Friday, January 20, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Practical Mind Mapping

The best way to have a look at the pros and cons of practical mind mapping is to compare it with regular mindmaps and computer mindmaps. Practical Mind Mapping is a practical system that can be used on a computer but on paper as well.

The first thing that people who learn about practical mind mapping tell me is that it is so easy to use it. They (literally) create overviews in less than one minute. And this one overview helps them during the entire week, or even longer!

What areas in your life do you use it?

Many people use mindmaps in one of these three areas: personal, academic/educational and professional/business. Most people use mindmaps for note taking. This can be straightening out their thoughts, taking business notes or during a lecture or meeting. All three kinds of mapping (traditional, computer and practical) can be used in these situations.

There is a big difference when you use your maps for studying. Traditional maps rely heavily on images and colorful branches. This is often also done with computer maps. Practical mindmaps don't use (m)any images. They use colors to create a memorable overview. Using only colors and no images may sound not good enough when creating visual overviews, but the maps really do stick in your mind! The pro of the practical map is definitely the easiness in which you create the maps. A con could be that the map is not that 'picture' like as a traditional mindmap user would like it to be.

Speed of implementation!

Have you ever created a mindmap? The people I interviewed told me that it usually takes a lot of time to create a traditional or computer mindmap. Especially the images! Most people who stop mind mapping tell me that this is because it takes too much time to mindmap.

One of the techniques used in the practical mind mapping system is the one minute mindmap. Yes, in less than one minute, you create a mindmap. This map shows you then exactly what you need to know. A con of this could be that you miss certain information. The people I trained to use this system never experienced this. And let's be honest... every system can have this con:).

Actually using the maps

When you create a traditional mindmap, when you are done, you're done. The map is ready and will only be reviewed. This is fine for some purposes. Yet most of the time, you want the map to reflect the current state or desired situation. You want the information in the map to be alive and ready to grow with you!

The computer mindmap allows you to do this since those maps outline themselves automatically when you change them.

A practical mindmap will do that on your computer (of course), but also on paper! This makes it the ideal tool to use the information, to update it and to make it reflect the current status of your notes, meeting, project, etc.

Overall, practical mindmaps are tools that help you especially well in situations like project management, personal development, goal setting, studying and thought capturing. They may not be that easily used in presentations (due to their personal nature).

The next time you are looking for an easy tool to help you capture lots of information, thoughts and ideas, have a look at practical mind mapping. It will save you time and help you move forward.

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