My personal tool box

Over the years I’ve always had a tool box in the closet like the big one pictured above.  It’s pretty basic – a screwdriver with a variety of heads, a hammer, some picture wire, some duct tape.  Any heavy jobs require assistance from a family member or professional.

But my personal organizational tool box contains some good ones which vary as I acquire more and more digital technology.  The contents here really makes a difference.

First of all – paper journals – even though paper sounds out of date.  Recently I recycled about 25 from past lives pondered and agonized about.  If I were a novelist they might have been fodder for a set of future neurotics , but dipping into them revealed somebody who was self-absorbed and rather silly. No doubt the journal I am filling now will seem the same way later.  But I do find it essential to record what’s on my mind.  A journal gets the ideas and problems out there from inside.  It can be reviewed, laughed at or cried over later when I have better perspectives.  I keep these hand written journals for a while – but not forever.  Sometimes I have a look and copy the best notes from reading or personal insight into another one and those journals are longer keepers.

In addition to the big journal – usually black – and Moleskine or a comparable cheaper brand with a bookmark and an elastic –  I have a couple of other books.  One is for ideas for blogs and things get written down if and when they come to me – (it contained the suggestion of this article among other things).  The third one is a notebook for taking notes at meetings or seminars.  I prefer to do this by hand – and try to capture the main ideas with verbatim phrases or even mind maps.  I’ll later transfer the contents to a report if they are something like minutes and meant to be shared.  Generally people who take notes during meetings capture nearly everything but don’t take the additional step of reflecting on what matters in the content.

Second – Synchronized stuff.  We move between laptops, tablets and smart phones and we need to have it all in hand and as portable as possible.  If I need reference material for a meeting, I’ll want to have it available when and where I need it.  A recent meeting had an advance portfolio of over 500 pages.  I had the option of reading it onsite on a tablet by either using wi-fi or a previously uploaded copy. In another situation I needed the combination to open a safe.  It was in a Gmail folder in message saved to a folder three months earlier.

Third – Mind Mapping.  I’ve been a mind mapper since a son responded in the early nineties by giving me Tony Buzan’s The Mind Map Book for Christmas.  He had heard me complain about a client‘s proposal.  As an arts consultant at the time I was helping plan a major civic arts facility housing performing, visual and media arts.  There was a lot of blue sky thinking and it was our role to introduce a few clouds.  Suddenly there was talk of taking one of the three components out of the plan without understanding the financial effect on operating revenue.  “If only there were a way to show how one change affects everything else – but on one page,”  I wailed.

Mind mapping does that.  I later went down to Palm Beach and became a Buzan certified trainer, but you can actually learn mind mapping in 10 minutes here. Hand maps can be visually beautiful and works of art.  Digital maps have the advantage of reordering and restructuring with ease.  Either technique organizes and structures your thinking.  That’s how this article started and got organized in a very few minutes using Mind mapping software called VisiMap.

Fourth – Graphic Tools.  For any long term plan or project, you have to use something to see the big picture as well as the details.  Most of us think both logically and intuitively and have a preference for one or the other.  We’re exposed to a growing number of messages and an infinite number of words.  When someone says, “Do I have to draw you a picture?” out of frustration, they may be indeed on the right track.  There are many examples of digital canvasses and some of these like Canvanizer are now available for collaborative use.  They are a simple way of uniting those with different ways to think because they combine the textual and the visual and relationships among the components are easier to see.

I also invented a hand written to-do format combining Robert Fritz‘s calendar idea and post-it notes.  In one of his books Fritz  he suggests ranges  for things that have to be done in columns – within one day, two days, three days, five days and two weeks.  It helps see life in a bigger frame and you can even do some stuff earlier if you have time.  Very small post-its are great to write the tasks – and I keep those that tend to repeat – like “pay credit card’ or “prepare meeting agenda” – I just throw the one-time ones away and it feels even better than stroking them off a list.

Fifth – Password Savers.  My current password count is 86. The list might be missing a few or have some that should be deleted.  I still have a small paper book where I wrote these down and had to look them up frequently – until I discovered that there is software that stores all of them securely and can access any of them. Basically all I have to remember now is one – which will allow me to keep all the others on file and synchronize them to my other devices.  It’s really fun to see them automatically open anything from bank accounts to online courseware – and that pause even gives a few seconds to relax and reflect.

