I first learned to use mind mapping during one of David Allen’s Time Design Seminars. This was one of David’s original seminars before they were called Getting Things Done. During these seminars, David taught mind mapping as a tool to help create projects.
You might have seen or heard about mind mapping in the past, or you might be asking, “What is mind mapping?” According to Wikipedia,
A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added.
Over the years, I have found that mind mapping has resulted a significant increase in my effectiveness, and I recommend that you consider trying it for seven reasons:
Flexibility - Nothing else lets you manipulate ideas, knowledge, and information with as much freedom and flexibility as mind mapping.
Productivity – Mind mapping can help improve your productivity at work, at home, and at school. Some studies reportedly show that mind mapping can increase your productivity by an average of 20%, and I know that mind mapping has increased my productivity
Creativity - Mind mapping can help you become more creative. This happens because you mind begins to see the visual connections between what appear to be unrealted pieces of information. You brain will work hard to help you fill in the gaps.
Clarity – As you quickly map your ideas on paper, and rearrage them into categories, they will begin to make more sense. Your completed mind map will provide you a clear picture of the problem that you are trying to solve.
Decision Making – In addition to helping you develop a clear picture of the problem that you are trying to solve, mind mapping can help you to brainstorm potential solutions to your problem, and make the best decision based on the information available.
Organization – Mind mapping will help you get better organized. You can use mind maps to help you organize personal projects, work projects, and even organize your notes if you are a student. Once you have competed your mind map, you can transfer it into a meeting agenda, to-do list, or a project plan.
Project Planning – Mind mapping helps you to identify and prioritize project tasks. As you develop a mind map for your project, you will begin to see both the ‘Big Picture’ and the details required to complete your project.
I use mind mapping as a front-end process for my Getting Things Done (GTD) system. I also use it to help me plan projects and outline my blog posts.
If your not currently using mind mapping, I highly recommend that you try it. There are many mind mapping software programs available, unfortunately I can’t recommend any specific one because I stick to using a pencil and a piece of paper. If you know of a good one, please recommend it to us in the comments below.
Comment below if you know a good mind mapping software product that you can recommend to us. Also, comment on any good and bad experiences that you have had with mind mapping.