Five Useful Applications of Mind Mapping

Mind MapMind Mapping – do you use it regularly? Have you tried it but use it only sporadically? Have you rejected it as a tool in your toolbox? Or do you really not know what it is or why you should consider it? I invite you to consider five useful applications of mind mapping that can make a real difference.

If you want an introduction or refresher on the concept, I have written about it here: https://carolbrusegar.com/mindmapping-multi-faceted-tool/

Many people who seek to embody a positive mindset and to break down roadblocks on a regular basis find that mind mapping is extremely effective in these five ways.

Rocking Your Goals Daily

Mind maps can help overcome our tendency to lose focus on goals and be distracted – even going down the proverbial rabbit holes. Having visual mind maps posted where you see them makes it easy to review daily as a visualization and inspire massive action. A good mind map contains your short-term and long-term goals. By viewing your short-term goals daily, you can make mental connections on how achieving them with confidence will lead to the completion of your long-term goals.

Use a goal-setting method that works well for you. The S.M.A.R.T. goal setting system is highly recommended, and it works very well in a mind map structure. With a mind map, everything is in one place, and at a glance, you can be motivated to work on that short term goal right away. The images will stimulate your brain to find ways to help you stay on track with your goals.

Making Your Meeting Count

Planning a meeting often goes off track as you may forget different important items as you make up your written agenda. By using a mind map, you can organize your thoughts and make different connections to related topics, which may not have occurred to you. Meetings that are planned and delivered via a mind map keep the team engaged as everything is drilled down in a logical form and delivered in short keywords and images.

For a couple of years, I prepared mind map agendas for a weekly committee meeting. They provided a unique and helpful way to navigate meetings that included lots of discussion and tangents. The visual made it easy to switch the order of topics and see the way back to what was missed.

Controlling Information Overload

Information overload can cause stress, anxiety, and even mild depression. In a busy workplace and life, you are taking in vast amounts of information, and sometimes it can be quite complex. This may result in overload and overwhelm.

Mind maps using a single page with keywords, images, and the brief notes that you can attach to various branches are so efficient. There is no searching around for related data as it is all in one spot. You can quickly make connections between different facts, ideas, and topics, which gets your brain working in a flow state.

Preparing for Presentations

If you have ever watched an ill-prepared presentation, you know how painful that is. By using a mind map, you can brainstorm ideas and dump them into your mind map. A mind map functionality allows you to quickly sort/move/edit/add to your presentation and make it come alive.

With mind maps, you are more focused on the key ideas, and there is no wandering off-topic. Having a mind map rather than a script makes for a much more engaging presentation. With color and image usage, you will keep the audience participation alive and full of discussion.

This can also be applied to informal, personal situations like important, perhaps difficult conversations – whether one-on-one or small groups like family or friends.

Making Decisions More Easily

Like information overload, you are faced with difficult decisions every day. A mind map allows you to start with your main problem and develop a hierarchy of possible solutions. Entering keywords in related sub-branches helps you organize options. Your brain will sort through these and make connections that you would not have on paper or if you were thinking out loud. Going through your mind map will have you looking at the main issue from different angles, which, in turn, brings up those unique solutions. It also helps you narrow down possibilities. Making decisions becomes so much easier as you become more familiar with and use this amazing tool.

In addition to trying these five useful applications of mind mapping, I encourage you to learn more. There are a wide variety of books, workbooks, and journals available about various aspects of mind mapping and how to effectively use it. Check out what’s available here: Mind Mapping Resources

 

5 Stages of Creative Thinking to Enhance Your Life

5Very few people are innately gifted with innovative thinking. But we can use techniques and approaches to promote creative thinking, and mind mapping is a very effective tool to that end. Using these tools can enhance your life.

Mind mapping can aid in completing the thinking process. With some practice of techniques, we all can create lots of innovative ideas – perhaps even more than a group brainstorming session can generate.

USING THE 5 STAGES OF CREATIVE THINKING WITH MIND MAPPING:

Mind mapping burst (Quick-Fire) – choose an interesting topic and draw a central image to represent it. You can use a blank paper or any other material that you can write on. The ideas that radiate from your mind should be indicated on the page. Try to generate ideas for twenty minutes. Even if some ideas seem absurd, jot them down because sometimes these ideas can be the key to breaking bad habits and coming up with new perspectives.

• 1st Reconstruction and Revision – don’t over exercise your brain. You can take a break and then try to integrate the ideas you’ve generated. Create another mind map – but this time, try to categorize the preliminary ideas. You can build hierarchies – add more subtopics to the branches – and note but don’t remove identical ideas in different branches.