Sixth – for now – because there will always be more to explore – Subscription Collectors.  We sign up for things all the time – and then forget about them.  Suddenly our mail boxes are jammed with incoming distractions.  Suddenly an hour has past and we forget what we came to the in-box for in the first place.  We don’t want to give subscriptions up entirely – but we have met the enemy – and it is us.  I used to put incoming ones in a Gmail folder called @Parking-lot with the intention of looking at them on Friday afternoon.  I would usually forget to look – and then after a month there were more than 100 things to read and I tended to delete the whole lot of them –  time saved perhaps, but also opportunities lost to learn anything.  Then I discovered an app called which first checks out what I have subscribed to – all 87 of them –  and allows me to clean out my list.  Then it asks me when I would like to look at incoming mail – morning, afternoon or evening.  After that, it lets me choose a list or a graphic format for all the entries and sends me the whole lot once a day at my preferred time.  This allows a better balance between attending to what has to be done – and still exploring new things at an appropriate time.

These serve me well and I’ll keep using them for now.  What’s in your tool-box?



Political Conventions


debateNo – this isn’t about the kind where we choose a party leader – though there is a lot of that going on south of the Canadian border.  It’s about what we expect as the norm in political discourse.  That has to change.  We apparently cheer behaviours in political debates that would cause any sensible parents to send their children to their rooms without any supper. That goes for most of the media commentators as well.

Since when is interrupting people seen as praiseworthy in a potential leader?  Is being the most aggressive the best way to behave? It used to sometimes be called bullying. Would you want such disruptive people at your dinner table?  Or would you tell them in no uncertain words to shut up.  Do the commentators have to take the polls as the last word on debating potential – especially if those polled also have favourite shows like The Amazing Race? – or The Apprentice?  For that matter, do political show hosts have to mirror the same behavior – interrupting their invited guests by trying to shout over them?  Crosstalk makes me personally cross enough to press the off button every time.

Here are some things we’ll never get to hear in political debates:

  • I agree with you on . . . . .
  • Your party has done a good job in . . . . .
  • Actually we got that wrong on the basis of . . . . .
  • We have to work together as political parties to . . . . .

In the middle of musing on all this – as well as reading the Leap Manifesto – my door bell rang. It one of the local candidates – from the party that thinks door-to-door visits are the preferred way of soliciting votes.  He was personable, articulate and we had a nice chat.  He noted that in his bilingual school he was encouraged to debate from a very young age.  He’s not likely to win in my swing riding, but my first impression was that he would be okay.  He handed me his postcard with is picture on it and I looked at the reverse side after he left.  Instead of telling me anything about himself – or even his party – it is composed entirely of a picture of a rival provincial party with quotes telling me why it – and the pictured federal party leader – is hopeless.  That’s not debate.  How can this seemingly nice young man hand this stuff out with a straight face?  He should either be laughing – or perhaps crying about the stupidity of it all – and the danger of this kind of discourse.  We get what we ask for as citizens and voters.

What if political debates and advertising had to follow the code of advertising standards that govern other kinds of Canadian enterprises? Here’s what it says”

“The Code is administered by Advertising Standards Canada (ASC). ASC is the industry body committed to creating and maintaining community confidence in advertising.

Some definitions:

“Advertising” also includes “advocacy advertising”, “government advertising”, “political advertising”, and “election advertising”, as defined below.

“Advocacy advertising” is defined as “advertising” which presents information or a point-of-view bearing on a publicly recognized controversial issue.

“Government advertising” is defined as “advertising” by any part of local, provincial or federal governments, or concerning policies, practices or programs of such governments, as distinct from “political advertising” and “election advertising”.

“Political advertising”” is defined as “advertising” appearing at any time regarding a political figure, a political party, a government or political policy or issue publicly recognized to exist in Canada or elsewhere, or an electoral candidate.

“Election advertising” includes “advertising” about any matter before the electorate for a referendum, “government advertising” and “political advertising”, any of which advertising is communicated to the public within a time-frame that starts the day after a vote is called and ends the day after the vote is held. In this definition, a “vote” is deemed to have been called when the applicable writ is issued.

Political and Election Advertising
Canadians are entitled to expect that “political advertising” and “election advertising” will respect the standards articulated in the Code. However, it is not intended that the Code govern or restrict the free expression of public opinion or ideas through “political advertising” or “election advertising”, which are excluded from the application of this Code.

