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Unlock your potential with Mind Maps

I use mind maps every single day!
I create them for lectures, speeches, workflows, business strategies, studies, and prepping for articles like this one. They’ve become such a fundamental part of my process that I take them for granted.

Surprisingly though, many of the people I talk to never use them, They either haven’t taken the time to understand them or they’ve just never gotten around to trying them.

So I figured I’d take a few minutes to try to persuade you to at least give mind mapping a try. It’s a tool that has made a huge difference in my life.

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Mind mapping is seen as a mechanism for taking notes and for better understanding and retaining information. These maps can be used for any thought or knowledge-based process and are a great way of accumulating knowledge regardless of the area you use them in.

They are touted as being more effective than other brainstorming and linear note-taking methods, and they’re a very intuitive way to organize your thoughts. Mind maps basically mimic the way our brains think—bouncing ideas off of each other, rather than thinking linearly.

I’ve come up with half a dozen reasons why they’re worth looking into. . .

My Six Advantages of Mind Maps

1) They Improve Memorisation and Retention
According to memory experts, diagrams are more easily stored in memory than other kinds of visual representation. Mind mapping allows your brain to memorise information in both a visual and a written form.

In a study—“The Efficacy of the Mind Map Study Technique”—researchers found that studying with mind maps helped boost retention by 10-15%.

2) They Enable Meaningful Learning
Meaningful learning is when you are able to connect new education received to the knowledge they already had.

By mapping different bits of information around a central topic, you can form connections between what they already know and what you’re just learning; an exercise that leads to meaningful learning.

3) They Make it Easier to Grasp Complex Issues
There are few things in business more complex than planning major projects or creating strategic plans for the future of your business

In a recent survey on mind-mapping, respondents gave the following feedback. From the results you can see that mind mapping does simplify complex tasks:

92% stated that mind mapping helps them “distil information and reach clarity faster”
83% said mind mapping helps them “share their ideas with greater clarity and impact”
81% said mind mapping helps them “manage projects more efficiently”
67% said it helps them “identify the root causes of business problems”

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4) They Enhance Your Productivity
Chuck Frey, a renowned mind-mapping specialist, conducted an eight-year study on mind-mapping application and effectiveness. Based on this study he established that, on average, mind mapping software helps busy executives to be 20-30% more productive in their work.

5) They Give Your Creativity Jet-Fuel
In the same research from Frey, beginner and experts respondents alike said that mind mapping provides them with a 50% increase in creativity.

6) And Probably The Greatest Advantage – Total Flexibility
There are no limits to what mind maps can be used for, and who can use them. People of all ages, and stages, from scholars to CEOs, can use and benefit from this versatile technique.

Well, that’s my 50 cents worth. I really encourage you to try using them if you haven’t already.

Freehand mapping -vs- software applications
Hand-drawn maps are a great start, but I find them quite rigid as you need to have a picture in your head of what it’s likely to look like when you start. You can’t just shuffle things around unless you’ve got a handy eraser.
Computer-based maps, however, allow you to shuffle ideas around and ‘drag & drop’ elements at will. Since I started using mind mapping software over 10 years ago, I haven’t created a single hand-drawn map.

I use an online product called Mindmeister for all my mapping, but there are a bunch of others to choose from.

Here are a few more popular ones:

Mindmeister | MindMup | XMind | Mindomo | Freeplane

I hope you give mind mapping a try. It might just change your life as much as it changed mine.

Until next week, take care and good luck out there.

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