One of my ‘hidden’ weapons when planning or just trying to get my head around anything is mindmapping. I know Doug True is a big fan of this. It all started in the mid ’70s when I attended a course out at UBC and was introduced to some of Tony Buzan’s books. His viewpoints on how our mind works were intriguing. So began the journey into using mindmaps. I still have one of my first mindmaps that summarizes a meeting. I can’t remember the details but from that mindmap there is certainly the expression that it was a good and productive meeting. They say the ultimate in mindmapping is to create one without words.
Then the personal computer age began and with my first Macintosh (LC – colour) a program called Inspiration appeared. I used that program for years but it moved into the elementary and secondary school realm and became less of a tool for me. Mindet MindManager is what I use now and it is extremely powerful and quick. There are a number of others and it is more a personal choice than anything else.
The question is why does something like this work. We tend to think in linear terms. A + B + C = D. We really push our minds into a box and quickly get into a rut of frustration when we try to deal with problems. A mindmap lets me move out of that box. By brainstorming and creating simple patterns, lines and text and using colour you are able to explore much more that you originally anticipated. One thing I must emphasize here is using colour. Colour can add an element that words can’t and using it expands on what you are attempting to say and solve.
Here is an abbreviated mindmap for The Mount Lehman Show. Any one of the solid coloured boxes can be drilled down to a further level. If you have never tried this before it does take some getting used to because it is so different. But don’t let that stop you from trying.