Mind map: organize non-linear thinking and conversations

A mind map is simply creating a diagram of thoughts or conversations that relate to other important ideas. During a conversation with a client, I often let the client tell their story without interruption. Important facts are relayed, but in a less than logical order. By mind mapping, I’m free to place the facts wherever you they’re relevant. In other words, a mind map allows me to note the conversation in a non-linear fashion–which is basically the way the client is telling their story.Mindmapping

Use with Livescribe to take Notes

When I’m listening to a lecture or engaged in a conversation, mindmapping is a quick and non-intrusive way to take notes. (Using a mind map with a Livescribe pen is especially powerful, but more on that in another blog.)

Mindjet Mindmanager

When working at my computer or on my iPad, I prefer to use  Mindjet MindManager.

When I’m thinking about a new idea, I’ll open up a new mind map and drop in thoughts as they occur to me. I can then quickly reorganize the ideas. This website is the product of mind mapping. As I think of new ideas, I drop them into the appropriate topic. If I discuss similar ideas in different blogs, I can draw lines showing a relationship.


Prior to making a phone call or a client meeting, I’ll jot conversation points into a mind map along with important details. As I’m talking, I can stay on track and find essential information by just glancing at the map.
When the number of projects and tasks become overwhelming, I’ll use a mind map to show the most urgent projects along with their deadlines.

I place icons in the mind map showing priorities and draw arrows between tasks and projects to help me make sense of both the details and the big picture.

At one time, before Nozbe came onto the scene, I used Mindjet MindManager to organize every detail of my work. Unfortunately, the mind map eventually became very unwieldy. Setting up a dashboard, with links to individual mind maps, helped. After much trial-and-error, I reverted to using Mindjet MindManager to visualize the big picture and for other uses I discuss above. However, I wouldn’t be without the program, because it helps me from getting lost in a sea of projects.

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