Creating To-Do Lists with Thortspace

Over the last week, I have been thinking about lists, tables, and maps. Mindmaps tend to emphasize relationships but I have found that lists are invaluable. I am seeing to-do lists as a new entry point into Thortspace use.

Why create To-Do lists in Thortspace?

We created the list below in Excel to track remaining requirements in a Pre-calculus course. We copied the list into Thortspace, and re-organized the list of items into three groups. Then, we added relationships between tasks and groups. This simple exercise can be used to create an experience that shows how we can move between lists and mindmaps. Further, we can practice re-organizing information in Thortspace as well as moving lists from Thortspace to other applications. For example, once a task is done, it can be moved to a different group.

Since most individuals have experience with lists, they can see how using a tool like Thortspace changes this experience.

Questions to consider:

  • How will you decide on activities to include in the Excel list?
  • What will you move to Thortspace (one may want to move a smaller set of tasks rather than the whole list)?
  • How will you use the Thortspace list?
  • How will you track status of activities in the list?

My idea is to keep longer lists in Excel, and move items that we want to work on in a shorter time frame (a few weeks) to Thortspace.

To-Do Lists and Concept Maps

A key benefit of starting with to-do lists is the shift from mapping concepts to mapping action. Relevant concepts are embedded in each action. We can also create groups of concepts related to each task. But the overall organization is task-oriented.

Reviewing and Updating Maps

Finally, one advantage of creating to-do lists with Thortspace is that this application creates regular opportunities to review and update Thortspace maps. In contrast, applications such as brainstorming may emphasize capture of information in an interactive environment but without a clear blueprint for how that information is to be used in the future.