This is it, this is the big day. You are finally presenting your awesome idea to someone who can help make it happen. But then tragedy strikes, you have your notecards but you can’t remember what you’re supposed to say next! If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s an all too common situation that anyone can find themselves in. We all have moments where we fail to stay organized and focused. Mind maps may be the answer.
Ever have a great idea that you can’t remember an hour later? Maybe you know your goal but can’t seem to figure out the first step to take to get there. Ever struggle to hold the focus in meetings or keep your days straight?
Mind mapping allows your brain to use areas from both the right and left hemispheres. This has proven to be a more effective way to process thoughts and ideas. Use this simple note taking tool to tackle any area of your life that you need help in. Keep track of projects, be a more effective team player, and reach your personal goals with this tool.
What is Mind Mapping?
Mind maps are a type of note-taking. It is a visual way to represent anything from data to ideas. You start with your central theme or idea and create a map out from that. Start using this method on paper or via an online software.
There are three main elements of a mind map.
- The main idea or focus is in the center of the page.
- There are main themes that branch out from the center to create the first “arms.”
- Draw smaller ideas emerging from the main branch it is associated with.
From there your mind map can be as small or large as needed. The more details you include the easier it will be for your brain to connect your thoughts. Once you start building your mind map, more ideas will start to flow.
Mind mapping encourages images and drawings. Images are an effective tool for producing more accurate and provoking memories. The power behind images relies on their ability to bring up emotions. Associating emotions with key ideas can help you recall information better.
This loose structure of the mind map means it can adapt to suit any purpose or need. Fill in the central subject with any idea or focus. We cover some of the most common uses for mind maps below. But first, what makes this type of note-taking any better than a list?
Are Mind Maps Better Than Lists?
Using mind mapping ignites a different way of thinking than creating a list. This type of thinking and creating has proven to be more effective for comprehension and productivity. The format within a mind map engages both sides of your brain. There are artistic elements and analytical elements. This creates more bridges across the hemispheres in your brain. These bridges encourage your entire brain to work together to solve problems and make plans.
Lists and bullet points are not as effective as using the mind mapping method. Lists will often leave us forgetting certain parts of the project. Bullet points start simple but can end up leaving you overwhelmed and more confused than when you started.
Mind mapping follows your natural thought processes; creating new braches of ideas. Each branch you add, you can then build on as you go. Mind maps are easy to add to later if new ideas pop up. They can be constantly changed to adapt to your ever-changing plans and ideas.
The creative nature of mind mapping also allows you to have fun while doing it. Making lists can be a time consuming and dull task. Building up a mind map is fun and engaging for your brain. You can always add art or decorate your mind map if you need a break from big ideas and data.
You can use mind maps for almost anything. These are the top seven tasks that mind mapping regularly can help you conquer.
1. Mind Maps Help Remember Details
Keywords are the focus in mind maps instead of full sentences with nitty-gritty details. These words and big themes are easier for your brain to recall later on. The big ideas are broken into smaller ones throughout your tree. These keywords form smaller concepts can then help you remember details when you read through the map later on.
If you want to make your mind map even more effective for your recall try getting artsy. Add different colors to keywords to categorize them. Associate specific colors with certain themes. You can add pictures to help your brain remember even more. Images are especially good for assisting your brain with the recall of information.
2. Mind Maps Help Make Decisions
Think of the mind map as an upgraded pros and cons list. When making tough decisions use a mind map to help organize all your thoughts about it. One side can allow you to think through why you are excited about making a certain decision. The other can help you organize why you may be hesitating.
Can’t decide if you should take that job and move across the country? Mind mapping can help you visualize the perks and difficulties that come along with a major life change. As you lay out the branches, you will document and realize new information and ideas. This gives you a new perspective and outlook on the decision ahead.
Mind maps can help you make small decisions as well. Think of jotting down a quick mind map the next time you can’t make up your mind for where to go to dinner. The map will allow you to quickly identify the pros and cons of restaurants on your mind.
3. Mind Maps help Schedule Your Day
Use mind maps to set your goal and focus for the day, week, or month. Seeing the bigger picture can help you break down exactly what you need to do each day to reach those goals. Setting aside time to create a mind map for each day or week will help you be more productive throughout the day.
