So, every time I have an idea, I stop everything I do and write it down before I lose this idea. My brain and yours is a wonderful tool to process and create ideas but it’s definitely not the space to store them.
Then, once a week, I organize those ideas in Evernote before structuring them in a Mind Map. The advantage of using a mind map is that it gives me the ability to drop and visualize those ideas which match the formula of creative thinking I was giving at the beginning of this post.
But for those of you who discover the world of mind-mapping, let me introduce you to the mind map concept.
A mind map is a 2D diagram used to display words, ideas, notes, documents, links etc… those elements are linked and radially distributed around a central topic or keyword.
Tony Buzan says that “The mind map is an expression of radiant thinking and is therefore a natural function of the human mind. It’s a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlocking the potential of the brain. The mind map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance ….. ” ( The mind map book – Tony Buzan )
But, around me, most of us are still working on a linear note taking fashion. Fashion that was ok in the industrial age but not adapted anymore in our information Age which requires more non linear thinking. Therefore, Mind mapping should be the way to visually organize our ideas and information
So why Mind Map is not so popular ? Maybe because it takes time to learn and will require some changes in the way we take notes. Some think that mind maps are limited to brainstorming or note taking but its usage goes further than that. It can be applied to prepare a presentation, to analyze an issue, to structure a document, to prepare a lecture, to make a SWOT analysis,…
If a century ago Mind maps were done by hand, today we have the possibility to use a computer to draw them. Personally, I use DropMindTM which enables me to draw my mind map from my multiple platforms(windows and Mac) but also when I am on the go through its web interface. This Web interface enables me to collaborate on a mind map online. Soon Seavus will release a version of DropMindTM for the iPad which will make me happy since mind mapping on the iPad is so natural that I often think Steve Jobs invented the iPad specifically for the mind map users.
Prior to DropMindTM, I had actively been using MindManager but when it came to use it as a private tool, the costs were to high and I rapidly switched to DropMindTM which offered me the best quality of service for the price they ask. Until now, I have not found a feature I was using in MindManager that I can not find in DropMindTM and importing my existing mind maps has not been an issue so far.
I know that you may do more in MindManager but in creativity less is more. It’s even more true when you start learning mind maps. So, I suggest you start mind-mapping in order to enhance your creativity and therefore your productivity. There are some free mind map software to start with but I suggest downloading the demo version of DropMindTM and GYIO (Get Your Ideas Organized)
I will finish my post by a quote of Edouard Picard to Paul Otlet:
“Summarize yourself, do not let the world participate to the elaboration of your ideas”
So, did Paul Otlet use mind maps after this remark ? I am sure he did !
Feel free to comment and do not hesitate to ask questions on mind maps since I have some resources and experience to share.
My suggested Links
- What’s non linear thinking by @enectoux (FR/UK)
- The mind map book by and Tony Buzan
- Seavus DropMind Website
- 100 uses for mind mpas