How To Mind Map

Last week I wrote about how diagramming can help critical

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thinking. Granted, my post was a brief, generalized overview of six types of diagrams: mind maps, fishbone diagrams, affinity diagrams, flow diagrams, SWOT analysis and 2 x 2 matrix. Its goal was to show that diagrams offer a wide variety of uses.

As a visual person I’m always scribbling notes, making lists and diagramming. It allows me to see the bigger picture. Mind mapping is one of my favorite ways to diagram information because it satisfies my love for doodling and lends itself to be useful as general overview or a detailed plan. They’re also one of the least well-known ways to diagram. Thus I’ve created a how-to guide for mind mapping.

Start with a designated topic/idea in the center.

Then brainstorm the concepts/groups/people/etc. that are directly connected to your main idea.

For each new concept/group/person/etc. brainstorm the next immediate group of ideas.

The great thing about mind mapping is that you can decide how detailed you need to get. Or it may tell you something if you find that one section has significantly more or fewer connections. You may even find a helpful connection you weren’t expecting.

In summary, mind maps may look overwhelming at first but offer a great visual method of mapping out relationships.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Pauker-Silva

One response to “How To Mind Map”

  1. Jennifer Routhier

    Great post Lizzie. As a visual person, I’m all about the lists and post-it notes (you should see my cube), but I rarely, at least not in a great while, mind map. It is such a great exercise and liberating since it’s not (visually) linear. I found it useful when I was responding to RFPs, as it allowed me to focus on the prospect’s pain points and how we could potentially solve them vs. a data dump of products and solutions. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be mind-mapping in the very near future!

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