Structure a mind map around the day as your main hub, and branch off different areas of work you want to get to in that day. Include categories for your work, cleaning, personal goals, and even socializing time.
Seeing your day broken down into step by step actions can help you tackle it with ease.
4. Mind Maps Help Plan Events
Make meetings productive. Optimize talking points and meeting flow with mind maps. Drawn up ahead of time, these powerful tools can help you stay on track during a meeting. Cover everything you need to. Never forget to bring something up. Drop distractions and wasted time with a focused mind map for each meeting in your schedule.
Mind maps are also a great tool for presentations. if you want to display them externally, mind maps are visually appealing. If you simply want to use them as notes, mind maps are a great way to follow your train of thought.
Use the keywords or pictures to help you remember your talking points. If needed, several mind maps can help you organize different sections of your presentation. Impress your audience with your focus and knowledge!
You can also plan larger events like parties or weddings. A larger mind map can eventually break down into separate themes to tackle large events. A central “wedding” map is followed by several maps that cover all the elements leading up to that big day. Mind maps like this can help you plan out a timeline of events so that you know exactly when to call the florist or to send out invites.
Mind mapping can also be a useful tool when planning vacations or trips. Use them to help you decide where to go by creating a mind map of what you want from your vacation. Then you can use one to plan out the activities, transportation, and more. Add notes about your favorite hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
Save your mind maps so you will have a useful reference tool for the next time you want to travel to the same destination.
5. Mind Maps Help You Set and Achieve Goals
Use mind mapping to help you stick to your diet, exercise plan, or even finish writing that book! Setting goals is easier and more fun with mind mapping. As mentioned before, mind mapping breaks down your larger goal into branches.
Each branch can break down into small details to help you visualize your dreams. A fitness mind map can include a variety of workout styles so you never get bored with routine. When you use a mind map to set goals, you can see what you do each day to further yourself toward your goal.
When you are not overwhelmed by the final destination you can focus on the steps that get you there. Mind maps for setting goals can help you realize steps you may have forgotten or even new ideas you have along the way.
6. Mind Maps Can Be Used As A Resource Lists
Keep track of the important resources you use for your home, your pet, and even work. Mind maps can be a great way to keep all your resources in one place. Creating mind maps for resources can simplify your life.
If you need to find your vet’s number, check your pet mind map for all the info in one place. A mind map for your home could include maintenance dates and phone numbers so that you never miss changing your furnace filter again.
Many online mind mapping softwares will include options to attach files and links so you can keep track of everything digitally. This can be useful for bloggers or other online creators. Keep the writing and editing tools you use everyday close by in an online mind map.
Mind maps online can also be useful for keeping recipes together. Keep meal planning for yourself or your family easy. Map out the main ingredients and you will always have inspiration for whatever you are in the mood for.
7. Mind Maps Are Amazing For Brainstorming
Keep your creativity alive by using mind maps for your next brainstorming session. Writers and bloggers can generate new topics. Start with what you know and what you want to write about and watch as the ideas start flowing!
Use mind maps to start new projects. Know that you want to start a blog but not sure what to write about? Many bloggers are encouraged to start writing about things they love. So creating a mind map focused on things you enjoy doing can help you create your niche. Alternatively, you can create a mind map based off of keyword research and rank topics based on their profitablitly.
Leaders can brainstorm communication and training strategies. Use mind maps to identify areas in your business that can improve or could use attention. Then use a brand to plan out how you will implement those strategies. Mind maps can help you visualize your thoughts and brainstorm better.
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Use Mind Maps to Help Organize Your Great Ideas
Mind maps are a great way to get anything done. While this list is a good starting point, there is no end to what you can use them for. Let your imagination take over and start mind mapping something amazing. Once you get in the habit of using mind maps, you’ll find that they can make every area of your life simpler.
The best part is, you can use this tool anywhere you go as long as you have paper and a pencil. For more elaborate projects there are software and online programs that can help keep your files organized within your mind map. Decorate an elaborate mind map to keep your best ideas on display.