For most of my life I have not quite understood or accepted my creative talents. Its only in the last few years that I have been able to understand and accept them. I am now able to appreciate my core strength of making connections between various seemly unrelated events or ideas. This is a strength that I have been working hard to develop.
Mindmapping is one activity that has helped me tremendously in this area. Its been the main tool I used in planning my strategy and gaining clarity in developing this blog and several other projects I have been involved with.
However, I lost touch with mind mapping over the last few months and I have been using very rarely. Alrite I'll admit it. I thought I had things covered and I didn't think I needed to be mind mapping that often.
My opinion is very different now that I have rediscovered it in the past few weeks. I have a greater appreciation for it and plan to make it a part of my core. It makes idea organization and generation much more effortless!
What is a Mind Map?
(taken from Wikipedia)
A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.
Why Does MindMapping work?
Mind mapping is the only thing I have found that allows me to truly explore my ideas. It could be for anything from problem solving to planning to project management or task management. It is the ability to see the relationships between a set of ideas, resources and intentions and re-arrange them until they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
The real power in this process is that there is no particular why that these elements are supposed to come together to form the final picture and you can add in new ideas at any time. There are limitless possibilities to the connections you make to accomplish your goal.
Here is what wikipedia has to say:
By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks. Though the branches of a mindmap represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework.
Yeah it goes deeper than meets the eye,
George Johnson who has used Mindmap for over 25 years says –
They work because the brain operates in circles. A simple way to think about this is to think of millions of bits of information in the brain flowing in circles. When two bits of information intersect an idea is formed. Mind maps facilitate the collection of those bits of information, where as creating linear lists forces the brain to work in a way that is not natural for it and consequently you don't get all of the information available to you. Another way of saying this is that lists are very left brain and mind map thinking is very right brain and left brain.http://betweenseeing.typepad.com/between_seeing/2005/09/mind_maps.html
Talk about developing are greater appreciation! After reading these articles and looking over a few mindmaps I can safely say that definitely have a much more healthy appreciation for the art of mind mapping.
Uses For MindMapping
Here are some of the things that MindMaps can be used for taken from Wikipedia-
- Problem Solving
- Outline / Framework Design
- Anonymous collaboration.
- Marriage of words and visuals.
- Individual expression of creativity.
- Condensing material into a concise and memorable format.
- Team building or synergy creating activity.
- Enhancing work morale.
Mind Mapping Software
There is lots of software on the market for mind mapping you can check them out here.
Now the mindmapping software that I use are have been exposed to are Mindjet MindManager and Mindmeister.com. I find both of them to be very good and simple to use. Mindmeister.com of course allows you to view and use your maps at any time anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
If you never tried it I urge you to give it a try. It might be surprised at the clarity added creativity might add into your life.
Wishing a productive and creative week!
Corey Graham 2.0