How I Use Mind Mapping in My Freelance Business

Image courtesy of bplanet/ freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of bplanet/ freedigitalphotos.net

While mind mapping is nothing new, the concept has been garnering a lot of attention in the past few years.  Not being one to easily change my ways, I have been slow in embracing the use of mind maps.  Even though many time management gurus have promoted the usefulness of mind mapping, I just thought of the idea as, well, as just silly.  Not wanting to be the one who consistently ignores the advice of experts, I decided to give it a try a couple months ago and have been using mind maps, both personally and in my freelance business, ever since.

What is Mind Mapping?

Mind mapping is a graphic representation of thoughts and ideas, and the relationship between those thoughts and ideas, using a diagram that consists of nodes and lines.  This method of note taking, idea capturing, and/or outlining has a more visually oriented and flexible structure than traditional note taking.

 

Mind mapping

How I use Mind Mapping

While I originally tried mind mapping for the purpose of developing and planning long-term goals, it has now replaced traditional note taking in many aspects of my freelance business.

  • Goal Planning.  This is what I intended to use mind mapping for.  I have a main node for personal goals, and another for professional goals.  I branch off those nodes into intended goals, then into the steps I need to take to achieve those goals.
  • Monthly Planning.  Since I loved the visual representation of my goals, I created a monthly overview for the rest of this year.  I have a node for each month, branches include events for the month (birthdays, anniversaries, kids’ sports schedules, etc.) and monthly focus, which is what I want to accomplish each month, in relation to my personal and professional goals.
  • Content Planning.  I use a mind map to plan out content for Freelance Style.  I create a node for each month, with a content theme for each.  I expand those nodes with blog ideas and inspirational quotes that relate to the monthly theme.
  • Outlining Blogs and Articles.  I have recently started to use mind mapping, as opposed to traditional outlines, to organize my writing.  I start with my central idea, and branch out with subtopics, then with details and ideas that I want to cover.  By the time I’m done, I pretty much have the entire article written in a mind map.

Why I Prefer Mind Mapping

For me, mind mapping just fits better with the way I think — which is more circular than linear.  I jump around from idea to idea, which makes traditional methods of note taking and outlining pretty sloppy and disorganized.  And, honestly, mind maps are just prettier than plain text.

How about you?  Do you use mind mapping either professionally or personally?  I would love to hear how — leave a comment below or email me!

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