Mind mapping

What is mind mapping?
Mind mapping is an innovative tool enabling the creation of visually orientated diagrams that can clearly demonstrate ones creative thinking and problem solving. This in turn develops a firm’s differentiation advantage over others who rely solely on words for their business communications.


This form of brainstorming has been around for over 25 years, but has only recently been pumped through the electrical veins of information technology. The use of currently available computer software allows limitless spontaneous brainstorming ideas to be stored and subsequently organised and condensed into a logical sequence. These mind maps can then be shared via the Internet or exported to programs such as Word, Outlook and HTML for web use. Consequently, clients and colleagues can easily display and navigate the mind maps even without obtaining relevant software. Mind mapping also makes a useful visual aid for presentations by simply exporting to PowerPoint slides.
 

Uses of mind mapping
Mind maps facilitate many business processes including project outlines, project management, goal achievement, problem solving and even ‘to do’ lists. The software enables storage and organization of ideas and the ability to elucidate project objectives and record milestones. Many utilise mind maps to define team roles; delegate responsibilities; and prepare course outlines and proposals. Mind mapping can also be used to list questions in order to satisfy information needs.


Parker [2005] states the four steps to successful mind mapping. One must initially harvest key words and ideas potentially contributing to the success of the project at hand. In order to edit the map, any duplicate or inappropriate ideas should be deleted and what remains put into a rational hierarchy or structure. Subsequent to this, one is advised to chunk ideas into logical categories for further simplicity and then format the map to add visuals for increased message retention.


Additional strategies
In the initial stage of harvesting, it is possible to ‘brain dump’ key words and ideas before organising them into a logical structure. This helps to capture as much initial detail as possible. Notes and comments can be attached to the branches of the mind map for storage of additional information.


By entering the main project objective in the centre of the map, any additional entries can be evaluated based on their contribution to achieving this goal.


To prevent information overload mind maps can be separated into smaller maps and linked together. It is also possible to filter maps by levels, keywords and icons so that only certain elements are displayed.


For ease of use and maximum efficiency mind mapping software enables the creation of templates for assorted tasks and map types. Additionally, the creation of a ‘visual vocabulary’ generates a shared understanding of map symbols, colours and styles.


More information about Mind Mapping can be found at www.innovationtools.com or contact Square Holes.More information about Mind Mapping can be found at www.innovationtools.com or contact Square Holes.More information about Mind Mapping can be found at www.innovationtools.com or contact Square Holes.

More information about Mind Mapping can be found at www.innovationtools.com or contact Square Holes.