I’ve discovered a way to get more done and make better decisions … in less time.
And even though that sounds like a good headline for a product, it’s actually a simple technique you can use any time you want.
It’s made a huge difference in my work and personal life by making me more efficient and better organized.
I’m making smarter decisions. My projects are turning out stronger. And I have a clearer overall, more focused view of everything I do.
Plus – and this is a biggie – I now take more action and I do it faster.
For example, two of my goals this year were to write a book and start my own cooking website. It’s the end of April. My website is live, and I’m happy to report that the book is on track to becoming a reality.
So today I’m going to show you the technique I’m using, and how you can use it to get the same results in your own life.
It’s called “mind mapping.” Have you heard of it?
Put simply, a mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas that are in your head. By being able to visualize your thoughts and then organize them, you’re able to better analyze, comprehend, recall, and generate new ideas.
And even though it may sound a little confusing to start, its power is in its simplicity.
Here is a simple example of a mind map that I created to keep track of my ideas for Wealthy Web Writer articles:
How mind mapping works …
Traditional note taking, where you arrange ideas and concepts in a structured manner, limits you to left-brain thinking only. It’s logical and analytical.
But a mind map’s free-flowing structure takes advantage of the full range of your analytical AND creative skills by encouraging right-brain thinking and helping you think more visually.
The result? Better and more complete, more creative, results.
Ideas for using mind maps …
There are many uses for mind maps, ranging from marketing plans to shopping lists, but here are the most relevant when you’re writing content.
You want to brainstorm new ideas. Whether you’re writing a book, an essay, a sales promo, or a money-making website, a mind map is the perfect way to get your ideas flowing.
You have a problem, and you can’t choose a solution. When you have a problem bugging you, and you can’t choose a solution, a mind map can help you weigh the pros and cons of each solution. Better still, it can help you come up with solutions that you didn’t realize existed.
You want to organize your research. As a writer or web marketer, you’re constantly doing research and coming across information that will be useful in a specific project. By creating a mind map for every project – whether you’re working on it now, or plan to work on it in the future – you’ll automatically organize your research by adding it to the corresponding map as you find it. Once you’re ready to get started on the project, all of your valuable research and information will be waiting for you.
You want to evaluate where your money is coming from. As a web writer, you’ll want to have your “income eggs” in various baskets, so you’re never relying on a single source of income. But it’s equally important to evaluate your various baskets, to see where you should be focusing your time and energy. A mind map can visually show you exactly how much revenue is coming from which basket.
How to create your first mind map …
I personally use software called MindManager to create my mind maps, because I like to store them digitally and share them with other people as needed. But you can also create one by using a piece of paper. (I recommend using a landscape layout.)
Start in the middle of the page, and write down the big idea that you want to develop. Then draw a circle around it.
Next write down subtopics that are related to your big idea. Draw a shape around them, and then connect each one to your big idea by drawing a line.
Repeat the same process for each of those subtopics, writing down lower-lever subtopics as you see fit, and connecting them to their corresponding subtopic.
Link subtopics to other subtopics if relevant.
Some tips for drawing a mind map …
Use colors, symbols, and ALL CAPS to help you emphasize important points. It will help organize your map and make obvious connections between ideas stand out.
Keep the topic labels very short. One to two words at the most.
If your big idea doesn’t really have any subtopics, write down keywords or even draw pictures to further flesh it out.
Final thoughts …
If you’re looking to improve your brainstorming process, or maybe you’ve been putting off a task or project for too long, try drawing a mind map. You’ll think more creatively, you’ll get more done in less time, and most importantly – you’ll take action, faster.
Or try drawing a mind map for your own information website, and see just how easy it is.
Grab a piece of paper, write in the middle, and draw a circle around it.
Then write down all of the things you’re passionate about around that circle. Think of topics that you wouldn’t mind writing a few, quick paragraphs about every day.
Break those passion topics into even smaller subtopics. And use colors and ALL CAPS to indicate the ones you’re most excited about.
Yes, it’s really that easy.