A Beginners Guide.
A Mind Map is a very effective tool for cleaning out an overloaded head.
It also provides creative solutions.
The concept is to allow stream of conscious thought to flow from your thoughts to paper. When we write a list we tend to do it logically, in order, suppressing thoughts that wish to queue jump. This organising action imposes a structure when a more chaotic approach is more effective.
See the Mind Map I drew in preparation for this post.
I started from the central idea and then just drew what was trying to get out next. They haven’t come out in priority order and are very messy, with duplications and disjointed patterns, but the thoughts are out on paper. There is stuff I won’t use and I’ll need to shuffle it around.
This is the most creative way to Mind Map – use colours and drawings. You can see I’m no artist, what it looks like is of little importance.
An alternative is to use Mind Map software.
This is the info produced from my hand drawn Mind Map onto software called Mindview5. It is easy to move ideas around and put them in the order you want. This makes sense to make sense of the map but also is fantastic if you buy a version of software that export to a Word or similar doc.
How cool is that!
You now have a document that you can build and expand for your planning. Brilliant!
Yes – unfortunately I said buy……
According to Lifehacker.com, the best free Mind Map software is COGGLE and it certainly looks great, with lots of tools and very easy to use. Although you can save to a PDF, you are unable to export to Word.
To do that my recommended option is Xmind 6 Plus. At $80US it pays for itself after one strategy session.
(They do have a free version without this feature, which I loved and have used before upgrading.)
Lifehacker.com also recommends MindNode for your iPad, a most creative platform to Mind Map with.
So there you have it.
I would be lost in my Mentoring practice without Mind Mapping and the skills the process teaches you, particularly with my more creatively thinking clients.
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