What are Mind Maps?

Mind Mapping ToolsMind Maps are a great way to organise and structure ideas into a visual diagram and are helpful for brain storming tasks, problem solving, note taking and planning. Working from a single point, the user adds keywords as branches to the single point, then adds further keywords to the new branch and so on until every item is mapped, in what looks like a tree or road map.

A Mind Map can be done using a pen on paper, as a presentation on a whiteboard, or using more sophisticated but cost effective software.

Why use Mind Maps?

1.    Speed

Mind Maps can be a fast and effective way to get large volumes of information down quickly. A speedy Mind Map can result in the task ahead getting started. Changes to Mind Maps can be done in a speedy method. When using pen to paper, it is as simple as deferring the connecting line, whilst using software, it can be done by simply dragging and dropping the branch to a new parent topic.

2.    Hierarchies

Hierarchies within mind maps are simple and permit the user to see all levels at once, if using software, it will also allow the user to hide/display levels depending how far the user wishes to drill down. Hierarchies provide structure to the Mind Map, quickly helping the user get an understanding of the processes that are necessary to be undertaken primarily in relation to what is being mapped.

3.    Alterations

When creating mind maps, alterations are frequently completed before the final result has come to. It’s easy to make alterations in mind maps, if something is flagged as being in the wrong place, the author can move the keyword to a new location/branch or completely delete it. This makes it extremely useful for planning on the fly.

4.    Visual Tool

If you’re a visual person, mind maps can help you to see the full picture in a simple snapshot. Having all the information available and plotted is a great start to any task before starting. Visually seeing all of this can greatly improve the user getting an understanding of the tasks ahead.

5.    Flags and colours

As most Mind Maps today include colours and flags, Mind Maps can be used to highlight the importance of certain tasks, and quickly draw attention to milestones and strong points of any work.

More often today, Mind Maps are being used in the workplace, being able to get information out and documented in a speedy and accurate manner is vital. Having the ability to do this in either a free hand or electronic manner is a great advantage to any workplace and a fantastic tool.

Read more about Mind Maps on Wikipedia