KnowledgeWorkx have been using mindmapping ever since companies like Mindjet produced Mindmanager. Personally I've been using the software for many years now.
It’s something that I came across whilst studying, an alternative way to structure thinking and how to use software to structure the thinking of people. This has been a very powerful and natural way of structuring thinking for me and I can’t do without it. I use it on the phone, computer, when taking notes on paper and the reason I find it so powerful is because it connects the left and the right brain together and starts to fire the neurons up so that they work together.
The left side of the brain is more cognitive and provides linear thinking whereas the right is more creative and has a more visually concentric way of thinking. So when you harness both to structure your own or group thinking it helps you think faster.
Document-creating software which have been produced (e.g. Word, Excel) are predominantly assuming a linear way of thinking, bullet points a, b, c and maybe a subset of thoughts, but our brain doesn't work like that. It is much more complex. Thinking is not linear it is circular and complex, thoughts float in and out which are maybe not linked to start with.
With mindmapping you can capture all of that. We've repeatedly tested this and seen that mindmapping is quicker and it keeps people on track. Not just using linear thinking, but also a visual fashion helps them to keep track of everything that has been discussed.
This is extremely powerful and is one reason why we are big advocates of mindmapping.
Mindmapping also helps when you are working with cultures that are more oral cultures, as mindmapping is much more in line with how oral cultures are structured.
Software vs. Paper?
Learning to mindmap takes some time, because you have to trust that the mindmapping process will deal with non-linear thinking. Rather than skipping over a thought as with linear thinking you create a space in the mindmap and come back to it when the discussion returns to that point.
Depending on whether you are working individually or with a group, you can use software or paper; it really makes no difference apart from the ease of storing and sharing.
At KnowledgeWorkx we originally started using Mindjet many years ago when there were few software available, but these days there are many such as Xmind and Mindmeister that are pushing towards the quality of Mindmanager and are also more price competitive.
Mindmapping and its applications
Brainstorming with mind maps is extremely powerful when a group has had time to pre-think and feels they are in a safe environment to share. In this scenario you are able to capture collective thoughts at least 30-40% quicker from a group. The organization of the thinking, structuring around subjects and themes, is a secondary task to collecting the ideas.
It’s energizing, exciting, liberating and helps others to be much more participative in meetings. In addition it provides a natural process to the meeting. First you dump all the thoughts from collective thinking onto a mindmap. Then you organize it in groups and themes and subjects and thirdly you start to weed out the stuff that isn’t constructive.
Meetings move faster as a result and people are more focused. People involved feel more energized and contribute more as a result.
As a final thought, mindmapping is also one of our tools that we recommend as part of the time efficiency program. The combination of mindmapping, alongside Email Workflow Management and David Allen’s Getting Things Done is extremely powerful.
Quite simply put we wouldn’t live without it and would be happy to show you how you too can speed things up by using mindmapping.
Tony Buzan is the world's foremost expert on thinking visually, and a leading lecturer on the brain and learning. Tony has lectured to diverse audiences, ranging from large corporations, to universities, to governments. Tony invented Mind Maps in the 1970s, and has been instructing millions in this technique ever since. The Mind Map is a visual representation of the thought process, and became instantly popular as a creative, innovative and efficient alternative to linear notation. The Mind Map is an adaptable tool for just about anything: planning, organizing, creating, presenting, problem solving, communicating and many more!
For more information on how KnowledgeWorkx use Mindmapping to create value for their customers, Contact us.