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May 19, 2022

Why mind mapping is for the whole team

by Caragh Medlicott posted in Ayoa, Mind Mapping.

Ayoa | Why mind mapping is for the whole team
Mind maps are famous as great creative tools. Also known as “brainstorms” or “spider diagrams”, people often associate them with the beginning stages of a project or as a tool used solely by the creative members of the team. But it’s time to break mind maps out of this particular typecast!

Utilised correctly, mind mapping can be an incredibly powerful technique which can empower every member of the team to new creative heights in their everyday work. After all, a good team is like a choir, and harmony isn’t achieved when everyone sings the same note, but when each person works on what they’re best at in unison with everyone else.

Our difference is what makes us special, and as a tool, the mind map is uniquely placed to bring the best out of everybody – especially when used in collaboration . So, without further ado, here’s why mind mapping is truly for the whole team


Every team should embrace creativity

Creativity is a term that’s thrown around sometimes, and for people who consider themselves to be “not creative”, it can actually be a pretty intimidating one. Between culture and school, we are conditioned to believe that we’re either creative or we’re not. But the idea of being “left brained” or “right brained” is a myth, and science shows that creativity is a skill that anyone can learn. In today’s workplace, it’s one everyone needs to be pursuing. Seriously. The World Economic Forum even lists it as an ability essential to the future of work.

However, like all skills, tools can aid you in getting started and helping you improve. Just as someone trying to get stronger employs the use of weights and a gym routine, the mind map gives structure to creative thinking. Its radiating, spatial layout mirrors the natural processes of the brain and makes ideating a much more natural process. Introducing mind mapping throughout your team is an awesome way to boost overall creativity levels, and encourage innovative thinking in every team member, not just those already attuned to it.

Break out of robotic thinking

Day to day work life is often ruled by routine. By this, I mean we often work on autopilot. Whether it’s replying to emails, sitting down to work through your to-do list, or even embarking on a new project, sometimes it just feels easier to keep approaching things using a tried and tested formula. For some things this works well, after all, certain elements of working life – whether using a professional tone in emails or turning up to work on time – require consistency. The problem, of course, is when it comes to the work itself. Innovation is the antithesis of staleness. If you want to see your team achieve more success and discover a new lease of life, you need to shake things up.

Mind mapping is a brilliant way to achieve exactly that. Not only is it fun and engaging, it also naturally facilitates collaborative work. Especially when using a digital tool like Ayoa, mind mapping can be done both remotely and in person to great effect (perfect if your team is struggling to connect while working from home!). The addition of artificial intelligence (AI) also means you can benefit from extra idea fuel and out-of-the-box suggestions, to keep the train of inspiration chugging along. Plus, reverse mind maps – where you generate ideas to make a problem worse, rather than better – can be excellent ways of breaking out of rote thinking methods in order to reveal new solutions to your team’s challenges.

It’s an inclusive way of working

After many years of neglect and misconception, neurodiversity is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Neurodivergent individuals offer so much value to every work force, and when we consider that between 30-40% of the global population are neurodiverse, it’s almost certain that somebody on your team is not neurotypical (remember, not everyone is diagnosed).

Being inclusive should be a pillar of every good team, and using a tool like mind mapping is a perfect way to achieve just that. Its visual, non-linear format is much more digestible for neurodivergent individuals, and also benefits those who are neurotypical by pushing them beyond the linear lists and text-heavy documents that working life so often revolves around. In short, mind maps provide the ideal arena for neurodiverse teams to work together without alienating members who might not think in a neurotypical way. How’s that for a team building technique?

See projects at a glance & in detail

One reason mind maps are seen as something just for the “creative” team members is because of their primary association with idea generation. However, just because mind maps are so good for ideation, it doesn’t mean it’s their only use. Far from it. If you’ve ever found that task management can be clunky and dull, switching to mind mapping for project management might just be the answer. Due to the flexible format of the mind map, you can easily see the top level objectives of a project and quickly zoom in to even the most granular pieces of detail. The benefits don’t end there, either.

If you have to pitch or present your ideas externally, a mind map provides a novel way to convey a wealth of information in a manner that is accessible, digestible and immersive. In Ayoa, the ability for mind maps to work as a collaborative tool for project management is increased to the nth degree with the option to to turn branches into tasks, assign them to others, and easily transform a mind map into a more traditional and linear project layout. With all that flexibility, why would you limit mind mapping to just key members of the team? It’s time for everyone to get on board with one of the most innovative and flexible tools a team can use for boosted creativity and so much more.

Caragh Medlicott

Caragh Medlicott is a freelance writer and interim Editor of Wales Arts Review. After graduating with a First-Class Honours degree in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University she began a full-time writing career in Wales. She is the author of several published short stories and was shortlisted for the Lunate 500 award in December 2020, and a finalist in Narrative’s 30 Below competition in 2021. She is a regular contributor to BBC Wales' The Review Show.

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