Friday, May 16, 2008

Mind mapping

I've been thinking about doing a new business plan. I can't remember the last time I did one. Every time I try to get myself to sit down and write one, I find I have a million other things to do. All I have to do to get the house cleaned or the lawn mowed is think about making a business plan!

It occurred to me last week that I could use a right-brain method to do an essentially left-brain activity. I'd read about Tony Buzan, who invented the term "mind mapping" years ago, so I went looking for more information. I found Buzan's website and several videos.

There's lots of stuff on the topic on Wikipedia, but as I dug in, I understood that much of what people call mind mapping is really making flow charts with a few pictures. I liked Buzan's method better. I considered shelling out the bucks for the computer program iMindMap until I realized I could do this the old fashioned way: I went to the library and borrowed the book Mind Mapping, then got out markers and a sketchpad. Analog. Cool.

Have I done the business plan yet? No, but I'm closer than I was. Now I'm going to vacuum the living room.


Tim said...

Might as well dissemble the vacuum and unclog the rollers while you're at it.

Oh, and there's some bread needs baking.

Isn't there a new pie recipe you've been meaning to try?

And wouldn't a few rounds of Scrabulous on Facebook count as business networking?

PriscillaHowe said...

Yes, and I've done three loads of laundry (including hanging it all out to dry), repotted a few plants that didn't need it, daydreamed about my upcoming trip to Brazil, switched winter clothes for summer, touched up my resume, sent out a proposal for a teacher workshop, and read a version of "The Goose Girl" to see how closely it related to Queen Berta...

Back to the business plan? Maybe tomorrow.

Sean said...

I find more of my clients use mind-mapping. And then it hangs on the wall. Pretty!

Good on ya for new business plans. I am in the midst of revamping mine. Time to move away from many things and deeper into others. Very intense week over here.

Ron C. de Weijze said...

I believe that the problem with creating business plans using mind mapping, is that while you are in the creative stage, you cannot be as clear as you should be to create your map. Your ideas are still changing and shifting their focus and perspective from day to day. Well, how about just letting that happen and still use all those maps created over a period of time, as one. Then you can see how things changed, where the 'black holes' and the 'white sparks' are of links all binding together (as a pie recipe) or not at all. This is what kept me busy for the past 15 years. The result was a quirky kind of mindmapping tool.

PriscillaHowe said...

Great suggestion. I often forget how useful it is to look at projects over time. Your method allows for a broader (and potentially more useful) perspective. Thanks!