Tammy shares tools that empower you to design your own fresh perspective, an action plan for today that will change your tomorrow.  "It's all in how you look at it."

Tough Questions...Clear Answers

Thursday, December 31, 2009

6 Steps to Mind Mapping Success


For years I have heard about the power of Mind Mapping. It is a process that is used when exploring or brainstorming topics, ideas, plans and strategies. It can even be used to make plans for your vacation! And just as I have heard about it for some time, I avoided using it in my own life. Until December 9, 2009.

On that obscure Wednesday I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop hosted by a business connection and friend Julian Michael. He brought in a speaker and masterful Mind Mapper, Pete DiSantis to demonstrate how to use this tool in everyday work. We made a mind map of our holiday schedule as an exercise in the workshop, and it opened my eyes to this tool in a brand new way.

With a new tool in my toolbox, a flip chart hanging on my office wall and colorful markers and crayons in hand, my adventures began! I now have a tool that is supporting my success by bringing clarity to projects for the New Year. I have mapped out a new website, new product offering, a TeleSummit to “Increase Your Power Today,” and the 100 titles for articles I will write in the first hundred days of 2010. If you have been looking for a new strategy to map out your success, I invite you to try these easy steps and create a mind map for your next project?

Step 1. Get out the Flip Chart! When we work small, we think small - or maybe it’s the other way around. At any rate, expand your mind and your creativity for the new idea to the wall. It helps to step back and watch the progress, open up your perspective to a whole new level. As I like to say, Go Big or Go to Bed!

Step 2. Go with Color. The colors are not only fun to play with, they create a visually stimulating map of your brilliant idea. And you can use the colors to code the steps, priorities, items to further develop and link like items together. Additionally, using different colors adds dimension to your map, opening up your mind.

Step 3. Start with One. This one idea is the parent idea or main concept for the mind map. That goes in the center of the page. Draw a circle around it and then step back and allow your imagination to go.

Step 4. Free Flow the off-spring of the one idea. As you step back from the page to ponder your new big idea. Start talking out the ideas that are flowing to you, aloud. This step is perhaps one of the most helpful. As you speak and hear the idea, it lands with you as a Yes or it doesn’t. Those that are Yes get put on the map as a Sub Title (or off spring) of the main idea. Write these in an outer circle around the main idea, allow good space for filling in more thoughts and ideas. The platform of your map is now complete.

Step 5. Expand your Imagination. After you have your platform outlined with the main point in the center and the off-spring written down, it’s time go to the next level. Take your pens and begin to link together the like topics, write down details to each point to bring them to life. Example: if you are planning a trip, your details are all the things to prepare, do, buy, and even explore to be ready for an amazing trip.

Step 6. Put it to Action. Now that you have your idea and all the glorious details that make it a plan in place, it’s time to put the action to it to bring it to life. I have found writing a Map Legend with my dates and priorities in the top right of the map helps kick it into action. Whatever you do, keep your map up on your wall as you activate your new idea. Having it before you, will be that added inspiration for follow-through.

So that is mind mapping in it’s simplest form. Please share your strategy here as well as your success with this fun and creative method for gaining clarity on your great ideas.

2 comments:

Hobie Swan said...

Thanks for the post. I love mind mapping. The closest I've ever come to mind mapping on paper is when I bought a table pc back in 2003 and "wrote" maps using MindManager by Mindjet. I've since moved on to ConceptDraw. But I really like mind mapping with a keyboard. I do a lot of mapping as part of my job and like how I can just open up a program and start mapping. It's a great way to think. I even used it to write a book (www.cancercode.com).

John's Site said...

A great set of suggestions! I've just got started with mind maps. I like the handwritten mind map over the software programs for various reasons.

In my blog's latest posts I try to share some of my ideas. Take a look at it and let me know what you think.

http://aleisureenthusiast.blogspot.com/

If it's OK with you I'd like to put your link in my blog.