My younger brother introduced me to mind mapping many years ago. At the time, he was using the tool to create ideas, headings, subheadings and content for articles for his blog, Gazettabyte. Even though I could see its many uses, for some reason I kept putting off using it. Lately, a day doesn’t go by without creating or amending a mind map.
So why do I use mind maps in business? Because mind maps help me think, capture my thoughts quickly and help me to visualise the big picture. When I ask my clients or business acquaintances if they use mind mapping tools, I’m given a mix of answers. Some say they do, but only for complex issues. Others say they use pen and paper to free-draw their ideas and don’t get on with computer software programmes.
Like many business tools, it’s not clear just how useful they are until you start using them. You have to push past the ‘pain point’ of learning a new software tool – believe me it’s well worth it.
In the last year I have become a ‘heavy user’ of mind maps, using them almost daily. Here’s what I use them for:
- Researching a new market
- Sharing Information
- Creating synergies
- Creating blog articles
- Strategy review
- Helping clients to resolve an issue
- Helping clients to think about an issue
- 1, 3, 5 10 year plans
- Life plans
- Goal setting
I could go on and on but don’t want to bore you. I’m going to assume your creative juices are flowing and you can figure out for yourselves how you would like to use this mapping tool in your business. I have included a few examples below for illustration purposes. Please treat them as a work in progress which is true for most mind maps.