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01 Dec

Five out of ten powerful things you can use a mind map for

Datum: 2010-12-01 10:02

When you have a lot of infor­ma­tion you wish to struc­ture in such a way that you get an overview and when you need to clar­i­fy and sort out some­thing com­plex – make a mind map.

But, how?

Write a word, phrase or sub­ject in the mid­dle of a blank sheet of paper. From the cen­tre of the page, draw branch­es to oth­er words, which in turn are divid­ed into more branched in as many lev­els as is necessary. 

Using a dig­i­tal mind-map­ping-soft­ware might ben­e­fit the lay­out and appear­ance. I per­son­al­ly use Mind­Man­ag­er from Mind­Jet and as it hap­pens, since I like it so much, I coop­er­ate with its Swedish agent. But, nat­u­ral­ly there are sev­er­al alter­na­tive soft­ware pro­grams to choose from.

…and why?

In a mind map you can fit a lot of infor­ma­tion in a small space. You can group the infor­ma­tion in a way which makes it easy for you to trig­ger” or think of what it should con­tain, as well as eas­i­ly find what you need when you need it.

Five pow­er­ful mind maps

Here are five sug­ges­tions of what you may well write in a mind map format.

  1. The vision in its var­i­ous aspects — Describe the busi­ness’ vision in a mind map where the dif­fer­ent branch­es rep­re­sent the sit­u­a­tion you are striv­ing to achieve seen from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. One branch might illus­trate how you want the inter­nal process­es in the busi­ness to be, a sec­ond branch how the busi­ness looks from a mar­ket per­spec­tive, a third how the busi­ness will con­tribute to the well­be­ing of the world after the achieve­ment of your vision, and final­ly, a fourth branch might elu­ci­date how the vision appears to you per­son­al­ly, when you are at the finish-line. 
    • When the vision is real­ized, how does a typ­i­cal work­day look to you personally?
    • What does the phys­i­cal work space look and feel like?
    • How are your rela­tion­ships with your colleagues?
    • What do you actu­al­ly do and work with?

  2. Project overview – Cre­ate a project overview of all the big and small projects which you are cur­rent­ly involved in, inter­nal as well as exter­nal. Make it clear how far you’ve got­ten in each project by using sym­bols, per­cent­ages, or oth­er high­light­ing indi­ca­tions. For every project, clear­ly state what the next, con­crete, detailed step is, who is respon­si­ble for com­plet­ing it and when it’s due. ?
    You can there­by quick­ly and eas­i­ly make sure that you are pro­gress­ing in all the larg­er projects you want to keep mov­ing forward.

  3. Plan­ning projects – Cre­ate a mind map over a cer­tain project, that is, draw out the dif­fer­ent phas­es or stages, the dif­fer­ent stages of the stages, small­er parts of the sub-stages et c, all the way down to the detailed, sin­gle-action steps and tasks the project con­sists of. ??Shape the project by first for­mu­lat­ing what you want the project to result in or how you envi­sion the final sit­u­a­tion, and writ­ing this as a state­ment in the cen­ter of the page. Branch­ing out from the cen­ter of the map are the var­i­ous larg­er phas­es you imag­ine the project will con­sist of. Break each phase in to its small­er com­po­nents. Again split every com­po­nent and again, all the way down to the next, con­crete sin­gle-action step you could take, in oth­er words, into a to-do-task. 

    What at first sight appeared to be an insur­mount­able assign­ment, you have now bro­ken into small­er, com­pre­hen­si­ble steps which are easy to get start­ed with.

  4. Your areas of respon­si­bil­i­ty — Cre­ate an overview of all the areas you are respon­si­ble for, even if they’re not projects. 

    It’s easy that areas which are just sup­posed to run smooth­ly and which aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly urgent, fall to the side and are for­got­ten when the more crit­i­cal and pri­or­i­tized projects con­sume your time and atten­tion. With a respon­si­bil­i­ty-overview it’s quick and easy to browse your com­mit­ments and respon­si­bil­i­ties, mak­ing sure you don’t miss some­thing which is specif­i­cal­ly assigned to you in your organization.

  5. The steps of a week­ly overview – Once a week, you go through your project-overview, your vision, your to-do-list, your wait­ing-for-list, your some­time-/maybe-ideas and your agen­da, so that you know where you are at, how far you’ve got­ten, where you’re head­ing and what you have to do to get there. 

    You illus­trate the steps by draw­ing branch­es in a mind map, and when it´s time for your week­ly run-through, you check each branch off, one at a time, counter-clock­wise around the cir­cle of branch­es cre­at­ed around the centre.

The most fas­ci­nat­ing effect

What fas­ci­nates me the most in work­ing with dig­i­tal mind-map­ping is that I can either get an extend­ed overview over a large area of focus or sub­ject (such as all my ongo­ing inter­nal and exter­nal projects), or focus on a sin­gle detail in one of the phas­es in one of the projects while I’m hid­ing all oth­er points on the map which I don’t care to be dis­tract­ed by at that moment. 

You can gath­er more mate­r­i­al in a sin­gle place and there­by get few­er places and files to look through, so you gain time, ener­gy spent brows­ing your fold­ers and exten­sive tap­ping on your keyboard.

How do you do it?

What does your smartest mind map contain?

Leave a com­ment below!