How To Use Mind Maps In Your Personal And Professional Life
There are some ways to create mind maps that seem very basic and very straightforward. However, when you pull the curtain back, you realize that these bland and boring mind maps are actually really quite shocking in the way that they actually work. Mind maps are actually very liberating, enlightening, and encouraging.
Work. It is really surprising how many people don’t know about mind maps. When you talk to people about mind maps and mind mapping to other people, often the idea is totally brand new to people. In fact, for a lot of people even the idea of capturing and utilizing information is something that they don’t generally think about. This isn’t just you ‘Average Joe’ either. Many times people who are quite intelligent don’t know what a mind map is.
Make some mind maps on your own, and if they work well for you, share your knowledge with others. Show other people what you have done, why you are creating mind maps, and how they have helped you. By doing this, you will really open the eyes of your peers, managers, bosses, etc. You can really help others out this way, and you should.
In terms of using mind mapping in a work setting, mind mapping can really give you the upper hand. Presenting information through a mind map can show your creativity (Here is a simple creativity exercise for you ), your design skills, your presentation skills, and your structuring and organizational skills. You may even be able to provide people with some insight to solving some problem simply by visually representing the problem in a mind map.
Running a meeting. If you are running a meeting of some kind at your job, try using a mind map instead of a PowerPoint. You can use it as a creative tool, a brainstorming tool, a problem solving tool, or even to just illustrate a point in a new and unique way. People are getting so used to seeing PowerPoint presentations nowadays, that people will likely be very interested in seeing information being presented in a new and creative fashion.
Before the meeting ends, you can distribute copies of your mind map. This will cause people to better remember what the meeting was about, and therefore drive your ideas further. Handing out copies of your mind map may even influence people to add onto it. This will not only encourage participation, but might bring out some very creative and useful ideas that may help you to accomplish your goals.
If you conduct a meeting using a mind map, why not make the meeting more fun and interactive by passing out blank mind maps that people can use while reviewing what you say. Then at the end of the meeting, you can ask for them back and later compile the information. This may help you find new ideas that can help to push your company or business forward, or this could help you solve some of the problems that need to be solved. In any case, you are likely to get something out of it, and it will help to make the meeting more enjoyable.
Job Interview. One thing that people rarely think of is to use a mind map during a job interview. This makes you appear intelligent and well prepared. You can use a mind map to capture information during the interview or to outline your questions beforehand. You could use this opportunity to express how you often use mind mapping to capture and present information as well as to solve problems. Most interviewers would see you as being very smart, proactive, and structured, which can highly work in your favor.
Writing. In previous articles, it was mentioned that mind mapping works very well for writing. Whether it is something as big as a book or as short as an essay, this process works very well. In fact, it is probably the most effective tool to use for writing.
It is almost necessary to use mind maps when you are writing books with cliff hangers or choose-your-adventure style books because you have to set up the key points of the story beforehand. Some authors even use mind maps to readjust and refigure information and create different books over and over again with the same content. Adding endnotes and citing sources inside of your mind map can save you hours of frustrating work later on as well.
Networking. You can also use mind maps for networking purposes. Mind maps can help you to better communicate with other people. For example, if you were to work out a mind map before making an important phone call, this could allow you to better collaborate with the person on the other end of the line. This may also help you to collaborate with a group, or have a group collaborate together better. Again, mind maps are great to use in group settings because they have a way of drawing people because they are so visual and often creatively made.
Social life. Another thing that people often don’t think of is that they can use mind maps to better their social life. One great example is of a man who was actually was able to map out how different people in his community knew each other and were connected. This started out like a game, but over time he was able to use this insight into people’s lives to make himself more likeable, make better use of his connections, and further his business extremely well. You could also use a mind map as though it were a little black book or a business card holder by keeping peoples contact information inside and sorting it by what type of relationship you have with them. Here is a post on the power of mind maps.
Shopping for gifts. A mind map works great if you are trying to compile a shopping list (Here is how to memorize shopping lists ) or a list of gifts. This especially is a good thing to do around the holiday, particularly if you have a lot of people to buy for. This can help you to keep track of things that you have already bought as well as gift ideas that you have and things that the others have mentioned that they would like to have.
Romantic weekend. Anyone would be wise to use a mind map to plan a romantic weekend ( If you are trapped in friendzone read : How to break out of friendzone ) for himself and his partner. Not only would you be able to add the perfect touches to your get away, but your partner would likely be impressed by the care and detail that you put into it. Using a mind map to think things through beforehand could also keep you from running into snags throughout your trip and would probably help you to save money on everything as well.
