Mind mapping is a technique used to expand your thoughts on a particular topic. Used alongside brainstorming it can be instrumental in producing innovative results.
Both mind mapping and brainstorming come under the umbrella of lateral thinking. Or, as it is commonly known, ‘thinking outside the box.’
These two techniques are invaluable when it comes to the creative process. So, if you’re writing content and blog posts and need ideas, it’s worth trying.
It’s also useful for any other task or problem which requires inspired thinking. Anything that requires planning can be mind mapped.
A brainstorming session allows you to let ideas flow freely onto the paper. Group sessions are often used in meetings, workshops and classrooms.
Individual brainstorming is useful, too as you can totally open up and record anything that comes into your mind.
Relaxing beforehand is a good idea. Prepare with a large sheet of paper and a pen. Make sure you’re not going to be disturbed.
Write down your central theme, topic or question. Then write down whatever comes into your mind. The trick is to put your ideas down without judgement or interruption.
Even the outlandish ones need to be recorded. What may seem like an odd suggestion could lead on to something of value.
Once you’ve recorded your ideas, it’s time to mind map them.
Mind mapping is a brilliant tool that can help you effectively apply your ideas. You can expand and explore your topic revealing new lines of opportunity.
Starting with the central topic, put the key ideas from your brainstorming session into branches leading from it.
Group the ideas into logical branches using different coloured markers. The different colours should represent a connection between the ideas.
You can then see clearly any ideas that may be worth pursuing and expanding even further upon.
Continue branching out with more ideas, connecting your ideas to the relevant branch. You will be able to see overlaps, connections and solutions.
This method is often useful for finding out what to put in and what to leave out of your writing. You may discover your topic has produced enough ideas for more than one article or blog post.
There are also software programs for mind mapping, if you’d rather not use paper.
Or, you could start on paper and then transfer your ideas onto a program on your computer.