Before you ask, because the technology minded of you often do, this particular mindmapping software is called Mind Node and it’s for Mac. There are plenty of tools for Windows and some that operate online. I think Steve Rubel covered some a while back, but I’m too lazy to Bing the exact title. That’s not exactly the point.
The way I use mindmaps is that I start with my main idea, and then figure out the “branches” I’ll want to talk about. Think of them as the main points of my speech, in this case. From there, I can then think about these ideas separately, and then expand upon them. For instance, as I think about the goals that people might want to attain when thinking about the new marketing world, I might add the following:
So, in this case, I just add a few ideas. These lead me to think of other ideas. Some might swing over to the “capabilities” branch, as I explain what I think would drive these goals. Others might lead me to the “ecosystem” branch, as I want to talk about the set of tools that would drive these goals and empower these capabilities.
Mind maps are a great tool for getting your jumbly thoughts into a framework. From there, you can work backwards and forwards on ideas without the “weight” of lots of words to slow down your thinking. Then, by the way, you can use the words you’ve put down as the titles of slides, or as the headers to paragraphs or as the notes on your note cards for your speech.
What happens, often, when we write, is that we look at sentences as this whole big thing. We get worried about transitions. We think about the tasks the entire paragraph has to put off. Or, when we create slide decks for speeches, we get caught up in finding visuals to illustrate our points before we’ve really mapped out our points very well. In all cases, the “stuff” of the final product gets in the way of the frame of what we’re putting together.
That’s where mind maps excel (or one place where mind maps excel).
What about you? Do you ever use them to write? What other uses are you finding for mind maps?