What is Mind Mapping?
Mind mapping graphically represents tasks, words, ideas, and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool to structure information, helping you to better analyze, understand, synthesize, recall and create new ideas.
Mind mapping at its root is very simple. Instead of linear note taking, mind mapping works more similar to how your brain actually works. Instead of writing in sentences you write in diagrams or lines (branches), with a single concept in the middle, the lines connecting the words are part of the meaning.Since creating a mind map is both artistic and analytical it engages more of its cognitive functions.
Why is Mind Mapping resembled as a tree?
Trees are similar to how the mind works because the brain is always looking for patterns. Trees most accurately encourage this train of thought and so naturally this works well with mind maps.
Mind mapping as Time Management
Sometimes our ‘to-do’ list looks like its for someone else and is so hard to keep organized.
Using mind mapping as a way to manage tasks does the following three things:
- Helps you schedule your time more efficiently
- Enables you to quickly view tasks in a organized manner
- The flexibility allows you to quickly and easily reorganize
How to do Mind Mapping on a Piece of Paper
- Get two different colored highlighters
- Draw a rectangle or box in the middle of the page
- Write the date inside the middle of the box or rectangle
- Draw a branch coming out of the center and label it GOALS
- Think of the theme of your task groups
- Draw a branch for each of your task groups in different colors
- List the tasks you want to complete for each of the groups
- So if you have 4 task groups, each a different color, each of them should have 3 branches extending.
- You now have a to do list for the week
From here the best way to manage these tasks is by establishing a tracking systems. Some people use highlighters, when a task is highlighted, it means the status is active and the task is currently being executed. When a task is completed another color highlighter is used to make a darker color to fade the task out.
Mind mapping projects software
If you dont want to go through all of the trouble of highlighters and stuff you can use the following software to generate mind maps to manage your time/projects.
This program helps you organize your brainstorm and even comes equipped with google image search. The chat options lets you collaborate with the team in real time, awesome for remote offshore teams. Lucidchart allows you to create the following visuals beyond mind maps.
- organisational charts
- UML designs
Lucid is super user friendly and has a drag and drop interface and allows for touch draw shapes that convert to symbols on ipads.
Bubble is very customizable and the tree changes as new ideas are added. The only downside to this software is that everyone needs an account to view the tree. Still Very user friendly and the affordance is great.
“Mind for two” is a awesome tool and its free! Just create an account and you are able to easily update. Mind42 has the following free features making it one of my favorites.
- insert images from urls
- linkable urls that actually drive to the site
- leverages google talk to use real time collaboration
- Optionally publish mind maps or keep them private
- Add notes to tasks (branches)
Try mind mapping on your next project and be conscious of what works for you an refine this until you have a working concept sure to help you leverage your time and increase productivity.