Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to be an instant hero at work!

Let's face it when you work at a tech company, there is never enough good documentation to know how certain processes work.  Another issue is that you never have enough time to document the new workflow, or how a back end web service works.

Previously I have used a text editor and simply wrote my own very crude documentation, as I learned a new web application or back-end system.   I tried excel for a while, didn't really like it.   I also tried using Mac's built-in Notes app.  I even tried a mind mapping tool called Freemind, nothing worked well, looked good, or was easy to use.

That has all changed!  I finally stumbled upon  XMind the open source mind mapping tool.  I am here to tell you that even the free version of XMind is simply amazing!  I feel bad for myself these past 3.5 years of keeping track of notes and writing documentation without using XMind.  I personally have the paid version of XMind because it is that good.  I literally use it every single day at work for taking notes, documenting a new workflow or process, and when I am working on a user story.

I make test plans, test scenarios, and test idea sessions all with XMind.  I absolutely love the "brainstorming" feature for test scenario creation!  The app is super easy to use straight off of the shelf and super intuitive, it just makes sense.  I have over 30 XMind mind maps for work, I can't share those with you as they are strictly work mind maps.  However, I plan on making more mind maps for personal projects so that I can share them!

How does using XMind make you an instant work hero?

Whenever I work on something that is poorly documented, a team member or manager will ask:  "Did you document the new process that worked for you?   Can you put it up on a Confluence page?"
Normally that is a lot of extra work and extra formatting to make sure that my documentation all looks correct.  Also for Confluence ( and a lot of other intranet sites ) they only have an import feature for Word Docs.

This is what is so amazing about XMind, it will let you export your mind map to TONS of different formats and they all look amazing.  With 2 clicks I literally have a perfectly looking Word Doc that I can instantly upload to Confluence in 10 seconds.  Virtually everything that I touch at work is being improved, people have been thanking me for "taking the time" to document or clean up a process.

I don't tell them that thanks to XMind's built-in export tool it doesn't take me any extra time.  Xmind literally has 20 different formats that you can use.  It doesn't matter if you need the document in an Excel format, CSV, Word, or whatever.  XMind does it all!

I don't recommend things that I don't believe in as you all know.  I literally use this tool every day for at least 1 - 2 hours.  I highly recommend you try it out and see how much easier your life gets. Being a documentation "rock star" at work never hurts either.  Let's face it most people hate writing documentation, with XMind it's super easy!

Check out XMind

Keep on learning how to code peeps, you can do this!