and can narrow down as needed.

Thank you again for your very precious tips.

 

You are very welcomed. Yes, people choose Mendeley,EndNote or Zotero for good reasons, the three have a lot in common and with differences. You might compare them and choose the one you like most.  One reason I chose Mendeley is it links directly to one of the biggest academic database of Scopus that suits most to my research in business management.  

 

Cheers,

Emma

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@IvanPsy :

The output options if I work with a client that needs my bullet based output / Word file:

I work with iMindMap but more and more I go into the direction that I do my scribblings with the Bulk-Mode with the stickies in miro:

https://help.miro.com/hc/en-us/articles/360017572054-Sticky-Notes#h_01EWMZS3NDPZ1X6HXQYGCVFJM5

combine it with the search function:

https://community.miro.com/educator-community-69/miro-hack-searchfunction-of-the-board-combined-with-sticky-bulk-mode-in-a-class-4166

And with the clusterizer I had pointed out that 20 people of my meeting had nearly the same wish - this point out in a word-document would not be possible so fast and clear:

and put an output of my meeting as PDF-File.

Till now I had never heard:

We do not like this output - could you please forward this as word-document.

Yes: This would be a nice feature (- Word output for miro boards - but we haven’t got this) but it would be a point we can maybe create a wish out of:

https://community.miro.com/community-welcome-guide-14/wish-list-everything-you-need-to-know-1099

Michael

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Ooh, thanks for the Mendeley shout, @Emma Chen! Just started working on my PhD so this will be helpful. Thanks for starting this thread, @IvanPsy!

I do use Miro to manage my thesis formulation and collecting my thoughts. It’s so much easier to piece together all the ideas that are constantly floating around in my head. I was trying to use Google Slides to do this in class, but realised that Miro tools themselves are much quicker 😂

I’m tempted to work with Miro for my literature review. Perhaps it’s a good way to visually make sure I don’t lose track of which literature contributed to which idea. But I think volume-wise, using Miro might be challenging.

Here’s a look. I ‘nailed’ (well, almost there) my DVs and IVs while working in this visual way.

 

 

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@IvanPsy :

Just give in your word your searching for into the miroverse:
https://miro.com/miroverse/

If you use the word resarch you can find 107 templates.

I’m sure there is something for you:

 

I MindMapped over two decades till I found miro in 2019 - since then I do most everything with it.

As an socialworker who sometimes does classes and lessons and coachings I:

  • Do my classes with it in a never seen before interactivity that I missed so much in PPT presentations
  • Scribble my Coachings with short stickys as a reminder of my documentation - sometimes with a genogram or family-tree
  • Or I MindMap including some PDFs that I marked with the Pen-tool (Highlighter) that I send to my coachees 
  • Or I do my coachings in miro directly with my clients:

 

 

 

… the things I do are endless - and I love it.

Hope you enjoy every aspect that miro offers you.

Michael

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Hi @IvanPsy , 

I’m exactly asking myself the same question as you do.

I’m a Phd student and I love / need to organise my information visually. 

As you do, I’m also worrying about what would I do if I decide to stop paying for miro (I decided to buy the consultant plan 2 month ago). I know I will have acces still to all my boards but they won’t be editable anymore. Or worst, If miro companie shut down… what would I do with all my information stored/organised (and I have..a LOT). 

I wish miro was a software like microsoft word … `For now it seems to me that there is no guarranty and its 240$ CAD/year… Still the developpers team look serious enough and the costumer service been (for now at least :) ) perfect (quick feedback, professional help)!

 

Although, if you are like me and have to decompose or extract information of a text (PDF), get the main ideas into bullet points (but still linked to the exact place in the PDF), the application ‘’DOCEAR’’ was the best. (https://docear.org/software/screenshots/) it was an open source project that unfortunately stagnates because of the lake of  ressources. 

I will try to adress miro a ticket to implemante sush incontournable features for reaserchers.

Let me know if any of you find any alternatives or if miro mindmap features ;)

Regards, 

Charles Collin

 

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It make sense.

How about the quotes?

