I love mind maps. Ever since I first discovered them, I started using them for all kinds of things. They offer so much more flexibility than lists or outlines. I’ve always felt that the linear format of lists and outlines attempts to limit thinking to a linear format and I’ve always been more of a non-linear thinker.
I use mind maps for almost everything. I use them to plan and track progress on complex projects. I use them for brainstorming. I use them to plan out all my presentations. I use them to keep track of my progress toward achieving my quarterly goals at work.
What’s a mind map? It’s a visual way of organizing thoughts and concepts. Mind maps have been around forever but were popularized in recent times by Tony Buzan.
How does one create a mind map? Well, you could always go old school and use paper and pencil. I tend to use whiteboards a lot. For maps you’ll want to keep and share, there are several options for mind mapping software.
More recently, I’ve moved over to MindJet. A subscription comes with Cloud storage for maps, and has clients for all the platforms I use (Windows, Android, iPad, and MacBook).
If you’re still not sure what mind maps are or how they can be useful, take a look at the map below. This is a map of the GeekFluent site (created in FreeMind) and how I foresee using it.
The first nodes out from the center are the major categories I’ll be posting about.
Within each category is further categorization. Some branches take this more than one level deep.
You can see how with one single image, it’s easy to convey a lot of information in an easy-to-follow format.