June 16, 2022
How to move beyond idea creation in mind maps
Ideas without action are like expensive cars without any fuel… pretty, but not helpful in getting you where you need to go. For the uninitiated, mind maps may seem to be the domain of ideas. A place where creativity happens, but not much else.
It’s not hard to see where this perception comes from, because – despite the undisputed power of the mind map – it is most commonly associated with ideation. Yet, just because it’s effective in this area, that doesn’t mean it’s less-than or unapplicable in other areas. In fact, more than that, the mind map is designed to be a flexible and multi-purpose tool. Restricting it to the realm of ideation alone is kind of like using your swiss army knife solely as a bottle opener.
Knowledge is power, creativity is magic, and innovation is rocket fuel. The good news is that the mind map feeds off each of these areas and can help to turn the intangible into something tangible through the actioning of your best ideas. It does this by providing a visually stimulating, digestible and communication-rich format to get your ideas off the ground. Keep reading to find out how you can move beyond idea creation in mind maps!
Mind maps for planning
Why is it that we dismiss creativity as something fluffy and woo-woo? The truth is that creativity can be applied to many things, and in fact, many of the things it is applied to in the real world are highly factual, data-driven and substantial processes (seriously, take it from NASA). Doing something creatively is just another way of saying doing something in a unique but efficient way by defying the status quo.
When it comes to planning, we could all do with a little shake up from time-to-time. If you’ve ever experienced the stress of managing projects via a sporadic array of documents and email chains then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Other techniques can be equally inefficient. At one end of the spectrum, you have handwritten to-do lists which don’t provide the detail necessary for big projects, and at the other you have clunky and overwhelming project management software which is so intense and sprawling it makes your head spin. So where’s the in between?
A mind map is perfect for planning because it allows for both detail and top-level organisation. Managers can see the key areas of a project laid out at a glance, and then zoom into the more granular information via branches in Ayoa where you can see who is assigned to what idea/task along with any related attachments and comments – all without the need to pry or micromanage. Plus, with everything laid out in a digestible, editable format it’s easy to adjust project scope, aim and direction as and when things change, keeping work agile.
Mind maps for communication
With more ways to communicate than ever before, you’d think that we’d be better at it. Yet the proliferation of tech can actually make meaningful and efficient communication more difficult than ever before. After all, when conversations are spread across email, instant messenger, video calls and real life meetings, how are people meant to keep their finger on relevant information? With remote work now becoming more and more common, this communication problem has only intensified. After all, passing on simple information is one thing whereas communicating ideas gets a lot more complex.
So, how can mind maps help, I hear you ask? It’s true that mind maps in a hand-drawn format aren’t necessarily going to improve communication channels, but with digital and shared mind mapping such as Ayoa it can actually be an incredibly powerful tool for streamlining and improving the way you communicate detail in work. From offering alternatives to masses of linear text with a spatial layout and the use of visual formats and queues, communicating information becomes more efficient and digestible (not to mention more accessible for neurodivergent employees).
And this isn’t the only way mind maps improve communication. The use of shared live mind mapping renders lengthy email chains and directionless brainstorm sessions obsolete. Instead, capture ideas easily – whether working individually or as a part of a group (both online and in person) – by using the spatial layout to indicate hierarchy, relationship arrows to display links and file storage for context and idea expansion. Plus, with the addition of comments, you can clear up any queries you have while always remaining on-topic and in-context (no more scrolling through email chains to extract information!). Used effectively, mind mapping can eliminate the need for micromanagement by making communication simpler and contextualised at all times.
Mind maps for actioning ideas
Ideas often get us excited. Who hasn’t experienced that delighted buzz when a good idea pops into your head? The problem, of course, is that bringing ideas into fruition can be a lot more arduous and unappealing than the original spark or process which produced the idea in the first place. Yet, if we want to get ahead and keep innovating we must ensure ideas don’t languish unactioned. It is the process of turning an idea into something tangible which has produced every amazing invention the world has ever seen. So, how can mind maps help?
Taking your ideas and turning them into projects can feel like a gear shift, and actually translating specific ideas into corresponding tasks even more so. To make this process easier, Ayoa provides a Task Bar which seamlessly fuses the creative mind map environment with Task Boards and Whiteboards where projects can move from the ideation phase and into a fully fledged project waiting to be actioned. Whether you have a Task Board which already relates to your mind map area, or need to create a new one, the process is simple and quick allowing you to sort the relevant ideas into tasks in your board while still having oversight of the mind map where you first dreamed those ideas up.
In short, Ayoa have taken the pain out of the idea-to-action process by making it fun, efficient and seamless. This is mind maps as they should be used in our modern environment, not merely powering creativity but the innovation which advances the world.