Mindmapping: How to keep on doing it!


Mindmapping helps you unleash your creativity. Mindmapping assists you in a variety of tasks in your work and personal life. It also helps you to keep your head clear of all the clutter that’s in there. David Allen,  mister Getting Things Done, calls the state where you have everything out of your head, Mind like water.

But starting with mindmapping may sound easy, how do you make sure mindmapping is part of your daily routine?

Here are some basic tips:

1. Have gear available: always!

I have mindmapping software installed on my computer. Actually I have two: Freemind, an open source mindmap program for different platforms and Mindmanager Pro, available for Windows and OSX.

I always have paper and pencils (in 4 colors) around. I prefer to mindmap on sheets of A4 paper but I also have a Moleskine reporter notebook dedicated for mindmaps.

2. Try, try, try again.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to mindmapping. If you are not happy with a map, throw it away and start over. Read about ways to enhance your mindmaps, try new ways and approach subjects from different angles.

3. File your mindmaps. 

I have found that mindmaps that didn’t look so good when I made them, provided very valuable information and insight when I reviewed them. So it is my habit to keep my mindmaps.

How to start with mindmapping

Mindmapping example from Tony Buzan

When I first started to draw mindmaps a whole new flow of creativity on a lot of subjects started. Mindmapping has quite a bit exposure on the Internet also. There are several online mindmapping sites.

I already wrote about Mindmeister as an online tool but there are others too, just google on ‘online mindmapping tools’. Or read the excellent review over at Web Worker Daily. On the computer my favorite is Mindmanager Pro.

When you first start with mindmapping I strongly advise you to start of with pen and paper. I like to mindmap with pencils in four colors and just a plain sheet of paper. One of the drawbacks of mindmapping on the computer (online of offline) is that working with the keys and functions of the program interrupts the flow. And flow is important when you are mindmapping.

When you have learned all the right shortcut keys and are comfortable with your mindmap tool of choice at the computer, mindmapping digitally helps you out with a variety of tasks like brainstorming, writing papers and keeping lists.