Mind Mapping is a world-renowned technique for brainstorming, organising, studying, presenting, managing projects and much more. Mind Maps are infinitely versatile and have many applications, even some that are less obvious. Here are three less common ways to use Mind Maps in the workplace that you might not have considered.
We’ve all been there – trying to keep up with our phone conversation whilst scribbling down important details on our notepads. If you can’t keep up with the flow of the discussion and you’re missing key points as a result, you need a method for capturing information quickly. Next time you make an important call, Mind Mapping your conversation will help you to remember every detail and record vast quantities of information with ease.
Use the branches of your Mind Map to record the key points of the conversation, like in the example above. This example Mind Map has branches to represent the actions required by each person, the main ideas discussed, anything that has been flagged up and any other interesting points, such as the caller’s details, call time and date.
Mind Mapping, like doodling, is an easy and effective way to stay engaged while processing your phone calls. As you Mind Map, your mind is free to wander so that you can tap into your subconscious and draw out ideas. By Mind Mapping your phone call, you are literally putting your thoughts onto a page, where you can view them as a whole and draw connections between details. Mind Maps use plenty of colours, images and keywords to represent complex information and boost your ability to recall information. Wave goodbye to reams of messy notes and say hello to clear, concise and memorable information. If you or another team member need to refer back to your phone call at a later date, your Mind Map will act as a record, giving a clear overview of the entire conversation on a single sheet.
Poor handling of emails is a serious waste of time. It also makes us rely on linear thinking as we scroll mindlessly up and down through our inboxes. Linear thinking is a singular thought process – there is one path toward completion that relies on a series of logical steps, often ignoring other possibilities. When dealing with a messy inbox, this can be time consuming. Plus, it’s much easier to lose focus on the bigger picture. A Mind Map, on the other hand, opens up your thoughts in all directions using radiating branches that mimic the natural way your brain works. Using a Mind Map, you can bring order to your emails in just a few minutes and save yourself a lot of time later on.
To boost the efficiency of your email management and communication, try running through all of your incoming emails before you reply to them and putting them into a Mind Map. Draw a branch representing each email, noting any connections and recording actions to be taken. You could also jot down any key points that you need to include in your reply. Colour code your branches to define and categorise each email and sort them into groups with the same subject or sender. Colour coding engages the brain, linking the visual with the logical. This allows your brain to create mental shortcuts, helping you to stay focused and bring clarity to a messy inbox. As you build your Mind Map, you can get a clear, organised overview of your inbox and view each email objectively. It’s simple to determine what’s important and what’s not, to see how certain emails will relate and impact on others, and block out your time to achieve optimum productivity when responding.
A creative mental block can usually be overcome by taking part in a short mind wandering activity or getting a change of scenery. When you take a mental break, your brain unconsciously processes information and helps you to generate new ideas. It’s usually when you’re not trying to force a solution that your moment of inspiration strikes. Sometimes, an unintentional conversation with a colleague on your lunch break is all you need to make creative sparks fly. Make sure you’re prepared when your next big idea occurs using a Mind Map.
As soon as you get back to your desk, map out the inspiring discussion you’ve just had, as in the Mind Map above. Use your new idea as the central idea. Your main branches should represent the different aspects of your idea, such as the people involved, the resources required, and any important deadlines and information surrounding your idea. Using short keywords triggers connections in your brain, so you’re more likely to remember the details of your discussion. Adding plenty of icons and images will make your Mind Map more unique and memorable. Images are more evocative than words. They’re more precise and potent in triggering a wide range of associations, thereby enhancing your memory. Having a bird’s eye view makes it easy to analyse the different aspects of your idea and identify connections which may have been missed.
Using Mind Mapping software, such as iMindMap, will speed up all of your Mind Mapping activities. iMindMap’s unlimited canvas offers more flexibility than hand drawn Mind Maps. It’s simple to edit content as you go, and send and share your Mind Maps in just a few clicks. The pre-structured framework means you don’t have to worry about structure. This is ideal when you have to capture information quickly while still maintaining clarity and readability.
You’ve discovered three common occurrences, that we often complete without thought, that can be enhanced with Mind Mapping. Try using Mind Maps to maximise their potential and get the best out of every situation.
Do you know of any other unusual Mind Mapping uses? Share them in the comments section below.← 7 everyday challenges Mind Mapping can help you to overcome Tony Buzan visits home of Mind Mapping to lead ThinkBuzan training courses →