What is mind mapping? Here’s what it is, its underrated benefits, plus three simple steps you can start using it in your business.
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You have a million ideas running in your head.
And you’re struggling to fit them without losing sight of the big picture.
What do you do?
Easy: You create a mind map.
In this guide, I’ll show you what mind mapping is, the underrated benefits of using it in your business, and how you can get started in just three simple steps.
This guide also features mind mapping tools and examples from business owners and marketers.
Any time you’re unsure of how to apply this visual technique in your business, you can always come back here for inspiration.
What is mind mapping?
Mind mapping is a visual technique that shows how ideas relate to a central theme (Remember the spider diagrams you often drew in school?).
Thanks to their visual representation, you can use mind maps in any use case.
Writing an article. Outlining a product design process. Or even building an ad campaign.
Imagine you’re a Facebook ads strategist planning a marketing funnel.
You might start with “Ad Campaign” as the central theme and branch out to your audience profiles.
In the following secondary branches, you might add details like ad creatives. Further subtopics could include the campaign’s duration or budget.
Note-taking has its place, but it’s often too linear for us to see the overall structure of our plan.
If you struggle to connect the dots in your linear notes, draw concept maps instead. You’ll have an easier time visualizing the full picture.
What are the benefits of these concept maps?
Not convinced of how useful mind maps are? In this section, we’ll dig deeper at the underrated benefits of these network diagrams and why you should use them in your business.
1. You visualize better
Mind maps show how ideas go together.
Linear notes don’t — at least, not in a clear way.
Imagine presenting your project plan to stakeholders with spreadsheets. Instead of getting nods of approval, you see them looking confused, or worse, bored.
Now compare that with mind maps, where everyone understands the plan in seconds.
That’s what Seema Nayak discovered when she presented her content strategy to stakeholders at AdChina.io.
Here’s how her mind map looks on MindMaster:
Are you looking for a tool to help stakeholders visualize your project plans so you can get their approval?
Here’s a mind mapping tool we recommend: KeepSolid Goals.
Source: KeepSolid Goals
This goal and project management software offers a mind map tool to help you divide project objectives into KPIs and tasks you’ll need to achieve them.
There’s even an option to assign roles and set deadlines — a handy feature if you often work with teams and need help with accountability!
Grab the KeepSolid Goals lifetime deal for $39 on AppSumo today.
2. You stay organized
Mind maps assemble complicated information.
These visual diagrams help you understand how they tie back to your larger goals by organizing ideas from different sources.
The marketing team at Clarity Capital uses mind maps during their brainstorming sessions. After each meeting, they’d use the mind map to recall the most important points and put their plans into action.
“The visual representation makes information digestible and organized. We add details to the mind map as the meeting progresses, connecting ideas being tossed in an integrated manner.”
Kimberly Smith, Marketing Manager at Clarity Capital
That’s how great mind maps are: They ensure we’re staying on track and working toward tangible goals.
3. You save time (and money!)
With better organization comes more productivity, which leads to you saving more time and money down the road.
At Heart Life Insurance, Jimmy McMillan uses Coggle to plan his content strategy.
Without mind maps, he would have wasted thousands of dollars creating orphaned content (i.e., content that doesn’t get linked from other pages of the same website) — all because he couldn’t see the big picture.
“Mind mapping has resulted in 35% lower content creation costs plus untold hours in time savings. It’s been impactful for my company.”
Jimmy McMillan, Owner and Financial Content Manager at Heart Life Insurance
How to get started with mind mapping?
Mind maps are fantastic, aren’t they?
You’re now ready for the next stage: Drawing your first mind map to organize your scattered ideas.
Imagine you’re an entrepreneur running a beauty affiliate website. You’re planning your ebook lead magnets for two audiences: Skincare novices and makeup novices.
Now, what do you do next?
(Note: We’ll use the software tool KeepSolid Goals in this example.)
Step #1. Start with a central topic
In the center of your paper or mind mapping software, start with your central idea.
In this case, it’s Lead Magnet.
Step #2. Create main topics
Next, set your main topics (e.g., skincare and makeup) as your primary branches.
You can do this easily by clicking the ‘+’ sign if you’re using a software tool.
Step #3. Follow up with subtopics
Now, brain dump any subtopics you can think of. These will make up your secondary branches. Go wide!
Create more branches as you see fit. Here’s how it looked when I branched out a subtopic:
Tip: If you’re working on big projects — you know, projects that involve clients or co-workers — include important information (e.g., KPIs, timeline) in your mind maps.
Let’s say you’ve hired a ghostwriter for your ebook lead magnets, and you want to set deadlines.
In KeepSolid Goals, click the assign button and input your ghostwriter’s email address. And while you’re at it, set the deadline in the date field.
This is where mind map software tools shine.
Sure, you can jot down these additional details on paper, but it’ll require additional steps:
- Take a photo of your pencil-drawn mind map.
- Email it to team members.
- Assign roles and set deadlines in your project management tool.
Who has the time for that?
Mind map apps allow you to do all these tasks in a single platform.
Declutter your brain with mind mapping
Mind maps boast tons of benefits.
They help us organize messy information and visualize in an engaging way.
They also boost productivity and save time and money.
But which should you use? Paper and pens, or a software tool?
If you’re planning a simple project (e.g., writing an article) and you’re the only person involved, paper and pen will do just fine.
However, suppose you’re working on complex projects that involve multiple collaborators, KPIs, and key milestones. In that case, you’ll need a mind mapping app to keep everyone on track.
Which is why you want to check out KeepSolid Goals.
This tool does more than creating mind maps.
Set deadlines. Divide project objectives into individual tasks. Track your team’s progress.
Anyone can stay on top of their business goals with this tool.
Grab the KeepSolid Goals lifetime deal for $39 on AppSumo today.