7 reasons for using Mindmaps

Is your head full of ideas and projects that you fail to accomplish? Is time getting in the way to get more things done? Would you like to be more creative and innovative?

If you answered "yes" to any of the questions above, there is a very useful tool you need to use: mindmaps.

A mindmap is a diagram used to represent ideas, tasks, or other items linked and arranged radially around a keyword or central idea.

It is an incredibly flexible tool that lets you manipulate knowledge or information with freedom. This information is captured in boxes, storing different types of data (text, files, links and even links to other mindmaps) which can be rearranged at will. Its visual format provides a global view on a particular topic.

Why to use mindmaps at work or personally?

Mindmap may help you:

  1. Think more clearly. Brainstorming about an issue, especially if it is complex, helps you quickly identify and understand its structure and see how different pieces of information fit together. You can rearrange those pieces quickly and look at them from a different context, until they make sense for you.
  2. Take better decisions. Mindmaps allow you to see the ideas and information quickly exploring priorities, pros and cons, and ultimately allowing you to take better decisions.
  3. Manage your projects. Identify, prioritize and record the key tasks of your projects. Planning your tasks visually will allow you to gain better visibility, from a general overwiew to the smaller details.
  4. Plan. Plan a week, a month or a quarter of work, splittinglarge projects into manageable chunks. Using visual cues, you will realice soon if a project involves many tasks, the type of dependencies among them, what actions should be completed before, etc.
  5. Memorize. Mindmaps allow us to reflect thoughts, knowledge and information in an ordered way through relationships, colors, lines, arrows, in the same way they are processed by our brain, and they help us retain the information in our memory.
  6. Take notes. Mindmaps are a very effective method to take notes and to structure them at the same time. Since mindmaps are more compact than conventional notes, you can group information easily and capture ideas on the fly.
  7. Encourage innovation. Mindmaps make it easier to spot the gaps that may exist in your information. Keywords are triggers for new neural connections that allow us to understand the power of a word and retrieve from memory other contents of a higher level. Visual mindmaps stimulate new ideas, integrating them and, ultimately, boosting innovation.

Although you can easily draw mindmaps by hand, there are software applications that allow you to do them dynamically, sharing them with others so they can contribute ideas, as well as interrelating different mindmaps and searching content across of all them.