The Power of Mind Mapping
As an innovation agency, mind mapping plays a big role in our day-to-day work and as a tool that we teach to our clients.
There are six critical applications we use mind mapping for, which are detailed below.
The modern-day Mind MapⓇ was a term coined and trademarked by the Englishman Tony Buzan. His research showed that many famous thought leaders such as Leonardo DaVinci, Charles Darwin, and Madame Curie all used the same note-taking principles.
All these genius innovative minds used a branching system radiating from a central concept using keywords and sometimes diagrams to show relationships and ideas related to the central concept.
In essence, mind mapping works by allowing you to take many single thoughts and link them all together in a way that makes sense.
The number one benefit of mind mapping for me – being able to rapidly see the big picture of what I'm working on and all the interrelated parts and share this with others.
The valuable applications of mind mapping
1. Reduce cognitive load and increase focus:
If you're struggling to find focus or you can't get to sleep, do a mind mapⓇ.
When we're finding it hard to focus or sleep, it's usually because we have too many thoughts going on in the mind. Taking the time to map out those thoughts will allow the brain to make sense of it, quickly reducing our cognitive load and helping you regain your focus. The human brain is excellent at generating ideas but not great at storing them.
How and when I use mind mapping for clarity:
At the start of every day, I mind mapⓇ to plan the day, at the beginning of a project, and if I wake up at 3am thinking about something.
Benefits of using mind maps for regaining focus include:
2. Idea generation
The human brain is an association machine; this means it's kind of like a pinball machine. Our mind, like pinball, keeps bouncing one idea off other ideas generating new ideas. The more ideas you capture, the more sequential ideas it triggers.
How and when I use mind mapping for ideation:
When looking to create ideas for a new project, I mind mapⓇ to capture pain points and bottlenecks and turn them into ideas.
Benefits of using mind maps for idea generation include:
3. Identifying Relationships and implications
One of the powerful components of mind mapping is quickly charting the relationships of a potential or existing process or concept.
The hierarchy of the branching system enables you to see the various levels of relationships or implications. Say, for example, you're considering rolling out a new content marketing campaign.
By mind mapping it, you can maintain a consistent theme to your content ideas and quickly see all the year's potential content ideas.
How and when I use mind mapping for identifying implications:
When working with a client on our future trends searching, we'll mind mapⓇ the implications of these trends. We also use mind mapsⓇ to identify a customer experience journey.
Benefits of using mind maps for identifying relationships and implications include:
4. Execution maps
Many of the clients we work with are inventing something new, and most often, there isn't a clear roadmap that others have taken that they can follow.
Mind mapping what you think would be the key steps to execute the idea quickly enables people to see a logical approach when one didn't exist beforehand.
How and when I use mind mapping for execution:
I mind mapⓇ at the beginning of a project or new phase and then share this with the team or client.
Benefits of using mind maps for an execution strategy include:
5. Meeting notes
When you're in a meeting, you don't want to take notes the whole time, or you'll look like a douchebag.
Doing a mind map enables you to capture the key concepts you can use to trigger your memory and your client's memory of the whole conversation later on.
We always send a mind map of a meeting to our clients to recap what was covered.
How and when I use mind mapping for meetings:
Whenever in a meeting, I mind mapⓇ and then send the client a copy after the meeting, if not in the meeting itself. If I can, I will often commandeer the whiteboard to mind map what everyone is talking about.
Benefits of using mind maps for taking meeting notes include:
6. Structuring thoughts for articles, books, keynote presentations & workshops
Mind maps can also help to structure your thinking around content for presentations or books. They quickly enable you to map out a plan while considering all the core components.
Mind mapsⓇ are also a mnemonic technique to help you remember. Many years ago, I used to volunteer to help high school students prepare for their final exams using mind mapsⓇ to improve their memory recall and understanding.
How and when I use mind mapping for this implication:
I've written four books, and each one of them used mind mapsⓇ. I used mind maps to create the overarching concepts and for each individual area or chapter. I also mind mapⓇ before working out a keynote or workshop.
Benefits of using mind maps for taking content creation include:
The tools I use to create mind maps:
How to mind map
See if you can use the mind mapping method in your note-taking.
There are an incredible number of benefits to mind mapping and anyone of the six applications can improve your overall effectiveness in both day to day operations and innovative thinking.
Whether you want to reduce cognitive load and increase focus, create more ideas, map out relationships and implications, improve your project execution planning, take better meeting notes, or structure your thoughts for articles, books, keynote presentations & workshops, mind mapping can help.
I hope this helps and please let us know how you go.
Nils Vesk - Ideas with Legs
CEO, Keynote speaker, Consultant, Father, Husband, Extreme Sportsman
USA - Los Angeles + 1 213 423 0677 | Australia - Sydney + 61 2 9971 9742 | firstname.lastname@example.org