How and where do you store them for future reference?

 

My solution is, as explicated quite in details two days ago in this thread, Xmind, as quoted below.

By the way, unlike Mendeley, Xmind is not a must-have tool for academic research, you could use Miro or others you like most to store and manage the quotes.  After surfing around Miro these days, I’m pretty sure Miro should a better choice with many more options, and more visualized. 

 

Hello @IvanPsy,

 

Yes, I use one “.xmind” file per research topic.  The file could go big but it’s not messy at all.  It's very convenient to organize quotes on Xmind together with Mendeley.  By the way, I’ve installed Mendeley on my Android mobile phone that works totally fine, and some of my classmates use their iPhones for Mendeley, I’m sure you can use download a Mendeley iOS version for daily readings, but still, I think it’s important to use their desktop version, for paper writing.  If there is a problem with using Mendely, EndNote is another good choice to replace Mendeley.   

 

Back to how to use Xmind… usually, writing a paper is all about writing the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ for a specific research topic, following your proposed Conceptual Framework that links the keywords (your search terms for your research topic) together in a relationship chart.  Based on such understanding, I always sort all quotes about the research topic into three sessions ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ on Xmind.  Under each are the keywords (or the sub-topic you’re going to write about) and their relative quotes, e.g., Research Topic “IoT Business Model from Ecosystem Perspective” - What? - IoT - definition - (lots of quotations) ,  or “IoT Business Model from Ecosystem Perspective” - What? -Research Gap - (lots of quotations) … and so on.  In this way, it’s very easy to find the quotes you need immediately, so you can write a paragraph about one sub-topic, with lots of choices of in-text citations from what you just copied and pasted from the literature you stored and read on Mendeley.  

 

Make sure next to every quote, write down the author’s name and publication year, so you have a better idea of who you are going to quote from and how recent the quote was; moreover, once you need to check further the context of this quote to get a better idea of what it is about, you can easily use the author name (or the quote itself) to search on Mendely and find the original paper; or after you wrote a sentence with an in-text citation based on the quote, you can use the author name to insert the citation, say in APA 7 format “(surname, year)”, automatically, into your Word file where you can use the Mendeley plug-in to directly insert that format and a bibliography list, to save you lots of time. 

 

Hope I’ve explained it clearly enough.  If you have further questions, feel free to ask. :-)

 

Best,

Emma

  • Xmind (a great mind-mapping tool) 
    • to collect all citations and classify them into three groups of ‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, one slide for one small research project (or one sub topic)

 

I forgot…

May I ask you how you use mind mapping to collect all citations?

Do you have a separate mind map per each paper, topic, or what?

I ask because I tested mindmapping for very large note taking, but my mind mapping became messy very soon (too much nodes so that I wasn’t able to find the right information).

 

 

 

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I’m a Phd student and I love / need to organise my information visually. 

As you do, I’m also worrying about what would I do if I decide to stop paying for miro (I decided to buy the consultant plan 2 month ago). I know I will have acces still to all my boards but they won’t be editable anymore. Or worst, If miro companie shut down… what would I do with all my information stored/organised (and I have..a LOT). 

I wish miro was a software like microsoft word … `For now it seems to me that there is no guarranty and its 240$ CAD/year… Still the developpers team look serious enough and the costumer service been (for now at least :) ) perfect (quick feedback, professional help)!

 

 

Agreed, my same concern.

There are many reasons why someone may close his/her subscription.

As far as I can see, the real solution for permanent notes (think of it as Second Brain) is open source and  platform agnostic.

This is my plan until now:

  • Mind map to brainstorm ideas for a new project (workshop, article, ecc...)
  • Permanent notes: I use a modified and customized version of the Zettelkasten method, on Apple Notes as I’m full Apple right now. I can convert all of my notes to Markdown files with a click if and when needed

I’m testing Airtable to collect my findings on the web, my bibliography, and is serving very well.

As you can see I can move all of them as I wish: mindmaps may become OPLMs or images, permanent notes may become text files, the bibliography may become a simple sheet.

