I’m a mind mapping buff. At least I was. I even started a blog to publish my creative mind maps. The mind map above is what I consider my best piece. Yes, I created it.
Though I don’t use any mind mapping tools to make such interesting and colourful digital maps, I do employ them on paper for a variety of purposes. While there are enough articles and videos that explain what and how of a mind map, this article is an attempt at explaining the why. Here is a list of uses of mind maps, as I think:
- Thinking: Do we need a mind map to think? I understand your question. Sometimes to make thinking visible is the best way to think and advance decisions. Mind mapping is one of the simple ways to do it.
- Ideating/ brainstorming: Ken Robinson writes in his book ‘Elements’ an exercise to test what he calls ‘Creativity Quotient (CQ)’ – it is simple: take everyday object and come with as many alternative uses as possible. The more uses you come up with, the more creative you are. The exercise is a no-brainer. It is the fundamental process for brainstorming and what better way to start your brainstorming process than using a mind map. Given its non-linear structure and the visual appeal renders itself nicely as a tool for ideation.
- Notetaking: You are listening to a lecture, a TED talk or reading a great book/ an article. Traditionally, we are trained to take linear notes, try mind mapping for a change.
- Learning: Refer point 1 & 3
- Problem solving: As point 1 suggests, mind mapping can help you make thinking visible and hence help you break a problem and ultimately solve it.
- Listing: Instead of trying out linear listing, give mind mapping a try – listing could be fun and colorful, you know.
- Chunking: Same as point 5, you can break projects, tasks, content to help you detail it and identify even small steps.
- Writing: I wrote this post, using a mind map.
- Planning: Refer point 5 and 7. You can make a plan using a mind map
- Summarizing: Refer point 3.
- To do list: There is a little known web app called Subtask. As the website says, it is an online app for organizing and structuring your projects and tasks using mind mapping technique.
If I had did a good job, I must have convinced you to try out mind mapping technique for your purpose. Give it a try.