Folks who’ve known me a while will know I’m a big fan of mind maps. A mind map is a diagram that helps to organize information visually. I know a lot of folks like outlines, and I’ll grant that they have their place, but I’ve always found outlines too structured and too limiting.
Outlines force straight-line, linear, hierarchical thinking. That’s exactly what you want for some things. I know a lot of people who think in a straight line most of the time — I’m just not one of them.
My thinking tends to try to go in multiple directions at once, and I like to figure out how things connect together. Sometimes those connections aren’t straight lines and don’t fit into simple hierarchies. This is where mind maps come in handy.
Plus, with a mind map, I feel like I can get an overview of the “big picture” with a single glance.
Several people have seen me using mind maps as a note-taking tool during brainstorming sessions. I wanted to demonstrate their usefulness as a tracking tool, too, so I figured, why not use my job search as an example (since I’m actually using a mind map to track my search).
If you weren’t aware that I’m currently looking for my next job, please take a moment to read about my job search before continuing with this post.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s dive in. Continue reading