As for Miro, I see people use it for projects, something spot that we can convert to PDFs or images if needed.

I still wonder if it would be suitable for a Second Brain concept.

Hope someone with experience will answer ;-)

 

 

Although, if you are like me and have to decompose or extract information of a text (PDF), get the main ideas into bullet points (but still linked to the exact place in the PDF), the application ‘’DOCEAR’’ was the best. (https://docear.org/software/screenshots/) it was an open source project that unfortunately stagnates because of the lake of  ressources. 

 

I’ll have a look, though I need a solution that is both desktop and mobile friendly, since I work often on an iPad and iPhone.

Thank you @Charles Collin hope we find the solution :-D

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@Emma Chen

I go always to the principle: What offers the fast result that I’ll like to have.

I never used Mendeley but what I have seen:

This is mindblowing and for academic uses THE tool that you have to have - so never ever could this be replaced by miro …

Miro is what it is but it is not a MindMapping tool although it has MindMap functions inside but a real comparission with MindMapping programs like MindManager or Xmind it will never stand (with the functions it has now).

And even if miro got a Table-Tool. This tool would never replace Excel and it’s functions - never ever!

So if you have to have more from their program features you have to stay by this programs.

I do so, too. Because this other programs bringing me faster to my result.

I never would try to type a Mass-Mail with Word-Pad because it is implemented in Windows. I and everyone of us using f.e. MS Word or whatever for this - it’s faster, easier and better!

All we got to ask / hope for is that miro developes an app for the miro APP marketplace that implements for instance Xmind or Mendeley - This would really be cool.

Create a wish and place it on the wishlist

https://community.miro.com/community-welcome-guide-14/wish-list-everything-you-need-to-know-1099

- A implementation of miro and Mendeley / XMind like the implementation of the Iconfinder or Unsplash this would be a gamechanger in so many ways … why not.

For MindMapping imports there already exists a wish:

https://community.miro.com/wish-list-32/import-mind-maps-from-other-apps-111

If you like to have it vote for it - and hopefully miro does make this happen.

And an additional idea:

Here in this community there are a lot developers not only this who are working for miro.

So I’m sure if you contact one of them and tell them what you need or place a post into the Developer-Section: Urgently needed … I’m sure you will get an answer:

https://community.miro.com/developer-platform-and-apis-57

Markus Smet or Max Harper are some of them … just contact them ...

 

Michael

 

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Thank you Michael @mlanders for your quick response! 

 

Now I have a better understanding of Miro for what it can and can not do.   I’ve been spending this weekend writing my paper, when I am getting more familiar with my solution, I enjoy it more.  So for the moment, I don’t really wish Miro to provide a similar approach for the academic research purpose.  Sure I would love to explore more functions of Miro for other purposes such as its co-creation, presentation… etc.  

 

Cheers!

Emma

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Since we’re here, the APAC Miro User Group is organising a ‘Miro for Educators & Academia’ event this Thursday, 29 April. Do join us to hear experiences from educators and students using Miro!

https://events.miro.com/events/details/miro-apac-presents-miro-for-educators-tales-tips-tricks-from-academia/

 

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Thanks for starting this thread, @IvanPsy!

 

You’re welcome.

Glad to see it helps.

 

I do use Miro to manage my thesis formulation and collecting my thoughts. It’s so much easier to piece together all the ideas that are constantly floating around in my head. I was trying to use Google Slides to do this in class, but realised that Miro tools themselves are much quicker 😂

 

 

So you use Miro project oriented, is it?

I see almost all the users use Miro this way, maybe because it’s the best use of it?

 

I’m tempted to work with Miro for my literature review. Perhaps it’s a good way to visually make sure I don’t lose track of which literature contributed to which idea. But I think volume-wise, using Miro might be challenging.

 

 

Agreed.

It’s my doubt.

Though Miro is very good for spot projects, I wonder if and how it would be good for something broader and long lasting, such as a Second Brain or a part of it.

Maybe it’s not...but still open to new and better solutions...

 

 

Here’s a look. I ‘nailed’ (well, almost there) my DVs and IVs while working in this visual way.

