Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Developing a Business Proposal with MindManager

Just the other day I needed to put together a business proposal for one of the schools that I will be consulting to. The proposal included both the purchase of software as well as on-going professional development for the special education teachers. I needed in the proposal to breakdown the cost of the software that would be used by each of the teachers as well as the cost for professional development. Each of the classroom would need to use different software and the amount of professional development varied by classroom. I had already put together an Excel spreadsheet with all of the pricing for the software and was now ready to write up the proposal when it dawned on me why don't I try to use MindManager Pro 7 to develop the proposal.

So I fired up MindManager Pro 7 and got started organizing the information in the proposal. Being able to copy, cut, and paste and freely move ideas around is one of the real strengths of MindManager Pro 7. Thinking about how constrained I would have been doing it in a word processor made my decision to use MindManager Pro 7 an easy one. Once I was able to define the structure of the proposal it was easy for me to copy and paste the structure and then attach my ideas.

As noted, I had at my disposal an Excel spreadsheet which did a breakdown of software prices that was associated with each of the classrooms that I would be working with. Using MindManager Pro 7, I was able to attach an Excel Range right within the mind map that pertained to each of the classrooms. At once it was very easy to see the software titles and the costs associated for each of the teachers classrooms. Now I had to do a breakdown for the professional development and decided to use the Insert Spreadsheet in MindManager Pro 7 to figure out the associated costs. When I was done I had the complete picture in front of me for each of the classrooms and the associated costs.

Since I needed to send this proposal to the Superintendent I decided to export the mind map to Microsoft Word and made sure to check off Export Data containers, Insert Table of Contents, and Export Overview Map, when presented with the Export Dialog box. When MindManager Pro 7 had completed the process, I simply opened the document in Microsoft Word and had a very professionally formatted document with a Table of Contents to email to the Superintendent. By selecting Export Data containers all of my Excel data was neatly put into a table format within the proposal. Just today I received these comments from the Superintendent in an email, "Give me a few days to review this and get back to you. Thanks~very professional!" While initially I had never thought of doing the proposal with MindManager Pro 7, the results turned out spectacular. This is a definite repeat for me when doing written proposals.

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