Saturday, October 22, 2005

Creative Strategy: Mindmapping

Teaching old dogs new tricks is actually easier done than said -spoonerism not intended.

Using mind mapping techniques are used to effectively organize large amounts of information, combining spatial organization & dynamic hierarchical structuring. This technique allows a person to retain information and ideas than by using traditional 'linear' note taking methods. If you have several projects that you'd like to accomplish, mindmapping can be a source of creative freeflow thought that will enable you to generate ideas in a flash. Thus, one doesn't risk being stymied by the notebook ruled paper. Ack!

Some literature makes claims that it allows greater motivation to complete a task, allows one to tap the deeper levels of consciousness by using mind map techniques and these may include developing intuitive powers, combat bullying, create global harmony to working out a business plan. Mindmaps can be drawn by hand, either as 'rough notes', for example, during a lecture or meeting, or can be more sophisticated in quality.

For example, locate a large piece of paper or your wall, draw a circle in the center with the name of your theme in the center of that circle -we'll call this a lake. Begin to build on that theme with bubbles (ponds) with thoughts, ideas, and sketches that flow like tributaries to puddles.

Basic Simple Structure

Adopted Structure

I learned of this technique several years ago via Michel Gelb's Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Creative Genius.

Additional tools to aid your mindmapping quest:
  • FreeMind Cool Productivity Tool
  • Post-It Notes: They allow you to reposition in accordance to importance
The trick is to keep the mind fresh, free from restrictive measures. Waffling your time with fancy tools only hinders and creates a crutch out of them whilst a pocket full of index cards will do.

1 comment:

Jeanne Rhea said...

Thanks for the tip! I started this kind of mapping for our restaurants we want to visit. When we want to go out to eat, it is always a tough decision, but first question is, "What kind of food are we hungry for?" Then I list our favorites in each category and then places we have never been. Then the decision is easy to make at a glance.