What is mind mapping anyway?A mind map shows the relationships between the parts and the whole. It is often started around one idea or concept and associations, ideas, words, pictures, and relationships are formed around it.
Mind mapping is a popular brainstorming and thought collection and organization tool on the market. It actually increases retention by up to 95% more than traditional note taking because the structure of Mind Mapping is fashioned after the way the human brain actually thinks.
The cool thing about mind mapping is it is a process of thinking not only a physical tool. It is a process. I make this point because too many people are looking for new tools to solve their problems. The tools won’t solve their problem but it may help to change their thinking and their approach to data capture, problem-solving or brainstorming.
Einstein said that a problem can not be solved by the same level of thinking. Mind mapping helps you to change the way you think, to structure and cluster your thoughts even if they don’t come out that way.
Here are 4 reasons why you should adopt mind mapping in working with your team. Mind mapping should be taught in leadership training courses and management training in order to improve leadership and team collaboration.
1. Memory aid and retention:
Keywords will trigger you to remember the whole thought behind the branch. Pictures can act as a memory trigger. You can include all keywords that are relevant to a topic and help you to remember all the key components. Because of the structure, colors and pictures, the brain is open and more receptive to information because of the type of stimulation. Because it is visual, it is easier to grasp and remember.
2. Problem solving
Defining the problem and agreeing on the problem together is often the biggest challenge. This method allows this process to open discussion and get to the root causes. It aids in decision making in looking at all sides of the situation.
Mind mapping is right brained tool inspiring creativity. The process and structure allows all topics to stimulate other ideas and fill in around the topics. Everyone can follow and participate in a fun and interactive way.
Collect group contributions quickly without having to worry about grammar and style conflicts. One can quickly and easily see the dynamic of the discussion and because of the structure can quickly get up to speed on the project and see the big picture.
The information is synthesized on one page for fast and easy comprehension.
Rules of Mind Mapping
- Use images for visual cues
- Use a single topic for each branch
- Use colors to differentiate
- Don’t overcrowd
- Use keywords versus sentences
- Leave space for thought development
Mind maps can look very different depending on the users’ preference and the mind mapping tools used. Here are some mind map examples:
I create mind maps the old fashioned way – on paper. But by using mind mapping software, you can move things around easier and collapse parts of the map for better visualization as needed.
Mind mapping software:
Coggle, Mindmapple, and other free tool examples can be found on
Great books to read on the subject:
Mind Mapping is an incredible asset for project managers, other leaders and individuals alike. We all need to be the ultimate organizer and keep timelines, dependencies, and responsibilities on track whatever we are doing, collaborate and coordinate as well as brainstorm new ideas. All of these skills can be enhanced through mind mapping.