I’m taking advantage of that one here and now.

The whole code is worth a read here.

And here’s the thing  – or at least one….

Advertisements must not, unfairly, discredit, disparage or attack one or more products, services, advertisements, companies or entities, or exaggerate the nature or importance of competitive differences.

 What if we simply said – stop it!  Go to your room until you can say something meaningful and positive about yourselves without slamming the other guys.  And for the record, you debate organizers, – there are about 50% of us in the country that wouldn’t mind hearing what a person with whom we share a gender has to say.  She’s running.  Only one person is going to be elected as leader and her party has a perspective.

But perhaps Elizabeth May is really the one who has the last laugh.  She got herself video- recorded on an Iphone 6 and Tweeted her responses to the questions asked of the other debaters.  Nobody interrupted her – and she got 1.7 million Twitter hits retweeted 21,000 times. The rest apparently settled for 64,000 who could even find the location.

There are so many old paradigms going on in this endless campaign – but there are tiny hints that some of them are unravelling.  There is more to come on this very soon.  But we  voters are no longer quite as stupid as either the candidates or the organizers seem to assume we are.

The polical pitch

Canada  has a national election coming up.  At least one blogger has tried to explain the process to our American friends so I don’t have to do that.  We haven’t had an election for some time and we don’t have the same kind of advance campaigning ever before so I want to be informed before I vote. There have never been so many options – and we have never had less useful information. Where to find something useful?

I started with TV.  The national broadcaster provides one to two hours of noisy chat from politicians and pundits.  It’s basically a shouting match in which the moderator joins in.  The other major network has a more gentle approach.  But what the networks have in common is participants who simply want to slam other points of view.  To have any sense of the issues is almost impossible to fathom.  The newspapers aren’t much better.  Columnists no longer give facts.  They go straight to their take on the facts.

And then there are the polls. A pollster on one of the networks had a podcast interview with a senior vice president of Angus Reid.  She brought the results of a national poll of 6,000 persons and commented on the segment of “likely voters”.  Could you describe “likely voters”, the interviewer asked.  “They are people who are likely to vote,” she replied.  Hmmmmm.

So I thought of going to the party websites to see what the issues were.  Surely this would be a place for reasoned and well-presented platforms.  As an inveterate mapper who likes to find patterns and common threads, mapping menu headings seemed like a possible approach. I intended to chart broad issues and see how the compared across the parties.

So in I went. Wow!  Somebody started with a really good opening template and everybody else followed – following the leader in ways than one.  To be fair, a campaign site is obviously looking for volunteers and donors.  But it would be nice to have a glimpse of the party’s platform, before signing on to donate or contribute cash.

I have created several websites using free templates. A first step is deciding the overall organizing structure to help people navigate a site. One starts with a top level menu; and then one can create sub menus allowing readers to drill down. Think of a book library classification system. That’s actually what a branching system like mind mapping does too.

So let’s have a look:  Conservatives first  (You can go to the real one if you like)


If you want to have a policy you have to go to “latest” on the menu.  When I did what I found was a series of announcements.  This is a map of the subject matter issues:


Obviously not a whole lot of help on the big picture here.  All those Rotarians and Kinsman will like getting some tax relief on their membership fees – but is this what all Canadians were hoping for as a national strategy?

I moved on to the Liberals: (actual site here)


This is just the opening page – right below it is a slide show of quick moving promises relating to specifics.  Veterans get a lot of attention.  I tried to summarize the potential menu items here as well by using key words from the slides as they moved.  But the primary branch words here are my own.


One Thousand dollar tax credits to teachers who buy their own school supplies might reflect the leader’s teaching past, but it seems to be in the same realm as giving tax breaks to service clubs – goofy distractions, not consideration of important issues. Not much convergence on issues re the first two parties either.   I moved on to the NDP


Rather interesting that the NDP combines “just not ready” and “change”. We’re all sound biters now.  Whoever designed the sitec originally might have thought of not covering the leader’s face with the sign-in option.  It almost looks as though someone is trying to shut him up. (Somebody else noticed this before I got arround to publishing and fixed it – good thing).  But the positive thing here is that when one scrolls down just a bit – one actually sees a bunch of actual issue topics.  It was easy to make my map here:


While the Green Party is not a major player at this point it is only fair to see how they see the issues.  I secretly hoped that we might see a different entry design here – but no such luck.


