A mind map is a sort of visual map of all the concepts and ideas that relate to one particular central word or idea.
It’s created by placing a central word or element in the middle of a page and then brainstorming for other ideas, and categorizing them into related groups using different colors or by relocating them on the page. By doing this it enables the planning of much bigger projects and allows all parties to get a very fast overview of how the project should proceed and the priorities that will be required to accomplish the project.
In fact, there are all sorts of valuable mind map uses, whether they materialize in business and education, or even in personal and family settings.
Setting The Priority Of Ideas
One of the most significant mind map uses is to eliminate hierarchies, at least at the beginning of exploring available information. This technique avoids assumptions about the priority of certain ideas, which come from linear arrangements of sequential thoughts.
Instead, when one uses mind map methods, all ideas carry equal weight as they float around the central thought. This means nothing is discarded, and some vital piece of information that might not otherwise have been retained stays on the page, and its relationship to other concepts might then be discovered for the first time.
This helps with another of the mind map uses, which is problem solving. When hitherto unrecognized relationships appear during the exercise, the solution to a problem might emerge in ways it would not have been thought of before. At the very least, as mapping patterns suggest themselves, a framework for the information emerges, and a complicated idea begins sorting itself into distinguishable chunks. Creating a mind map is a great way for either groups or individuals to unravel problems or concepts that are very convoluted.
Another of the mind map uses on a smaller scale is more solitary, and involves taking notes. A student in a lecture on a complex subject, or even someone in a meeting who is trying to summarize the discussion, can both find mind mapping techniques valuable. As they recognize key words, they can list them in their notes and as other ideas come up that relate to the key words, they can be added in a cloud around those initial words.
Whether used by a group to brainstorm, or used by an individual to summarize and clarify concepts, creating a mind map is an effective way of discerning the relationships of important ideas.
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Running Effective Meetings with Mind Maps (Tutorial)
Meetings are a vital part of business, but they take up a lot of time, and too often the results of those hours of discussions and brainstormings have no actionable outcome. In this article, we’ll introduce you to a system that ensures more effective meetings, using our online mind mapping tool MindMeister.
This is where MindMeister can help:
- Prepare and distribute an effective meeting agenda in a mind map
- Add all relevant links, graphics and files to the map
- Create engaging presentations from mind maps with a few clicks
- Take efficient meeting minutes that can be shared with participants
- Create and assign actionable tasks right inside the map
7 Key Advantages Mind Mapping Can Bring To Your Planning Session
Mind mapping software can bring numerous advantages to the strategic planning process.
In this article, the second in our series on how to run planning workshops, we’ll investigate seven specific advantages it offers compared to traditional methods like white boarding.
This is the first in series of post we will be adding to help you better understand the many different uses for a mind map. If you have any additional information you would like to add please do so in the comments section below.