A mind map is a visual representation of ideas and thoughts that can be captured through the use of software or by simply drawing it out on paper. In one form it may look like a tree with multiple branches coming from one trunk. This trunk or root may be a business proposition, career plan or any aspect of life. When developed it becomes an invaluable tool to analyze and organize the root of the mind map.
Mind mapping your way to reaching goals starts by placing the desired outcome in the center of the map or root. Then connect branches to represent gaps, challenges or road blocks to reaching the objective. As an example, let’s take an entrepreneur starting out who knows what they want to market and sell but has never run a business. A gap in their accounting knowledge has been identified requiring a goal of learning a software application such as QuickBooks. With the goal defined and placed at the root or level 1 of the mind map, they can start documenting the level 2 offshoots.
This might include the need to purchase a computer to run the software.
Further analysis may reveal that in order to make the purchase, level 3 tasks will need to be completed including research to determine the best computer for the job, consolidation of other IT processing and where to obtain the funding. Drilling down, it’s easy to see how additional level 4 actions may be defined. Circling back to level 2 a training class may be needed to help with the learning curve of the new software. But before that can be completed, a training provider needs to be found, identification of how the software will be used and other undertakings at level 3.
Once that level is completed, start on the next level 2 requirement until all the challenges have been identified. After a few iterations the mind map will fill out with tasks and dependencies that will need consideration or completion to reach the root goal. To some it will look like a project plan in pictures. To make the map most usable and progress tracking easy, get creative and develop a system of color coding to show completed, open and work in progress tasks.