 

 

WOW thank you for sharing!

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Hello @IvanPsy,

 

Yes, I use one “.xmind” file per research topic.  The file could go big but it’s not messy at all.  It's very convenient to organize quotes on Xmind together with Mendeley.  By the way, I’ve installed Mendeley on my Android mobile phone that works totally fine, and some of my classmates use their iPhones for Mendeley, I’m sure you can use download a Mendeley iOS version for daily readings, but still, I think it’s important to use their desktop version, for paper writing.  If there is a problem with using Mendely, EndNote is another good choice to replace Mendeley.   

 

Back to how to use Xmind… usually, writing a paper is all about writing the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ for a specific research topic, following your proposed Conceptual Framework that links the keywords (your search terms for your research topic) together in a relationship chart.  Based on such understanding, I always sort all quotes about the research topic into three sessions ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ on Xmind.  Under each are the keywords (or the sub-topic you’re going to write about) and their relative quotes, e.g., Research Topic “IoT Business Model from Ecosystem Perspective” - What? - IoT - definition - (lots of quotations) ,  or “IoT Business Model from Ecosystem Perspective” - What? -Research Gap - (lots of quotations) … and so on.  In this way, it’s very easy to find the quotes you need immediately, so you can write a paragraph about one sub-topic, with lots of choices of in-text citations from what you just copied and pasted from the literature you stored and read on Mendeley.  

 

Make sure next to every quote, write down the author’s name and publication year, so you have a better idea of who you are going to quote from and how recent the quote was; moreover, once you need to check further the context of this quote to get a better idea of what it is about, you can easily use the author name (or the quote itself) to search on Mendely and find the original paper; or after you wrote a sentence with an in-text citation based on the quote, you can use the author name to insert the citation, say in APA 7 format “(surname, year)”, automatically, into your Word file where you can use the Mendeley plug-in to directly insert that format and a bibliography list, to save you lots of time. 

 

Hope I’ve explained it clearly enough.  If you have further questions, feel free to ask. :-)

 

Best,

Emma

  • Xmind (a great mind-mapping tool) 
    • to collect all citations and classify them into three groups of ‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, one slide for one small research project (or one sub topic)

 

I forgot…

May I ask you how you use mind mapping to collect all citations?

Do you have a separate mind map per each paper, topic, or what?

I ask because I tested mindmapping for very large note taking, but my mind mapping became messy very soon (too much nodes so that I wasn’t able to find the right information).

 

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@IvanPsy :

Just give in your word your searching for into the miroverse:
https://miro.com/miroverse/

If you use the word resarch you can find 107 templates.

I’m sure there is something for you

 

 

Alas all of the results refer to something related to UX Design, marketing research...

 

 

 

I MindMapped over two decades till I found miro in 2019 - since then I do most everything with it.

As an socialworker who sometimes does classes and lessons and coachings I:

  • Do my classes with it in a never seen before interactivity that I missed so much in PPT presentations
  • Scribble my Coachings with short stickys as a reminder of my documentation - sometimes with a genogram or family-tree
  • Or I MindMap including some PDFs that I marked with the Pen-tool (Highlighter) that I send to my coachees 
  • Or I do my coachings in miro directly with my clients:

 

… the things I do are endless - and I love it.

 

 

I believe it.

I’m testing Miro, and it’s very powerful.

Just a question: don’t you fear being locked in Miro?

I mean: what if/when you wanted to go away form Miro?

The exporting options are poor.

My main concern is about mind maps: you can’t import/export the mind map, you can’t even copy the nodes into a word processor as text and bullet lists.

It’s an important feature for me: I use mind maps for almost everything in the early stages.

For example:

  • I mind map the key points and paragraph of an article, then I import the nodes into my wordprocessor and write around the nodes
  • I mind map an event or a workshop, while people brainstorm, then the Company asks me for the map, both image and bullet list
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@IvanPsy :

Till now I had never heard:

We do not like this output - could you please forward this as word-document.

 

 

I see.

