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A step-by-step method to Mind Maps at home?

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Mary asked - Can you give me a step-by-step method to try Mind Mapping at home?

Jennifer Goddard's picture

Mary... See the other


See the other comments I made to your other questions on Mind Maps for creativity and use in everyday live to get an idea on using Mind Maps at home.  Also download the worksheet How to Mind Map and the Laws of Mind Mapping and use that as your instruction and guide to creating a fantastic Mind Map.

The first thing to get started with Mind Mapping at home, or anywhere else, is to work with the key ingredients to any thinking activity - Focus, People and Time.  You need all three to be successful.  So ask yourself what is it you want to Mind Map, what do you want to think about, plan, decide etc.  A good clear single FOCUS makes getting started easier - remember you can always do other Mind Maps if you have a lot of things to think about.  Also consider how detailed you want to be.  Doing a Mind Map on your Life Goals will need a much higher level level focus, while a Mind Map to plan Saturday night's dinner party can be much more detailed.

Second, ask yourself if you will do the Mind Map yourself, or will you do it with your partner or the kids, sister etc.  Doing a Mind Map with family members can be a lot of fun, and everyone love getting their ideas in.  This is the PEOPLE ingredient, and is quite important.  Also consider if you, and/or the other involved, have the knowledge needed to do the thinking, to do the Mind Map you want.  Not having the knowledge to creatively contribute to or work through the Mind Map, because the focus is wrong for the people involved, can be very frustrating.  I know that if I sat down and tried to Mind Map a plan to say 'open heart surgery' I wouldn't have any chance of success.  I may be a good Mind Mapper but I know nothing about heart surgery.

Last, how much TIME will you dedicate to the Mind Map.  There is no sense planning to do a major Mind Map on your goals for the coming year, if you are only going to give yourself 20 minutes at the kitchen counter while your partner is BBQing dinner for the family.  You need to allow enough time to do the subject justice and you need to set up the space for yourself to work. If you are Mind Mapping yourself find a comfortable place to work, quiet or with some suitable music.  You need to be upright at a desk or table.  If Mind Mapping with others, make sure you are positioned so everyone can see the map.

If you are Mind Mapping on paper, get a few A3 sheets and some Stabilo coloured pens, draw your Central Image to capture your Focus.  Maybe do a relatively quick Mind Map burst, fast as you can, without much stopping, to capture your current thinking.  Do this in about 20-30 mins maximum. The get another A3 sheet and really emphasise your Central Image, start to draw your main branches, taking things from your Mind Map burst, but adding and changing as things become clearer.  Keep following the laws of Mind Mapping, using key words, colour and images as much as possible.  If you have to, leave the Mind Map out for a few days and go back and add to it as new ideas come to you.

If you are Mind Mapping with software such as iMindMap you follow much the same approach, and you can go back and add more in anytime.

Be sure to have a look at some of the sample Mind Maps on this website under Resources to see some great maps, and seek to make each map you do more interesting, exciting, fun and better than the last.

I hope this helps with you getting started.  Have fun.

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