I am the first to say I am not a visual person – after all I did major in English – but have really found a useful tool in mind mapping. My first mind mapping application I came to use regularly is MindJet MindManager (on both the Mac and PC). However, when I got an iPhone and later an iPad, I came to using MindNode and iThoughtsHD more often for creating mind maps. Both apps meet my needs just fine and since MindJet was slow out of the gate on the iPad, I don’t see a compelling reason to switch.
It was through the writings of Marc Orchant that turned me on to the power of mind mapping. I was looking for a better way to capture ideas for my freelance articles because at the time outlines and straight note taking weren’t getting the job done.
Here are some ways I use mind maps:
Plan blog posts and articles. When an outline just won’t cut it at the planning stages and my creative juices don’t flow I reach for my iPad and fire up iThoughtsHD or MindNode to work out my ideas. As I’ve written in the past, capturing ideas by any means necessary is how I keep things flowing.
Capture my current status. After my thyroid surgery last October, I took extra care to capture my current state of health and where I wanted to go from there. When I am plotting personal or professional moves, laying down my thoughts in a mind map can help crystallize my plans. Even though I am a writer, I am not the personal journaling type, so mind maps help me really capture my current status even better than writing it down.
Manage personal projects. I am eyeing some long overdue projects around my house and use mind maps to capture my ideas and potential approaches for accomplishing the projects (now I just need to get the $$$).
Plan out willkelly.com web site changes. Now that my energy is back, I am catching up on some personal projects with a redesign of willkelly.com being one of those projects. Mind maps are helping me refine and expand the site architecture and plan expanded content. I hope to launch the new willkelly.com in the next two weeks.
I am looking forward to using mind maps more for project management and hope to get that opportunity on an upcoming projects. It is a much better format for communicating project plans and information than the staid Gantt chart and project artifacts that have remained largely unchanged for decades.
How do you use mind maps?