The more I look at Miro and its resources, the more I see the best way to understand the platform is thinking outside the box and forgetting the usual ways such as bullet points, slides, etc…

Thank you for the explanation.

 

Yes: This would be a nice feature (- Word output for miro boards - but we haven’t got this) but it would be a point we can maybe create a wish out of:

https://community.miro.com/community-welcome-guide-14/wish-list-everything-you-need-to-know-1099

 

Done!

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So help me to understand: you store the quotes on Mendeley, and retrieve them and copy to the mind map when needed?  

How about research that are not “project oriented”?
I mean: I usually surf the Web looking for new research and papers about my professional topics.
When I encounter an interesting paper I store it: I don’t have a project around it yet, but it may be useful in the future.
I wonder what’s the best way to store and collect such papers along with their highlights.

 

Mendeley is used to store all kinds of ‘literature’ in pdf. format, NOT quotes, no matter it’s “project oriented’ or not.  It provides the must-have database for you to read, sort, search or quote later.  Sometimes, you can use it to record a webpage with its URL when necessary, but it doesn’t store the contents of that webpage (unless you upload the pdf. file manually later).  

 

Cheers,

Emma

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Mendeley is used to store all kinds of ‘literature’ in pdf. format, NOT quotes, no matter it’s “project oriented’ or not.  It provides the must-have database for you to read, sort, search or quote later.  Sometimes, you can use it to record a webpage with its URL when necessary, but it doesn’t store the contents of that webpage (unless you upload the pdf. file manually later).  

 

 

It make sense.

How about the quotes?

How and where do you store them for future reference?

Userlevel 3
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My solution is, as explicated quite in details two days ago in this thread, Xmind, as quoted below.

By the way, unlike Mendeley, Xmind is not a must-have tool for academic research, you could use Miro or others you like most to store and manage the quotes.  After surfing around Miro these days, I’m pretty sure Miro should a better choice with many more options, and more visualized. 

 

 

 

 

Oops I totally missed the point, my apologies.

 I see your workflow is platform agnostic, as you can have multiple options on each step.

I’ll have a look at Mendeley, though I’ve heard good things about Zotero too.

As for the quotes, your method suits well on notes too, though on a mind map you have a good view pf the whole, and can narrow down as needed.

Thank you again for your very precious tips.

 

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For the academic research purpose, I’ve figured out the solution of ‘Mendeley+Xmind+Excel’ that works perfectly for my doctoral research projects in the passing year.  

  • Mendeley 
    • to download and manage all academic literatures
  • Xmind (a great mind-mapping tool) 
    • to collect all citations and classify them into three groups of ‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, one slide for one small research project (or one sub topic)
  • Excel 
    • to list all literatures to be cited, one sheet for one specific project, classified by key words, with all relevant information that Mendeley misses such as the journals impact index, the literature’s citation number… to be further quantified

I assume Miro could do a great or even better job to serve the purpose as “Xmind” does, but not sure if it could work as an alternative of “Excel” for similar outcome.  As for Mendely, I think there is no way it can be replaced by Miro.  

Only about 10 days ago, I started to experience Miro for an online ce-creation workshop. So far, we have been using Miro for more than 15 hours accumulatively.  Miro is really powerful for online open innovation workshops.  I’m not familiar with Miro’s other functions other than those fore co-working activities, so my question about Miro in academic research is narrowed down to if it could do the similar statistics works like Excel does?  If not, I would stick to my current solution, if yes, I’d love to give it a try.  :-)

 

 

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For the academic research purpose, I’ve figured out the solution of ‘Mendeley+Xmind+Excel’ that works perfectly for my doctoral research projects in the passing year.  

  • Mendeley 
    • to download and manage all academic literatures
  • Xmind (a great mind-mapping tool) 
    • to collect all citations and classify them into three groups of ‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, one slide for one small research project (or one sub topic)
  • Excel 
    • to list all literatures to be cited, one sheet for one specific project, classified by key words, with all relevant information that Mendeley misses such as the journals impact index, the literature’s citation number… to be further quantified

 

Thank you for your great reply Emma!