• Incubation – when you’re at rest, running, or sleeping, there are times when you experience sudden realizations. In this stage, the thinking process can create probable breakthroughs.

• 2nd Reconstruction and Revision – do another mind map burst because at this stage, you have a fresher perception. Integrate all the ideas and information found in the initial mind maps and try to create a comprehensive mind map.

Final – after you’ve created a comprehensive map, you can now look for the realizations, decisions, and solutions for the topic or issue you chose.

These are the five stages in the creative thinking. Hopefully, you have seen how mind mapping can be an extremely helpful tool in creative thinking. Give these steps a try on other areas of life, issues, etc. You will surely be surprised with the explosion of innovative and creative ideas. Let mind mapping help you in uncovering your creative thinking so that you can use it often.

Mind Mapping Enhances Your Innovative Thinking

Transforming your life after 50 is clearly a creative project requiring innovative thinking. We are seeking to create a custom-designed joyful life that contributes to others and is deeply fulfilling. For possibly decades, we have had limited ability to step back and CREATE what we want in our lives because of commitments, responsibilities and obligations.

Innovative thinking can benefit greatly from mind mapping because it is able to consume all the common skills found in imagination, creativity, flexibility, and organization of ideas. There are some fundamental elements, identified in psychological research, that can improve your creative thinking. They include using shapes, colors, unusual elements, and dimensions. According to further studies, mind maps are the best tools in nurturing creative thinking. If you try to apply mind mapping in any of your activities, you will be able to create lots of innovative ideas than what you’ve expected.

USING SIMPLE MIND MAPS FOR CREATIVE THINKING.

Start by drawing a central image to represent a general topic. Make sure that the image is drawn at the center of the paper or blank page. Try to focus on the image and take note of the ideas that come into your mind. Welcome all ideas that enter your mind and indicate it on paper. You don’t have to write a lot of text; in fact, it will be a lot better if you use graphics or drawings instead. Take note of all the ideas no matter how absurd they may seem.

Then, take a break so that your brain can also rest. Look at the ideas that you’ve generated. Get another blank paper and create a new mind map. Use the same central image but this time you need to identify the categories and major branches. Add more subcategories in the various branches and look for new associations from the preliminary ideas. If you see repetitions of ideas in different branches, disregard them and don’t try to remove them because they might be important later on.

Your mind map will reflect your current thoughts. Study it carefully and you will be able to explore intellectually, making room for growth. When your mind is at rest, for example when you’re sleeping, you may have creative realizations. These are sudden bursts of ideas and you should immediately add them to your mind map. Continue to reconstruct your mind maps and integrate all the ideas into one map.

The goal in creating the mind map is to look for decisions, realizations, or solutions. Examine your mind map again and look for breakthroughs or new insights. Soon you will realize that all the ideas are connected with each other and you will be able to see more of how to innovatively create and transform your years after 50.

 

Transforming Your Years After 50: Introducing Mind Mapping, a Multi-Purpose Tool

Mind Mapping is a great multi-purpose tool that can help with various aspects of transforming your years after 50. I first became familiar with it when Tony Buzan, the creator of modern mind mapping, published Use Both Sides of Your Brain in 1976. I have used it sporadically ever since then.

Perhaps you are not familiar with mind mapping. Tony Buzan describes it as a two-dimensional technique that uses imagery, drawings and color to gather information and associations around a specific topic. The image in this post is an example. Mind mapping allows us to visualize tasks or ideas that relate to one another and to organize them. The technique taps into both the left and right sides of our brains, which makes it very powerful.

Mind mapping can be used for endless purposes, by people of all ages – including children. For example, mind mapping is very effective for taking notes, brainstorming, goal setting, planning, problem solving, organizing, setting agendas for meetings, and more.

Here are a couple of examples. If you have a project that needs immediate attention, you can simply write down your goals using lines, short words, drawings, and graphics. In no time at all, you can already see the solution to achieve your project. Also, a mind map agenda is a great way to set out the topics of a meeting without putting them in a rigid order. The meeting can flow more organically from one topic to another.

The power of combining words and images is immeasurable and taps into the potential of the human brain like few other tools. Perhaps you are somewhat skeptical of the claims of effectiveness. Numerous studies have confirmed the how effective the tool is for various tasks, which are easily located online.

This is an invaluable tool for your toolbox as you are in the process of transforming your years after 50. Other posts will go into more detail about how to use mind mapping.