One might also have thought that a green background would be obvious –  even just to counteract pre-judging a new party with blue sky thinking.  But it is the first time we have seen the use of the word, “vision”.  I clicked on it. Going one layer down one actually sees some issue headings under graphic boxes.  I’ve mapped these as they appear as follows:


This is a good deal more transparent.  I think that some topics could be lowered a level and combined but at least there are some real issues here.  Perhaps the most important addition under the pictured options is another message in a box that says, “Read our Comprehensive Plan”.

I did check it out and from the headings, it clearly has an environmental focus but it is not quickly evident how the other issues fold in.  But a published plan is a huge step forward.

What are we to make of platforms when we have so much information with so little substance thrown at us every day?  I’m in a new riding where the old sectors sent elected representatives from two different parties to parliament.  Both candidates are viable alternatives.  Henry Minzberg, the noted management conultant  says that one way to make change is to ensure that ridings don’t split the vote between two parties to the benefit of a third.  There is even an organization focused on avoiding that by constant polling and asking people to rally around one candidate at the end.  It’s not going to be an easy few weeks ahead.

Political Landscapes

Well who says that August  is boring!  My day started with digesting yesterday’s Canadian news about the Duffy trial and its star witness, Nigel Wright.  The wheels of justice move slowly so we are only now getting around to events that happened in 2013.  Memories of being glued to  TV during Watergate poured back, but this time it’s different.  Instead of memos – we now have email correspondence threads – complete with all those endless repeats.  The CBC’s host of Power& Politics is in the courtroom tweeting a stream of almost verbatim Q&A. Reading the more thoughtful press reports aftewwards gives a definite sense of déjã vu.

An inside view of the PMO brings politics down to earth with a bang.  Even though CBC news head honcho Peter Mansbridge thinks it gives a fascinating glimpse of what is really going on, it could be duplicated in the internal memos of any office including his own –  in its full banality – messes other people have created,  protecting the boss,  saving their own skins – though the scale of the game here is a little bigger.  In most offices you don’t have a staff member claiming to cover lots of $90k  items on his own.  And quoting Matthew 6:3 as a rationale for left-hand right-hand actions did inject a new level of interest, as journalists suddenly had to bone up on theology.  Even Facebook Anglicans chimed in.  One claimed to be a classmate of Wright while another admitted preparing him for confirmation.

Some of my own dots connected this week here too.  I learned from an except of John Ibbotson’s new book that Stephen Harper enrolled in my alma mater, Trinity College Toronto; he left after three weeks feeling he didn’t fit in.  I sympathized.  Harper came from suburban Etobicoke; I entered Trinity College many years earlier from a small Ontario city, not from one of Toronto’s elite private schools. But being in residence gave me a tribe that allowed me to survive and even thrive – unlike Harper after his first lonely three weeks.   On the other hand, Wright – a member of an Anglo Catholic parish in Toronto with strong links to Trinity through their joint benefactor, Gerald Larkin – would fit right in.

But it’s election season – and the Duffy trial TV stories are interspersed with election ads and campaign road news clips.  How did campaigns get so goofy – in both the US and Canada?  To start with they both go on forever.  Politics becomes a round of attacks and counter-attacks. Even the New York Times is solemnly chiming in.  After listing all Harper’s shortcomings it asks, “Whether or not he loses, he will leave Canada more ignorant than he found it. “The real question for the coming election is a simple but grand one: Do Canadians like their country like that?”

The response from this voter – aka as citizen or taxpayer or middle classee depending on who is talking to me – needs to be  – uh uh – followed by some laughter before I settle down to some serious thinking about it.  We can start with the PMO philosophy:

Sigursdson Photo

or move on and enjoy reading The Lapine


“Harper Says He Found Elizabeth May’s Cleavage Distracting During Debate”

But Elizabeth Renzetti takes my prize for her article in the Globe and Mail about staged press coverage – the people behind the political leaders – in particular the hard hats behind the prime minister.  How did they get there?  Why were they there? What are they thinking about when he noted that he was the only person in the PM office not to know about some pretty absorbing preoccupations?  And why, she asks, “did they clap when it came to the part about Canada being richer and safer”?  She cites the artificiality of the whole process.

Justin Trudeau apparently has to take a cue from the “He’s not Ready” attack ad to reply to it rather than ignore it. Personally rather than “I’m Ready”  I think he could have come up with “Justin Time”.

