Over the years, mind mapping software has evolved from purely a mind mapping tool into a multi-faceted, multi-purpose visual mapping solution with limitless possibilities for use in many different applications and industries. Despite this evolution, the workflow associated with using mind mapping software remains the same. It still hinges on three basic factors: capturing, organizing and implementing ideas.
Mind mapping software is ideal for capturing ideas. After all, the mind mapping technique is built on the premise that a mind map is the external expression of our thoughts. On average, we have between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day. What is even more amazing is that we can harness this power of incredible thinking to create, innovate, plan and implement greater things in our lives. Mind mapping software helps us to tap into this processes and externally express our thoughts in the form a mind map. This is one of the reasons why this tool is great for brainstorming. Of all the mind mapping software on the market, MindMapper is the only solution that comes with built in ideation templates that include general brainstorming, radiant association, attribute listing, process planning, fishbone, backward reasoning, SWOT analysis and forced connection. Of course, mind mapping itself can simply be used to brainstorm and capture ideas; this process is called divergent thinking.
Once you have captured ideas from your mind, it is time to organize them by adding categories and context. Similar ideas can be grouped together and classified into categories for easier management in a hierarchical format. This bottom-up approach to information processing is also called convergent thinking. Categorization also helps us to process and retain information more effectively. Each idea can also be further contextualized in relation to other ideas by adding detailed information, graphical elements and order of importance. Most mind mapping software offers quick ways to move ideas around the mind map, but MindMapper provides the most versatile graphics editor and mind map layouts.
Organized ideas quickly become your plan. This can be a project plan, action plan, business plan or any plan with an end date in mind. Additionally, this can also be a framework for processes, procedures and/or systems. Plans are to be executed, monitored and completed with the end goal in mind. A plan without action is no plan at all. It must be put into action to achieve the intended end result. This is the aspect in which MindMapper shines the brightest, and stands out from other mind mapping software. A plan in a mind map is synchronized with a built-in planner to view, track and monitor time-phased activities of the plan. By connecting the ideation and organization benefits of a mind map with the implementation benefits of planner, you are better prepared to execute the plan and achieve its goal.
Computer-based mind mapping techniques have evolved to be more than just learning and brainstorming aids. They have been widely used by professionals in many different industries for corporate productivity, academic enhancement and personal development. However, the core elements of a mind mapping workflow will always remain the same: the capturing of ideas, the organization of information, and the implementation of a plan.
Mind mapping software is an excellent tool for employing divergent and convergent thinking in problem solving. Rhythmic use of divergent and convergent thinking in a mind map format will certainly help you develop a solution to an issue or problem.