Planning a wedding. One of the hardest things people face is planning out weddings, and therefore it is the perfect opportunity to put together a mind map. Probably the best time to use a mind map is when you are creating the guest list. You can refer to this list when you are sending out invitations, to make note of the people who have sent in their RSVP, to arrange seating, and even to send out ‘Thank You’ cards after the wedding is over. Another great thing to do is use a mind map to research what everything is going to cost. Taking a careful look into the price of everything will likely save you money in the end.
Designing your garden. If you are into gardening, you probably know how huge of a task this can be. You have to plan for different times of the year, you have to plan out where everything would be optimally placed, you have to buy a great amount of material and find the best prices, etc. You can use a mind map or multiple mind maps to organize your plans and keep adding to or subtracting from them throughout the year. Here is an example mind map.
Life. Many people miss out on a lot of things that they want in life just because they don’t plan properly. Making plans allow you to create your life instead of just going with whatever comes your way. The best way to use mind maps to better plan and accomplish thing in your life is to make a practice of writing out mind maps each and every day. This helps you to keep things in focus and provides you a way to solve problems as things come along. When you do this from day to day, it becomes more and more fun. It offers you a way to relieve your stress and away to daydream about what you want for your life as well as what you want for those around you. Most people who do this will tell you that it is one of the most invaluable things that you can do for your life.
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Planning family events. Many people regret that they did not work harder at spending time with their family. This goes back to the previous statement about creating your life instead of just letting it happen. It is easy to neglect family and forego ways of spending time with them. If your family is a priority to you, then you absolutely should use mind maps to keep focus on building upon your relationships and finding ways to spend time together.
Learning a foreign language. This is another example of things people rarely think of. If you are trying to or want to learn a foreign language, by all means use a mind map. As previously stated, the act of working through a mind map will help you to remember things better. Plus, with computerized mind maps, you can open up and hide the branches. So, why not use this capability to test yourself by showing the word(s) in English and hiding the other word(s) to see if you can think of them.
You could even branch these out a little further to learn more than one language at once. For example, Italian is very close to Spanish; so, by reviewing both sets of vocabulary word at once, you are likely to pick up both languages very quickly. You can even add pictures to help you make connections and retain the information better. You can also read memory improvement techniques to learn a new language.
Planning a budget. Planning your budget day to day is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and/or your family. One of the coolest things about mind maps is that if you change them from day to day they become almost like a living document. This will not only help you to keep up with what needs to be paid, but keep track of where your money is going as well.
In many cases people don’t realize how many different ways they are throwing away money until they see it written out. With a mind map, you can look at the whole scheme of things all at once. Furthermore, using a mind map to look towards the future is going to help you prioritize for the future and find ways to invest or save. Looking at this often will probably also open your eyes to opportunities that present themselves as well.
This will also help you to share your financial information with those whose business it is to know. For instance, if you keep up with your finances through a mind map, at the end of the month you and your spouse can look over thing together in order to make better plans and put limitations where they may need to go. Also, if you have a financial advisor or book keeper, providing them with a mind map can really help them to understand more about your financial situation. This will save them time and help them to do a better job for you.
Starting a new venture. Starting a new venture is one of the scariest things that you can do. You shouldn’t let this stop you though. A lot of that fear comes from the unknown. If you are using a mind map to jot down your ideas, plan ahead, and work out any problems you may have ahead of time, then everything becomes less scary and your anxieties disappear.
If you are starting a new business, every plan that you make can be carefully mapped out. You can make mind maps in order to brainstorm. You can use mind maps to outline your expenses, your product lists, your business connections, and so on. There are templates that you can model after to help you to plan for your business. There is really no end to the different combinations of mind maps that you can use to keep your business not only under control, but more and more productive.
If you would like to take on something new, you can brainstorm different business ideas and you can record information as you test the market to see which ideas would work best. Once you get all of your ideas in order, you can let trusted friends and family members review what you have found to see what they think. You could even take your mind map with you when you go after a loan to show how feasible your idea is and how likely it is to produce returns.
The great thing about mind mapping is that you get both the practice and the product. You can brainstorm new ideas, work with different variables, and solve problems through the process of creating a mind map. After you finish, you have this wonderful document which clearly defines the outcome of everything that you have worked through and you can refer to it or change it again and again.
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Again, the possibilities of planning this way are endless. Hopefully, you will put some of the tactics specified above to use. Please remember that these are recommended ways of using mind maps, but they are not the only options that you have. Try these tactics first, and soon you will be discovering new and creative way to use mind maps effectively on your own.