Time is always our most appreciated currency. That’s a fact. In this dynamic environment and a fast tempo of living, we are struggling to manage our work and free time efficiently. In the ever-lasting search for productivity tools and methodologies, I am favouring mind mapping as an evergreen concept for boosting idea generation, logical structuring of information and time planning.
What is Mind Mapping?
A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches. Categories can represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.
Mindmaps can be drawn by hand, either as “rough notes” during a lecture or meeting, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available. An example of a rough mind map is illustrated.
Mind maps are a fantastic method for managing time and fine-tuning your scheduled activities.
Whether I am working on an education project, setting up a marketing campaign or preparing a project plan, mind mapping has always helped me in researching, laying out the key points of the project, organizing the data and design an efficient action plan.
There are currently a handful of mind mapping applications on the market. MindManager, DropMind and MindView are all powerful, robust tools targeted to business users and FreeMind and Inspiration are mostly used by students and education workers. On mobile, especially on iPad as dominant productivity gadget, DropMind and iThoughts are leading the way by usability and features.
Recently I found some interesting data that back-up my personal perceptions on the effectively of mind mapping and mind mapping software in time management. The guys from DropMind conducted a survey to a sample of their users (1000 top, middle and low level managers), and found out that mind mapping:
– Increases planning efficiency by 35%
– Improves meeting efficiency for 20%
– Decreases research time by 30%
This data may sound raw and vague, but it surely indicates on the benefits of the mind mapping concept itself and the power of the mind mapping software in time planning.