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Lots of great questions, Rich.
In terms of getting started, there is no one path. My best advice is just start.
1. Download the free version of Xmind.
2. The software is intuitive but to get oriented fairly quickly, spend some time (~50 minutes) going through the Xmind Tutorial on “They Call Me Hoz” channel
3. Next, pick a simple problem or activity to map out:
- Meeting agenda and notes
- Notes for an article or book you are reading
- Assembling notes for a new topic you might be researching or studying
- Brainstorming a problem or project you are working on
- Building a simple org chart for your team / department…
4.Do a deeper dive by searching Youtube for additional videos on mindmaps or Xmind.
In terms of a demonstration for others, I would be happy to run a lunch and learn session for OCFMA members if there was interest. Also, I will gladly respond to follow-up questions posted here on the Discussion Board.