A few weeks ago I wrote a post on my seven favourite productivity tools. Today I want to talk about the power of mind mapping, another tool I like to use frequently.
Mind maps were invented by a guy called Tony Buszan. You can read more about him here. According to his website a mind map is “a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I know that definition was a mouthful, but it’s quite accurate. I use mind maps all the time. I like how everything is visually explained in one place.
If you’ve never used mind maps before, trust me they’re really easy to do. Let’s do a fictional example together, shall we? Just for the fun of it.
Say you were planning a party. Write that on the centre of the sheet (see image below.) I think the next step is where a lot of people get stuck, they don’t know what the branches of the mind map might be. I start with the following questions, that really helps me zero in on the details of the event or project I’m planning:
And then you can add other branches as necessary. In the Who branch you can decide things like whom to invite, and whom not to invite, for example.
In the Where branch you can make notes on where the party will be planned, at home or at a restaurant for example.
In the What branch you can decide on what food to serve. Or if the party has a theme you could make more notes on the theme of the party.
In the When branch you decide when the party will take place. In the How branch you could make notes on how to invite people (phone, email, SMS) and more of the logistics of the party.
I’ve done the mind map for you below just for fun and to illustrate the point. The one I’ve done below is really simple. The more colour and images you add to your mind map, the more effective it becomes. I highly recommend that you start using them. I also recommend reading Tony Buzan’s book. I first read it when I was in university back in the day. The book is easy to read and explains more details of how to mind map.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and talk to you soon.