WELCOME to the final station of 2011! Amidst all the excitement, it’s also a time to pause for a bit of reflection and re-evaluation before embarking on new goals and new heights. And it’s one of the best ways to gear up for the fresh promise that the New Year can bring. Nothing is off-limits, and this is a blog for “Next Generation Blogging”, so let’s take some lessons learned and start 2012 with an action plan!
Nothing sets off the start of the year like a well-thought out gameplan for your goals. Have you started yours?
First off: Brainstorming, and specifically for me, this means Mind Mapping. It’s a tried-and-true method that involves creating a map of your ideas and plans, with ‘branches’ organized around a central key word or topic.
For those list-makers out there, let’s put the steps in a linear format.
- Start in the center with an image or a central topic.
- Use images, symbols, and key words
- Each word/image should be connected starting from the central topic.
- You can start with thicker lines in the center, and thinner lines as you radiate outwards — much like tree branches.
- Use colors for distinguishing, emphasis and highlighting.
There can be many ways that a mind map can be visualized, and Alex has shown his before:
But mine would look like this:
You could grab a pencil and paper, or use the stinky whiteboard, but I created my mind map by using MindMaple. It’s a mind mapping software that makes task management intuitive and easy to do. You just type away your game plan, and all the other principles of classical mind mapping are already pre-programmed for you.
MindMaple is also highly customizable wherein you can insert photos, art, links, and attachments. The number of topics can be expanded indefinitely, and when things get too crowded you can collapse subtopics with a click without losing any data. In fact, you can just click and drag any detail of your plan to organize it accordingly, creating appropriate relationship lines if it cycles back around.
Creating a mind map is much easier with the right tools. In my case, I used a user-friendly software that allows me to be playful and creative with my task organization.
It’s pretty much like drawing your plans on your trusty whiteboard, only without the mess and ink fumes. Better yet, you can save your map so you can export it in number of formats to share with co-workers, friends, or even use in a presentation.
Using MindMaple is eye-catching and engaging, and for me, it’s a comfortably fun tool that motivates me to think creatively while staying on point.
So for your 2012 blog, what will your mind map look like?
Here’s to a more productive and rewarding 2012, fellow bloggers!
Photo credits: lisakramerartlifestyle.blogspot.com, www.macreportmedia.com