This tip is a continuation of last week’s post. In it, just as I will in this, I promote the great structural tool that the “mind-map” is, especially digital versions, that is, those made in one of the mind-map-software available for purchase or downloading free (also referred to as “open source”-software).
A mind-map is especially practical when you wish to gather a large quantity of information so that you easily can find and access what you are looking for.
Last week I presented five out of ten uses for a mind-map. Here are the remaining five:
- Your personal control panel – Just as the pilot has numerous instruments in the cockpit to assure he is maintaining the correct altitude, the right speed, and that the airplane arrives safely at the intended destination, you can have your own personal instrument panel in the form of a mind-map. ??Create a mind-map with the following branches:
- Vision — what you wish to attain and accomplish in the long-run, with your business or in your life
- Goals – the goals, milestones and key-figures which you estimate to be the short-term achievements necessary in order to achieve the vision in the long-run
- To-do-tasks – Quite simply everything you have to do, arranged in categories by the context, that is, the circumstance or situation you need to be in or the tools you need, to be able to perform the task
- Waiting for – all the material or responses you are waiting for from others
- Project — your projects, action-plans or larger initiatives which are in the process of completion at the moment
- Sometime, maybe – your bank of ingenious ideas which need a little extra while to mature until the time is right to put them into action
- Your prospects, ongoing sales-processes and your clients – If you don’t have a so called CRM-system, a mind-map might do the trick for you. In a mind-map, create branches representing the various phases of your sales-process. As sub-branches, write down your dream clients, prospects and current clients by the branch representing the phase in which you work on and communicate with the clients. As your saleswork progresses, move the potential clients from one branch to another until they arrive at the branch “Deal!”
- Knowledgebank – Create a bank of facts with all the knowledge you have in a particular area. You can link to books, software, services and other documents. When a client poses a question, you can provide an answer or link quickly so that the client can move on with whatever they were doing and needed an answer for. ??For example, I have a single mind-map covering all the physical and digital structural tools I know of, as a knowledgebank to use myself in my role as Struktör. (Nope, can’t forward it, but I’ll give you a nibble every week.)
- All the ideas you’ve come to think of when you’ve gotten started with solving a particular problem – A common usage of a mind-map is when brain-storming, coming up with new ideas and/or solving problems. If you have a certain problem, fill a mind-map with all the possible solutions and ideas you can think of without being judgmental in terms of what is a good idea and what isn’t. When you have “emptied” yourself of ideas, and no sooner, sort out the one/ones you want to proceed with and get to it!
- Links to the hard drive, to your reference material – You probably have your hard drive filled with documents and files which are good to have at some point. Maybe you have even more material on a shared server in your organization. You tend to use some files more often than others, and it’s tempting to create a shortcut on the desktop linked to these.??But before you know it, the computer desktop is cluttered with icons and shortcuts and eventually it again gets hard to find what you need. Create a digital mind-map where you gather the links to all the documents you open frequently but make sure to group them in a structured way. Allow the branches, to which you attach the links, to represent for instance different functions in your business; market, budget, suppliers, et c.
Smaller, faster and easier to get an overview of
If you begin using the mind-map as a tool in your everyday life, you will need to remember less, find the right document faster and you will in a clearer and better way get an overview of where you are heading, how far you’ve gotten and where you are today.
How do you do it?
What’s your way of making sure you quickly find the files you are looking for when you need them?
Please comment below.