Have you heard of or have used mind mapping? I first heard about mind mapping at the Executive PA Forum in 2016 or 15. One of the speakers introduced the concept (as opposed to having a longer workshop on it) but it was enough to get me going. Basically mind mapping is a “graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyse, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas.” So you start with the idea or concept in the middle and then branch out (like a tree). These sub heading can themselves have subheadings and so on. There is an example below so you see what I mean.
The use of colour, and the style of the drawing are up to the individual (mine are nothing fancy!) and you can get software. I prefer pencil and large sheet of paper.
The reason I’m telling you all this is because I am currently organising a conference, as part of a VA project I’m currently working on. Now I’ve used mind maps to prepare for interviews, breakdown reports for study and even to map out starting my own business, but it’s really coming into its own for me for this conference. I don’t consider myself an “events organiser” but I knew that this company has held this conference twice already and the initial work on this year’s conference had already started so I agreed to take it on. After a couple of false starts and becoming overwhelmed by the details and elements, I decided to mind map the whole thing. It was the best thing I ever did. After mapping the main bodies of work and then the sub-bodies and so on, literally every detail of organising this conference is on an A5 sheet on my desk. Once that was established I transferred each “branch” onto a to do list, all eleven sections, adding in deadlines, allocating resources and hyperlinking documents. I also set up the drive with the same eleven headings to reflect the plan. It’s about 70 days to the conference and I’m feeling confident.
So, yes I can definitely recommend mind mapping as a productivity tool. It helps you clarify, think through, plan, organise……. you name it. Google it and give it a go. It saves a lot of time in the long run. Time is money ! If you enjoyed this blog post, subscribe to my monthly productivity newsletter.
Image Copyright Tony Buzan