This a guest post from Joanna Długa | How Mind Mapping Can Improve Your Professional Work?
I’m sure you’ve heard about mind mapping at least once, even if you weren’t very interested in this subject. You even might have made your own mind maps and it would not surprise me if you were a student then. Usually this technique is associated with the school and learning, while it is also a great tool in a professional work.
What is mind mapping
At the beginning let’s recall what is the mind map. In very simple words mind map is a graphical way to present information, concepts an ideas, instead of writing them in sentences. Oppositely to traditional, linear note taking, this technique allows us to structure information in a way that resembles much more how our brain really works. As a process which contains both analogical and artistic activities it engages both left brain (responsible for logic, numbers, words and analysis) and right brain (imagination, colors, dreams, rhythm, space). In the result mind mapping helps us maximizes our intellectual potential, facilitates analyzing, recalling and generating new ideas.
How does a mind map look like
Mind map is a kind of a diagram reminding a tree. In the middle there is the main idea, subject or focus which branches out and splits again and again. It contains words or short sentences connected by lines, which can also have the meaning.
But better than explaining is showing you an example:
This is a map about team meeting made with Idretis app.
What you can do using mind mapping in your work
- Manage your tasks
Mind mapping is a great tool to create “To Do Lists” or more complex project that organizes the team’s work into manageable sections, improving your productivity. With mind map you can visualize all tasks and actions which need to be done or delegated and have a general overview on workload levels and priorities.
- Collect and organize your data
Mind map can be your own personal database collecting your thoughts, objectives, ideas, plans, notes, links, files, tasks and general workload, helping to keep your mind clear. Mind map allows categorization, allocation of timetables and resources, and to structure your data flexible, in the way you want and in accordance with your requirements.
- Develop thinking skills
Everything what we do involves thinking. Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Imagination is unlimited and we should develop it. Mind mapping is an excellent tool for visualizing facts and data, capture knowledge, experience and creativity. It is a great enabler for idea generation and brainstorming.
- Enhance team work
Mind map is an effective communication tool allowing you to improve brainstorming and work collaboratively, using a potential of your team richer than ever. Due to an online environment it can be particularly helpful when working from different locations. Online mind mapping apps with “shared” workspace allow users to edit the same map in real time, in a result making multi-regional teams more efficient. Using mind map you can even create highly visual meeting agenda. Mind map might be also a powerful way to present concepts or ideas to clients.
How to start
Mind mapping software easily available for use on our laptops, computer, tablets, smartphones etc. enables us to use it in common business situations, within an every-day working environment. The great thing is that you can find nice tools totally for free. Personally I like to use simple and intuitive solutions such as Freeplane or new Idresit app but the choice of modern mind mapping software with interesting functionalities is huge. Just select one! In some cases using mind maps might require changing some habits and breaking the “work-routine”. However, launching this new technique in your (and your team) work, will give you great results and lot of fun!