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Let’s talk mind mapping

by Tris Hussey on October 4th, 2006

I want to take a little break from talking about Excel (my brain can’t handle writing about Pivot Tables until later, I think), to talk about one of my favourite ways to work better and more efficiently: mind mapping.

It might seem kinda out there at first, but hear me out.  Mind mapping is a process of putting ideas, thoughts, tasks, topics into a moveable structure.  For me mind mapping means MindJet’s MindManager.  I’ve been using it for years, but even if you don’t use MindManager, the techniques can really save you time.

Think about how you actually think.  Thoughts are connected.  They are relationships to other thoughts.  Now imagine a graphical way to represent that.  Fast.  I think the best way for you to understand is to see it so I’ve created a simple map in MindManager outlining some tasks and such that relate to launching this blog (as I’m writing this the blog is in a pre-launch phase).

MindManager version (viewer or MindManager required)

Now that you’ve seen a map I’m going to tell you how I use it day to day and then have three follow up posts with more detail on ease use case.

  1. Taking notes in meetings.  I even start the meeting with a mind mapped agenda and take notes right there on the map.  I’ve found the usually tedious task of compiling notes and distributing them to attendees is made nearly painless with a mind map
  2. Project planning.  It might seem strange but being able to think through a project without an a priori structure, then applying a structure is extremely effective.
  3. Documents.  How else do I put this.  I don’t write a document without mapping it first.  If it’s going to be any more than a couple pages I use a mind map to organize and arrange my thoughts.  Then one click puts it into Word.
  4. Brainstorming.  Yeah this might be obvious, but you haven’t really tried to pull an idea together until you’ve mapped it.

I’m going to talk about these use cases in more depth and with real examples in follow-up posts.  In the meantime, download the trial of MindManager.  Heck at least download the free viewer.  I’m sure we’ll be sharing mind maps here (since three of us are die-hard mappers and we’ve started to get Kammie into it too now).

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POSTED IN: MindMapping, Software tips, Time savers

2 opinions for Let’s talk mind mapping

  • pimpyourwork.com » Blog Archive » MindMaps for meeting notes
    Oct 6, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    […] I opened your eyes to mind mapping recently and I promised that I would talk about how I use mind mapping in more detail with each case.  First up, meeting notes.  Before I get going I am going to say that from now on I’m going to be talking about mind mapping in MindManger.  Hobie Swan introduced me to MM at Gnomedex 2005 and I’ve never looked back. […]

  • pimpyourwork.com » Blog Archive » My ultimate mind mapping tip: map before you write
    Oct 9, 2020 at 10:58 am

    […] I’m almost done with my mind mapping series.  I’m sure we’re going to be talking more about it, but this intro into mind mapping is almost done.  First I talked about using a mind map for meeting notes and Scot took my advice (with great results it seems).  Then I talked about mind mapping your project plans, both using them as a starting point and a distribution mechanism.  Now my fav, mind mapping your documents before you write them. […]

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