I’m not a research per se, but I work a lot on papers.

I see your workflow is almost the same as me:

  • Airtable to collect the literature
  • Mindnode to brainstorm ideas, above all when I start e new project (a workshop, an article...)
  • Apple Notes to collect the highlights from the papers

I had a look ad Mendeley, but not lacks of a mobile version, that is mandatory for me because I work a lot on iPhone and iPad.

 

 

I assume Miro could do a great or even better job to serve the purpose as “Xmind” does, but not sure if it could work as an alternative of “Excel” for similar outcome.  As for Mendely, I think there is no way it can be replaced by Miro.  

Only about 10 days ago, I started to experience Miro for an online ce-creation workshop. So far, we have been using Miro for more than 15 hours accumulatively.  Miro is really powerful for online open innovation workshops. 

 

 

Me too, and the more I use Miro the more I doubt it would be good for permanent or long lasting notes.

I see Miro is good for online collaboration, period.

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +3
  • Xmind (a great mind-mapping tool) 
    • to collect all citations and classify them into three groups of ‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, one slide for one small research project (or one sub topic)

 

I forgot…

May I ask you how you use mind mapping to collect all citations?

Do you have a separate mind map per each paper, topic, or what?

I ask because I tested mindmapping for very large note taking, but my mind mapping became messy very soon (too much nodes so that I wasn’t able to find the right information).

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

 

I believe it.

I’m testing Miro, and it’s very powerful.

Just a question: don’t you fear being locked in Miro?

I mean: what if/when you wanted to go away form Miro?

The exporting options are poor.

@IvanPsy :

Yes, at this moment you’re right - the exporting options are poor

No - Word or MindMap-export not even freemind …

 

If I being locked to/in miro?

As I started with MindMapping I had worked with the first computerbased software

MindMan (The previous version of MindManager)

Then I worked with MindManager

I switched to iMindMap (the official computerbased program from the inventor of MindMapping Tony Buzan) because of its flexibility, output options and more natural based branches.

Till 2019 i worked with iMindMap although this program is not supported anymore - it changed to a not so good onlinesolution Ayoa …

I decided not to go into this direction because all i wanted I had with one click of a button in iMindMap … and I still can have it:

Flexible output / different formats and much more …

But my working has changed:

At home I prepare my class with miro / at work I start my class in miro

My coachings: My templates for my coachings I create at home in miro and then I log in into my account and do my coachings in miro … - for every problem a client had I can open a template with one click and ask my client the question he/she needs for his/her way in my coachings ...

Yes - when I think of it: It would be a catastrophy when miro stops from one day to an other its work … but:

I always have found a solution in my past for problems and I will do so in my future.

Here the same solution oriented thinking takes place for me like in the systemic consultings I do for my clients.

Although I miss much of the features I had in iMindMap … its hard to imagine that I will go back into the past solution because I would miss more features miro offers me

A video in German shows in 1:38 Min what miro offers what iMindMap not has offered me:

(By seeing the pictures you will get an idea altough you maybe do not understand the words) and of course I always will support the wishlist with this point and always tell miro what I still need:

https://community.miro.com/wish-list-32/import-mind-maps-from-other-apps-111

 

Best

Michael

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

Hello @IvanPsy,

 

Yes, I use one “.xmind” file per research topic.  The file could go big but it’s not messy at all.  It's very convenient to organize quotes on Xmind together with Mendeley.

 

… usually, writing a paper is all about writing the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ for a specific research topic, following your proposed Conceptual Framework that links the keywords (your search terms for your research topic) together in a relationship chart.  Based on such understanding, I always sort all quotes about the research topic into three sessions ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ on Xmind.  

 

 

So help me to understand: you store the quotes on Mendeley, and retrieve them and copy to the mind map when needed?

How about research that are not “project oriented”?
I mean: I usually surf the Web looking for new research and papers about my professional topics.
When I encounter an interesting paper I store it: I don’t have a project around it yet, but it may be useful in the future.
I wonder what’s the best way to store and collect such papers along with their highlights.

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