Sunday, June 26, 2016

Try Mind Mapping to Organize a Plan

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information or ideas. 

Albert (Vojtech) Filek’s home town in Bohemia is a brick wall for me.  None of the usual sources have yielded that information. In a previous post I lamented that my hopes for a breakthrough in Chicago’s Czech language newspaper, Denni Hlasatel, obituaries got me nowhere.  

So now what?  I need a plan.

I do have information that Albert, his wife Katarina Lusk Filek and two sons arrived in the US in 1864. US Census records tell me that Albert and Katarina were married in about 1859. That helps broaden my search by including Katarina and their sons, Thomas and Joseph.

  • ·  Although the indexed records for the Czech Republic were no help, there are a number of unindexed digitized records to examine. A daunting task.

  • ·       Digital Archives at SRA Trebon in the Czech Republic are a great resource, but it is a work in progress and I need some idea of what locations to search. Another daunting task.

  • ·       KdeJsme, another Czech site gives me the current frequency of surnames in the Czech Republic. How likely is it that any of today’s Filek families are still in the same town where Albert lived more than 150 years ago? Not very. But it gives me some places to search using FamilySearch and the SRA Trebon records. Even more daunting.

With three sources of unindexed records, my mind was spinning.

XMind to the rescue.  XMind is a free, easy to use and extremely versatile tool. It has simple layout options plus excellent templates for everything from project plans to To Do lists.

Mind mapping begins with a central topic from which other topics branch off much like a tree structure.  One thing leads to another.  The advantage is that you can see the flow of information. Mind mapping on a computer is much easier than on paper because it is so simple add, delete, change and reorganize with a few mouse clicks.

I now have the start of a plan.  The simple diagram above is growing as I add detail.

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