Keeping up with brainstorming sessions in the office can be very challenging—especially if your main role is to try to take down every single information that gets thrown around in the drawing room! Taking down notes in meetings and creating reports for all the employees can be a daunting task, and absolutely overwhelming—but not if you learn how to use mind mapping techniques throughout the discussion.
The concept of using mind maps was introduced by the “Use Your Head” TV series host and psychology author Tony Buzan. It is, in a nutshell, the use of a visual diagram that puts a main idea or concept as a central point and flairs out into branches and branches of subtopics in a radial fashion.
In mind maps, you only write down specific key words, images, colours or lines that ultimately help you understand and recollect the information, without jotting down pages after pages of data! And since the diagram readily shows how different ideas and concepts relate to each other, according to their level of importance and the size of detail, you never miss out a crucial piece of data, and at the same time, you’re always aware of how everything falls into place.
So how to use mind mapping for your next brainstorming session? Here are some effective tips:
Ditch the Linear Outlines. Traditional note-taking involves the instinctual use of the usual left to right, up to down, paragraph-based recordings of information—this is, after all, how jotting down data has been drilled into our young and impressionable minds in school. Problem is, we always end up with confusing scribbles and lines after lines of data that will take hours to break down into sensible bits.
What’s great about using mind maps is that the diagram itself is designed to give an instant perception of what the focus of an idea is, and how the information that follows thereafter relates to the main topic, all in an organised and categorised hierarchy. All you need is your sheet of paper or notebook page, or the office whiteboard, if you’d like your colleagues to see the progress you’re making, some pens, your imagination, and you’re good to go! Place your main topic or subject matter into the centre of your map, then branch out to your subtopics and concepts, until all the details of your new project has been covered.
Get Creative! using mind maps is all about maximising the use of our brain’s cortical skills—how we perceive lines, shapes, colours, images, numbers, all that good stuff—so use it to its full potential! The materials you’ll be using in your brainstorming mind maps may vary depending on your office’s guidelines and restrictions, but separating each branch with coloured schemes will help you distinguish different categories in your map, no matter how detailed and intricate it becomes. Images beside keywords also reinforce our memory retention, acting out as ‘visual cues’ and ‘memory triggers’ that make it a breeze to remember important data for when you’re making that after-meeting report. Get creative and get visual—that, essentially, is the genius behind using mind maps.
Get the Best Mind Mapping Software. Speaking of genius: now, there are readily available mind mapping software that takes the use of this revolutionary tool to the next level—incorporating this effective technique into your company’s systems for an even easier way to track down your team’s progress and ensure effortless information dissemination among all the members.
MindGenius is the leading mind mapping software in Australia—with its user-friendly interface and amazingly smooth integration into standard office programs, digital mind mapping has never been easier. And with its dedicated Australian and New Zealand support team, it’s no wonder that it has reached a 600,000-strong clientele.
Fill up the contact form now for more information about how MindGenius can help you and your team increase your productivity, eliminate stagnation, and ensure every project’s success! Download your 30-day trial now!