Mind Mapping and David Allen’s Getting Things Done

I was reading a blog article this morning on Edwins Mind Mapping Blog where he asked the question: "How good can Mind Mapping be for GTD (Getting Things Done)?"

Well let’s have a quick look at two of the most significant advances in personal effectiveness in the last 30 years.

mind_map_book_cover.jpgOn the one hand we have Mind Mapping.

This is the incredible thinking tool invented by Tony Buzan that takes advantage of our brain’s natural thought processes and associative mechanisms to give the user tremendous advantages in:

    • memory recall and retention,  
    • greater levels of concentration,  
    • increased understanding,  
    • dramatically improved creativity, 
    • significantly higher information handling abilities

 Mind Mapping can either be done by hand or you can use software (on your computer, on the web or even on a portable device like an iPhone).

Now I won’t go into the pros and cons in any great depth right now, but just understand that the two forms of the tool do have very different applications and advantages with only minimal overlap.

gtd_cover.jpgSo on the other hand we have the Getting Things Done (GTD) philosophy developed by Personal Productivity Guru David Allen.

The book is subtitled "The Art of Stree Free Productivity" and is the distillation of an amazing personal effectivess strategy.

I think trying to explain what it is would do it an dis-service because you really have to experience it to really understand just how powerful it is.

It is the collection of some very simple to apply habits, coupled with a paradigm shift on what stress free productivity means, implemented with some very basic and everyday office tools.

Again I will stress that "Getting Things Done" (GTD) is very difficult to describe AND do it justice so it is probably better for me to explain the benefits of the system:

Imagine complete peace of mind coupled with a powerful feeling of being in total control together with the experience of getting the right things done FAST!

That is the power of this amazing philosophy.

Now I have been using both Mind Mapping and some of the GTD philosophy for a few years now and the closest I got to integrating the two of them was using my hand drawn maps to plan my day.

 I have been using Mind Mapping for a long time and so I had already been planning my projects using the tool, taking my notes with it etc when I discovered David Allen’s GTD.

So I was already quite productive on one level.

What GTD gave me was an additional set of ideas that had a dramatic impact on my personal productivity (I am not going to tell you any more – go buy the book!!!).

But even then I did not really integrate the two philosophies of Mind Mapping and Getting Things Done until I discovered the power and benefit of incorporating the use of Mind Mapping Software into the way I run my business (and indeed my life).

To me this was quite an amazing revelation, especially when I saw (and then modeled) one of the world’s leading online business Gurus combining David Allen’s GTD principles with the effective use of Mind Mapping Software.

When you take these two powerful philosophies and combine them together then "Wow" and I mean "Wow".

As an experiment I started applying some key personal productivity and effectiveness principles with Mind Mapping Software.  These included:

  • Getting rid of mental clutter to sharpen my mental focus and energies
  • Using projects to get things done quicker and far more effectively
  • Reducing thinking time by creating templates and check lists
  • Setting up systems to keep track of all "loose ends"
  • Managing my knowledge to eliminate information overwhelm

2.jpgI then shared these ideas with a group of online business owners as part of something I called "The Business Profit Productivity Blueprint".

The results not only amazed me, but the lucky participants on the trial were literally blown away.

One guy claimed back 10 hours a week that he now spends with his family.

Another stopped worrying and started sleeping better and a third suddenly found life "so much easier".

In this video, Jan Kemp an online business owner shares what she thought of the program:

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 So if you too want to see how you can combine the essential principles of Getting Things Done together with using Mind Mapping, then go and check out The Business Profit Productivity Blueprint now.

P.S. – When you do now, make sure you read Bruce Brodeen’s case study and video and see what Bonnie Terry also has to say in her video.

P.P.S – This program is perfect for you whether you run your own business or not because it is about getting things done fast with the least effort and eliminating information overwhelm – just show me someone who doesn’t need help with that!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dan July 25, 2009 at 9:43 am

    If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:


    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.