What is mind mapping and what can it do for you? It is a word we hear a lot these days and I wanted to know if it was just a new buzz word of if there was really something behind it!

So last week I organized a workshop with friends and colleagues and asked a coach in Mind Mapping to come and give us and introduction on that technique.

The result? Loved it. We were 12 people and I think everyone felt it was useful. As you know, I am a project manager by trade focusing on logic, spreadsheets and to do lists.  I used to think I had no creativity, and had no use for the right side of my brain.  Even if I have actively worked in the past 5 years at increasing my creativity, every once in a while I revert to focusing on the logic side of me.

I am a huge fan of building a clear plan for the goals I want to achieve. But my plans were always linear, list like plans. What Mind Mapping did for me is that it helped me see the big picture of whatever I want to accomplish but did it in a creative way.

Here are the rules of mind mapping (mostly from Tony Buzan):

  1. Start in the center with an image of the topic or a word or two in a circle.
  2. Use images, symbols, codes and dimensions throughout your Mind Map, using at least 3 colors.
  3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
  4. Each word/image must be alone and sitting on its own line.
  5. The lines must be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate out from the center.
  6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image.
  7. Use colors – your own code – throughout the Mind Map.
  8. Develop your own personal style of Mind Mapping.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your Mind Map.
  10. Keep the Mind Map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.

This is what a mind map can look like:


Of course now, there are Apps and software that exist to make your mind maps. I personally would add a rule to mind mapping and that is this: to do it by hand. Since I use mind mapping to solve something or to generate a creative plan to reach a goal, doing it by hand helps out a lot.

Here are a few ideas of what to use mind mapping for:

  • • Achieving a specific goal
  • • Finding out what your limiting beliefs are
  • • Detailing what happiness means to you
  • • What do you want in life?
  • • Planning your week
  • • Delivering a project
  • • Making an agenda for a meeting
  • • Taking notes during a class or conference
  • • Summarizing a book you are reading

Because it is not a linear list and because you are using different colors or images, somehow you find new ways to achieve your goals that you never thought of before.

Play with it, have fun with it and find your creative self.

If you are interested in getting in touch with a Mind Mapping Coach, here is Britta’s website: http://plan4results.com


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