Mind maps are a tool used to represent ideas or virtually any form of data in a hierarchical way. It allows you to build trees of information and link clouds between each other. I was very sceptical about their usefulness when I was first introduced to them. After a year of use, I can only highly recommend their universal use.
There is 3 things everyone should be tought to use since an early age :
- 4-screen todo lists and no other kind of todo-lists.
All of these should be linked, although not much seems to be done out there…ANYWAY
What do Mind Maps look like ? This :
So why use a mindmap ?
A mindmap is meant to remove from your head whatever new idea you have. It has shown to allow more new ideas to come as well as relieving the brain from the pain of remembering.
Have you had those moments where you think about something (to do, to offer someone, to buy …) you know you should write it but you over trust your memory and tell yourself “Mhhh…ok this is good I’ll have to remember it”…Statistically, you either forget, or it comes back much later only when the right context is there to retrieve that idea left under a pile of dusty brains.
The virtue that results from this is a faster throughput of ideas. Save your brains for generating ideas, remembering them can be done outside your brain. As you put a rough idea of something, the next vision of it will be more defined, and other random ideas might come up and somewhat link to the main idea. The connections can be drawn on your software.
Basically, I strongly recommend their use as a brain supplement. It really does work. You’ll be generating ideas and linking them outside your brain and let your brain shit-free and running at nearer to full potential.
The use of mind maps is particularly pertinent in situations where you have difficulty focusing and making progress.
That’s probably more useful to men that women, whom generally tend to be able to think deeply about one thing at a time while women I would say are more like to already use mind maps in their head. Women indeed have a much better ability for looking at the big picture and taking everything into account. We men think linearly, step by step.
What software to use ?
Like for todo lists or calendars, don’t spend time looking for the best. Use that energy to be disciplined and constently use whatever tool you have chosen when it should be used. Otherwise it’s like looking forever for the BEST gym and end up going there only once a month…
There is also online collaborative versions. One out of many is MindMeister.
I use FreeMind on Linux. It is available on Windows and Mac as well. The interface could be much more improved but it does the job. More information on mindmaps and softwares can b found on this dedicated blog.