How Do I Use Mind Maps? Effective Mind Mapping Usage

I have been using Mind Maps since 1992 when I first discovered them in the marvellous book “Use Your Head” by Tony Buzan that was first published in 1974. I can distinctly remember feeling extremely frustrated that this amazing thinking process had been around for nearly 20 years, and I was only discovering it then.

Once I started to understand its power and the effect it could have on my thinking, I felt cheated that I was not exposed to it whilst I was at school when I most needed it. (That frustration later helped me bring Mind Mapping and other great learn to learn strategies to over half a million kids and young adults – but that is another story).

Anyway over the years I have integrated its use into my business and personal activities and I can honestly say that it is a very rare day that I don’t do a Mind Map (usually when I am on holiday).

So having integrated it into my life so fully and having reaped the benefits of it (and continue to do so), how do I use Mind Maps myself?

Well this is a question that I am often asked and so here is just a quick list of the number of different ways I have used Mind Maps in the last seven days. It is not an exhaustive list of the many possible uses of Mind Mapping, just a subset of the many options open to you that I have used this last week.

  • Brainstorming everything I need for a forthcoming trip abroad

  • Creating a checklist of all that I need to do for my trip

  • Planning my strategy for a rather awkward telephone call

  • Helping me keep on track during said awkward telephone call

  • Capturing an industry brief for a workshop I was doing in a new sector

  • Planning and prioritising my week���s activities

  • Planning and organising my day

  • Taking notes from a tele-seminar I attended on line

  • Delivering a training programme

  • Organising the agenda for a meeting I have planned on my return from my trip

  • Capturing my thoughts to create a brief for some work I was outsourcing

  • Brainstorming ideas for a new product

  • Designing my strategy for a learning related product I intend to launch later on this year

  • Helping me in my quest to learn to speak Russian

  • Focussing my attention on my short, medium and long term goals

If you read this list you will see that these are just some of the typical activities that millions of people do every day all around the world. I am no different to anyone else who runs their own business except that I use Mind Maps to help me achieve my goals.

However I don’t focus on the Mind Mapping, I focus on the thinking activity necessary required for whatever I am doing; the Mind Map just facilitates that far more effectively than using “conventional�” note taking/making taught when I was at school.

I have said this before and I am sure I will say it many times as well in the future. If ever you have to organise your thoughts on paper, for whatever reason, I do believe that using a Mind Map will allow you to do that far more effectively, efficiently and it will be much more enjoyable.

I only ever use Mind Maps now for my thought organisation because it is natural for me to do so and because I have felt the benefits of doing so for the last 15 years.

Go on try Mind Mapping – You know you want to (and let me know how you get on)

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