The best way to see the pros and cons of practical mind maps is to compare them to regular mind maps and computer mind maps. Practical Mind Mapping is a practical system that can be used on a computer but also on paper.
The first thing people who learn about practical mind maps tell me is that it is very easy to use. They (literally) create overviews in less than a minute. And this overview helps them throughout the week, or even longer!
In what areas of your life do you use it?
Many people use mind maps in one of three areas: personal, academic / educational, and professional / business. Most people use mind maps to take notes. This can be clarifying your thoughts, taking business notes, or during a conference or meeting. All three types of mapping (traditional, computational, and practical) can be used in these situations.
There is a big difference when you use your maps to study. Traditional maps rely heavily on colorful images and branches. This is often done with computer maps as well. Practical mind maps don’t use (m) any images. They use colors to create a memorable overview. Using only colors and no images may not look good enough when creating visual overviews, but the maps really stick in your mind! The advantage of the practical map is definitely the ease with which the maps are created. One downside could be that the map is not that ‘image’ as a traditional mind mapping user would like.
Have you ever created a mind map? People I interviewed told me that it usually takes a long time to create a traditional or computer mind map. Especially the pictures! Most people who stop creating mind maps tell me this is because it takes too long to create mind maps.
One of the techniques used in the practical mind mapping system is the one minute mind map. Yes, in less than a minute, you create a mind map. This map shows you exactly what you need to know. A disadvantage of this could be that certain information is lost. The people I trained to use this system never experienced this. And let’s be honest … all systems can have this scam :).
Really using the maps
When you create a traditional mind map, when you’re done, you’re done. The map is ready and will only be revised. This is fine for some purposes. However, most of the time, you want the map to reflect the current state or desired situation. You want the information on the map to be alive and ready to grow with you!
The computer mind map allows you to do this, as those maps automatically describe themselves when you change them.
A practical mind map will do that on your computer (of course), but on paper too! This makes it the ideal tool to use the information, update it and make it reflect the current status of your notes, meeting, project, etc.
In general, practical mind maps are tools that help you especially in situations such as project management, personal development, goal setting, study, and thought capture. They may not be as easy to use in presentations (due to their personal nature).
Next time you’re looking for a simple tool to help you capture lots of information, thoughts, and ideas, take a look at practical mind maps. It will save you time and help you keep going.