Most of us come up with many unusual and creative ideas during the day but have hard time transforming them into concrete projects or include them in processes. Some of us take notes and make an effort to make use of these new ideas, others easily forget them within the chaotic business day. There is a simple tool that can organize your ideas on a diagram almost like a visual of your train of thoughts printed out right out of your brain. Wouldn’t this kind of tool help you be more creative yet organized?
This powerful tool is called ‘mind mapping.’It is basically a software developed to link ideas, people, tasks or anything you can think of.
Map mapping can be very useful to brainstorm for an innovation, a PR project or come up with your real needs for a home improvement project. Wikipedia describes ‘mind map’ as a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.
A colleague of mine introduced me to mind mapping two years ago working on a telecom project where there were various client types and end-users. Mind mapping helped me be more organized, prioritize steps to advance in the project and make right links between different actors. I could draw a few maps of customer relationships, business flow and potential features that could benefit the target groups. Like many people, I believe in visual aids that simplify complex features or processes. When I have a visual I comprehend more easily, can think of other details as well as grasp the big picture. Although I am an addicted note taker, phrases don’t compare with schematized representations where you can easily see the logical flow or ruptures that do not make sense. So, before your boss, you get the chance to detect what’s wrong and act on it immediately.
Although mind mapping is recently in trend with various software in the market, it is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years. The earliest examples of mind mapping were developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a distinguished philosopher of the 3rd century. He successfully drew diagrams that explained Aristotle’s concepts. Another philosopher famed with his system of logic and information sciences, Ramon Llull used mind maps in this studies after a thousand years from Porphyry. The development of semantics and mind mapping went hand in hand with Allan M. Collins and M. Ross Quillian in the 1960s.
In contemporary business world, mind map can be summed as the management’s ideal: creativity with organization and order. It is proven effective in conducting efficient meetings where people don’t lose attention or interest thanks to the simple visualization, understand the core concept and input new ideas by interacting with colleagues. It is a great technique if you would like to solve problems, outline projects or brainstorm as a team during a meeting. Mind mapping opens the meeting for constructive discussion and keeps everyone motivated. What else would you want?
Ela Erozan Gürsel writes a weekly column named “Değişim Yelpazesi ” on global business trends for Dünya Gazetesi on behalf of Datassist for almost two years. Her feature topics include: green energy; climate change; impacts of financial crisis on companies, sectors and regions; innovative technologies in sciences, human resources and management; social networks transforming business and politics; changing dynamics of marketing and branding.
She also writes articles for international magazines published in Singapore.
Prior to her writing career, she worked at Datassist as a Project Manager in a project that combines human resources and mobile communications with the aim to connect blue-collar workers and employers through mobile phones. Before engaging in this exciting project, she was in pharmaceutical sales working for a multinational company. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC, majoring in International Studies with a concentration on International Business and Europe. She worked in Washington D.C. as an Account Manager at a boutique telemarketing firm that specializes in fund raising and publication renewals. She speaks Turkish, English, French, and Spanish. She currently resides in Singapore with her husband.