… is something I hear a lot about and have tried to do myself at the beginning of a new idea. On occasion it has worked wonders and the ideas have flowed out of the connective tissue that I have created between the words, and others time it just looks like a complicated over-tangled mess.
I think the problem with this is I have never really been taught to use this as a productive part of the thinking process. So many people swear by it and I know I should be able to grasp its basics. I envision it like a more complicated game of connections, where you say a word and your opponent replies with the first word they ‘connect’ to the word you have just said. I then try to connect the individual words to each other to try and identify a pattern of sorts. Often the problem seems to be there are too many connections and it becomes an impenetrable mass of language.
The second problem is that when I mind map and then leave it or a while, all the ideas it created initially seem to have been erased in the elapsed time. The map itself isn’t stable enough to trigger the ideas it created in the first instance … although this can also be a positive thing as it can trigger better ideas maybe?
My final concern is that to create a thorough or ‘stable’ mind map seems to be time consuming (something I never seem to have enough of) – when you google images of mind maps they are incredibly detailed and use multi textual reference points such as abbreviations, images and words, hyperlinks, web clipping etc. There is even software to help you use mind mapping effectively (yet another one of those things I downloaded to help productivity and failed to get to grips with)
So my day’s dilemma is – if I spend a day training myself to mind map would it be a day well spent or 24 hours I’ll never get back? Mind Map, Mind Flap or Mind Flop? Is mind mapping just another form of procrastination?
I am trialling IMindMap by Think Buzzan.com – I shall post my results on Thursday.