Renzetti says we get the campaigns we deserve. She is right.  If the most popular shows are The Amazing Race – which I get to watch when my grandsons get to choose –  or if I submit to canned addresses from  teleprompters  and read “bright lines/ message lines put out by the PMO – perhaps I am equally complicit in a  dumbed-down world where only the obsessive achievers are worth watching while I -sprawled on the couch – mutely reach for another potato chip.  The only secret weapon left might be a Newfie comedian or two; we export a lot of them. Maybe it’s time to ask them to come home.

Sharing Economy?

The newspapers these days are full of articles about it.  I first encountered the idea  a few years ago when a colleague introduced me to Rachel Botsman and I watched her YouTube video.  I then downloaded her book,  What’s Mine is Yours, the Rise of Collaborative Consumption, to my IPad where it still sits.

I was reminded of that when I encountered a new mini-library on a walk to the real one in my neighborhood.  I use the latter library less frequently because my complex has a library of its own.  It gives apartment and townhouse dwellers a place to put discarded books that might be of interest to others – and many are.  A volunteer committee manages it and culls the unread volumes from time to time.  It has lots of worthwhile reads.

But the new small one interested me.  It’s a chance to see the reading tastes of neighbors that one has never met.  My first pick was a novel by Jane Gardam – a sequel to Old Filth that I had already read as a book club selection.  In turn I contributed three novels by Barbara Pym and returned the first selection.  Future visits confirmed that all were again in circulation.  Now I have Peter Mayle’s Acquired Tastes – ironically prophetic perhaps.  I’m sorry I didn’t grab an earlier offering of a Nancy Drew mystery – just to confirm what the books are really like compared to my memories of them.

So it’s fun to explore how this sharing economy is working on a local scale elsewhere.   I Googled.  Immediately I saw several images and a couple of relevant articles.

The first is from Atlantic Monthly 2015 –  The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit. It relates how a 76 year old Californian built a dollhouse-sized structure to share books that “turned strangers into friends and a sometimes-impersonal neighborhood into a community”.  It was part of a pattern of mini libraries originating in 2009 in Wisconsin that inspired others.  There is now even the Little Free Library US Map.  I tried to access it just for fun, but it is under Maintenance and will reopen on Monday August 10.  Little Free Library® is now trademarked.  Whoops. Wha happened? To my amusement if you put something into a system, the system immediately overwhelms it.

In Kansas there were soon complaints to a municipality – that the dollhouse sized building was “an illegal structure that needed a permit”, the article says.  In another community a mini-library structure was seen as a barrier that might cause “tripping and falling”.  If a permit were required, the proponents wondered, could one apply for local arts council funding to pay for it?  Mini-libraries became a battle ground just like the one we have just watched on American TV between libertarians and everybody else.

Not in Canada, I hoped.  So I turned to Google’s next on the list –  Toronto Star’s article, A New Chapter in Book Borrowing, published  in July 2012.  It cast the reason for little libraries springing up as a response to the parsimony of cuts in library budgets, hours and even branches.  We were back to politics though the article didn’t mention it – memories of “More Libraries than Tim Hortons” by the brother of our infamous former mayor – or “Who is Margaret Atwood anyway” re-emerged.

The web version of this article also allows one to Google “Little Free Libraries of the World”. Try it.  These libraries are described by the Star writer as Bird Houses – though they would have to be bird apartment buildings to house the typical contents.  Maybe size is also a systemic  issue.  My own complex has more than an expected amount of internecine strife.   The article also references the Wisconsin origin and describes the cloning of little libraries as a “movement”.  We learn that though the first Toronto examples started in trendy neighborhoods like the Beaches and the Annex. there is now a “plan to expand”.   To quote further, “While aware that there is a certain level of bureaucracy and red tape involved, Wrigley, the Toronto mini-library originator is committed, and he’s not easily deterred by paperwork.

Bureaucracy?  Red tape? We can’t escape systems.  I really learned of our own little library via a newsletter sent by our local community residents association.  But meeting the library first hand with less politics was more enjoyable.  I just hope nobody else notices that our little local dollhouse or bird box is already part of a movement and a system. Good reading will trump political systems – at least for a few moments – any time.


