Building Your Map
Lists are great but most people tend to think in a nonlinear fashion. Our thoughts come randomly and are often ideas sparked by other ideas. One idea leads to another. A mind map is designed to capture those thought patterns, record them as they come and help organize.
So how does a Mind Map work?
The basic concept is to start with a blank page. In the middle of the page we place our main topic. From that topic we begin to record related ideas, tasks or other items.
We record our ideas as the come. Linking one to another using lines to show how they relate. Some ideas will have many subcategories and others will have only a few. It is not important how your map looks but that you generate and record your ideas as they come.
Here’s a little tutorial demonstration I built to show how to start a simple mind map. You can use mind mapping software or build your own mind map it’s totally up to you. There quite a few mind mapping applications out there some are even free. For this demo I used the free version of Mindmeister (CI is affiliated with Mindmeister).
Some things to keep in mind as you work on your mind map.
- A mind map will take a little work (don’t get discouraged if you don’t complete it in a half an hour while texting to your pals).
- Don’t skimp on the details. The more info you have the clearer your path will be.
- Have fun. Don’t be afraid to dream (you can always edit later).
- Make sure your map is easy to get to and easy to edit, otherwise it will become a chore and end up being ignored.
- A mind map is almost always a work in progress.
Homework: This is the big moment you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to dive in and get messy. Find your mind mapping software of choice and get familiar with it. Pick a random topic and build a simple mind map. The purpose of this exercise is to start getting the hang of building a mind map.