AskPat 224 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome! I'm in a great mood right now. Welcome to Episode 224 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
We have another great question from Mike, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor ,which is FreshBooks.com, the easy-to-use cloud accounting solution that's going to help you organize all of your business finances. Over a million small businesses are using it and you should check it out. You can actually get it for free for seven days, if you go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. You can get seven days for free and they'll know that you came from here. So again, FreshBooks.com/askpat and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. Something I wish I started with sooner. Awesome. So let's get to today's question from Mike.
Mike: Hey Pat, how are you doing? It's Mike here in the west of Ireland. Very quick question. I am looking for your advice on the best piece of software that will allow me to map a business process. I've got a real life business process I want to map out in a piece of software. Purely for presentation purposes. It's a business process for the property sector and I want to be able to present my solution. I'd appreciate your advice on this and I just want to thank you for all the help that you give for free I suppose. I've been following you for maybe two months now and I've learned so much in that time, so thanks.
Pat: Mike, thank you so much for your question and I appreciate your support. It means so much to me and I would love to visit Ireland someday. I mean my last name is Flynn, I have some Irish in me, that would be awesome. One of these days. Anyway. To get to your question. How do you map your business process for presentation purposes. There is obviously a number of different ways to do this. I’m going to give you two tools that you can use for free. Depending on the type of mapping you want to do and then two tools in a similar fashion or that work the same way, that are paid that I've used before as well. I've used all four of these before and I recommend each and every one of them.
You can look at all of them, anybody out there who is listening, you could try these out but one thing I will say is, just make sure—because I'm big on presentations right now, been doing a lot of public speaking—make sure that any sort of charts and graphs and data that you share, you just put only what you need to put on there to put on there to get your point across. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing graphs and bar graphs and pie charts on a presentation where the numbers you cannot even see and so you got to make sure that what's on the screen is necessary. If not, take it out and you can hopefully explain what's going on. What's going on a presentation is typically used for representation purposes. You want people to focus on you as a speaker and the knowledge that you have in your brain, not the words, and the charts and the numbers that are up there on the screen.
Just keep that in mind. I don't know exactly the kind of presentation you're going to have, Mike, or exactly who's in the audience obviously those things are very important. What is the purpose of your presentation? What transformation do you want the people in the room or in the space or in the audience to have after viewing your presentation? You got to keep all those things in mind. But again, you don't want the things on the screen to distract what you have to say and who you are and the message you're trying to give. Just keep that in mind. But anyway, here are the different pieces of software you can use. When you say “business process,” the first thing that comes to mind is these flow charts of this happens and this happens. If this, then this path. If not, then this path and that sort of thing. The paid software I'm going to share is LucidChart. LucidChart.com is the one I've used before and it's great, fantastic. You could save charts, share them, collaborate with other people, and just makes it really nice and easy. It’s a great user interface to create these sort of flowcharts, where you can create boxes and, of course, you can get into the whole mechanics of “okay if it's a circle it means this, if it's a diamond it means decision.” All those sorts of things. It has all that involved.
You don't necessarily need to get that specific. But again, I don't know who your audience is, so you may want to do that, but that's not software enables you to do that. There's a free software that you should probably check out first actually, see if it works for you. Draw.io. So again, Draw.io. And what's really cool about that is it can connect to your Dropbox account or your Google Drive account. And so you can actually sign in through Google, have it connect to your Google Drive account, and you can start saving those flowcharts there on your drive. Through your Gmail account. It makes it really easy to do that and organize it and even collaborate as well. I don't know if that has necessarily all the tools that you want, but again I played with it for a couple of minutes because I used LucidChart mainly for that type of thing and it works. It works well, you can identify each of the boxes and things like that.
You might want to spruce up the look of them, because they do look kind of plain. But remember what I said earlier: you want to keep it minimal in terms of what's on the screen, but if you do want to add some color in there, I think you can do that on those pieces of software as well. But perhaps you get the overall idea there in those pieces of software and then using Keynote or PowerPoint, you then re-create that flowchart using the graphics and making it look a little bit nicer, like you can do with some of those pieces of software. That's LucidChart and Draw.io. Those are for the flow charts with the arrows and the decision trees and things like that. If you are sharing a mind map, which is another great way to present ideas—sort of a central idea and then branches coming out of it and then more branches coming out of those ideas.
It's a great way to organize concepts. A great way to organize ideas. A great way to pretty much take an idea and put it on paper in a way that's easily understood, especially by an audience. This is called mind mapping. It's a great way to start writing a book, it's a great way to start writing a blog post, coming up with your software product. You can determine the outline for your book there, you can determine the modules and the lessons for your course. For example, the name of your course is in the middle, branching out of that you got all the different modules and branching out of each of those modules are all the different lessons, you can even go in further, each of those lessons has specific bullet points and things you want to mention and you can go crazy with it.
But, like I said, it's a great way to display certain ideas and an easy way to comprehend that for an audience. There's two tools I want to share with you. The free one is at FreeMind.Sourceforge.net. Super long domain name. Just go to Google and type, “FreeMind,” and you'll find that free mind mapping tool there. The one I use that's paid, that I've used for years now is called Mind Meister. I find that the user interface there, much more than any other mind mapping software out there. I've used it to mind map a ton of books and courses and blog posts. I use it almost every month. So check it out MindMeister.com. Hopefully, Mike, that answers your question. Let me go over those four tools again, for flow charts and decision tress and things like that: Lucidchart and Draw.io. For mind maps, use Free Mind and Mind Meister. Lots of mind things there. So, Mike, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. An AskPat t-Shirt is going to fly overseas over to you. Be awesome to see a picture of you wearing it at some point. That would be awesome.
For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com. Yes we are approaching the end of the year, but I'm not stopping and I hope you don't stop listening either. Just go to AskPat.com. You can your question there. You might get featured this year or next year, we'll see. We'll see what happens. Thank you so much, I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. Super easy to use cloud accounting solution with a mobile app that allows you to check your finances on the go and check it out if you're doing any sort of invoicing. Maybe you have coaching students or clients or maybe you are a consultant and you have to bill people. FreshBooks makes it super easy to create these professional looking invoices, so you can get paid and focus more on what you need to focus on in your business, which you know best. Awesome, check it out, you can get a seven day free trial if you go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section.
And finally, the last quote of November is from Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn. He says, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late.” I resonate with that one for sure. Especially since I'm doing some of the software stuff now. If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late. Sort of reminds me of the first version of my blog. It's disgusting, I cannot look at it anymore. But I launched it. And it helped. And I hope you launch too. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
AskPat listeners get a 30-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.