Deconstruction and Construction

Sent this one to MEDIUM TODAY

Workplace diary


collage2On June 27

I work from home — that is, I do stuff that is work even though it is voluntary and done for love rather than money. I was awakened that morning by the sound of something falling nearby with loud plops. A look out the apartment window revealed a large yellow tube leading from the fifth floor of the building next door to a large red dumpster. What was falling through it was a mix of drywall and now unnecessary debris from the company’s former executive suite. Its head office had recently vacated, the building had been sold; and rumour has it that it is to be converted to a condo.

The noise wasn’t so oppressive — but watching the lone worker on the ground moving waste matter around was a contrast to my ieisurely start and enjoyment of my morning coffee. We seldom get so up close and personal to the variety of work that is part of the modern world. Sitting in front of screens and reading about CEO annual increases of millions doesn’t quite jibe with this man’s day — living among modern waste in more ways than one.


On July 4

The plops continue. We are now on the fourth large container and the contents have changed from plaster and insulation to metal strips. For six days four or five men have laboured and it will be interesting to see whether the entire fifth floor has been completed. Clouds of dust from falling plaster have given way to cleaner debris — for which I am thankful. At least I can leave windows on my side of the building open rather than watch the dresser beside the window become covered with white dust.

No one else in the apartment building seems much interested in this deconstruction phenomena — but I received word this morning that my next door neighbour next door is reading my blog posts about this. It used to be that people actually talked about local happenings in person rather than reading about them online. C’est la vie. But what about the participants in this deconstruction? Do they have time to ponder the meaning of life in the process?


On July 18

I shared the news of deconstruction with two grandsons who were visiting for the weekend. “Don’t be surprised if you are awakened with a big bang in the morning”, I commented. But they hardly skipped a beat as they constructed new buildings of their own while playing Minecraft online on the Ipad and PC for several hours — just surfacing once to ask for a new Skin Editor. As an old style grandmother who thought kids should go outside, I called for a break. We tried a walk in the park and a Frisbee toss, but the heat soon drove us to the ice cream store and a very hot walk home.

Taking a cue from Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist, I encouraged the kids to go Analog for a while, giving each a large sheet of paper and encouraging them to use the whole page by fill it with anything they liked, using a variety of my art supplies. The older one started on a really good drawing of a dinosaur. The younger tried his own version, seemed dissatisfied with it and retreated to return shortly to show me his own version of how to complete the use of the entire page.

On August 1


It’s now been more than a month of daily deconstruction. My life has changed. I go to bed much earlier to avoid being awakened by a daily dumpster crash outside my window at 6:45 am. Four full dumpsters leave most days. During these comings and goings I have filed reports for one of my volunteer organizations, prepared agendas and chaired meetings, planned a fall campaign, worked on a wonderful community day where we hoped to draw 100 and got 200, designed a quick website for a project that is just about to happen, — in other words, dumped a whole bunch of activities into my own calendar dumpster. But I have also realized that all this busyness has replaced some of the other things that I actually intended to do this summer — like writing. And I haven’t added the time spent in feckless pursuits like online crosswords, or surfing Facebook to find the odd interesting thing that wasn’t cat related.

Dumpsters, when it comes right down to it, are just containers. They are kind of like my Gmail inbox which I have trained myself to keep quite lean and to clear out as often as possible. The easiest thing to do is to transfer everything read to specific folders and one of my volunteer ones has over a thousand threads of items that are basically dumped. In counting I note that I have 23 active folders full of suchconversations. Most of these can head for deconstruction.

But returning to thinking about deconstruction/construction — the best things of the month have reallycome from going analog — hanging out with family, friends, and colleagues, reading books rather than reading stuff online, trying new recipes, sitting and just thinking — and even watching dumpsters. The huge orange box next door will disappear eventually — and probably be replaced by daily deliveries of stuff for reconstruction — just like my Gmail Inbox. The big challenge will be sorting what comes in and becoming less distracted by stuff that deserves throwing out from the get-go.


Real Republishing

See What You Think (2)When a colleague introduced me to Smashwords – she republished her husband’s excellent book book that originally came out in 1990 – I couldn’t resist doing the same with one  of mine that came out in 2006 – though a manual dates almost immediately, unlike the well written history of a Toronto landmark.

My book was written to help those interested in real life applications for mindmapping software – using the software program, VisiMap, as listed in the menu above.  The ideas in it apply to any software or hand drawn maps in this now broad software class.  So if you would like a free copy you can access it here.