Mind Mapping : visualize, analyse and set up

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76_overlander

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Biarritz, France
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Angus
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Hi guys,

Today i'd like to talk with you about mind mapping, also known as heuristic, as it incredibly helps me visualize and organize things in my job, but also in my life.

Mind mapping? What the F is that?

"A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity."

I'll try to explain it quickly and create a mind map to prepare for a 4 days trip. You can find free Mind Mapping softwares and apps both for PC and Mac users. I personally use MindNode on my imacs and iphone.

Mind mapping relies on nodes, and each node can give birth to branches. It is simple and intuitive, you would think you don't even need this tool, but using it helps you sort things out and challenge your set up to easily find the best solutions. Let's get into it :

For my trip i first think of WHAT DO I NEED, therefore i organize my lists using NEEDS nodes. This is very personal of course and you do it like you want it. In this exercise i prepare for a 4 days trip in the desert of Monegros with my wife, our 2 kids and our australian shepherd. And i think RIG / CAMP / KITCHEN / HYGIENE / CLOTHES / DOCUMENTS / SLEEPING / KIDS / DOG. And this is how it looks in the end :

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Creating those basic titles help you think of what you need. And downsizing.
As you see you also have the ability to create check boxes to use the whole document as a checklist when you're in front of your rig packing everything up. For each branch or node you can add anything : a picture, a link, a description, a note, and even an agenda reminder.

Once i know my list is the best (i can not add anything, and most important, i can't substract anything) i go to step 2 :

I duplicate my mind map and get rid of the "NEED TITLES" to organize all those branches now into "PACKING TITLES" and it looks like this :

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So all my items have their space, i know where to find them. I can export those files to PDF. I can share them with others. I can print them on paper. Or i can sync to my ipad or iphone and use the search tool in a document and because i can't remember where the dog's food is (oh yes, in the trasharoo!). You can also give a copy to your rigmate because, yeah, sometimes i pack all the gear so it fits perfectly but my wife will struggle to find a specific piece of equipment and now she knows exactly where is THE thing she needs NOW.

This way of putting things can apply to anything. Creating an Emergency chart, communication in groups, visualize connections between people, tracking your work, anything. Easy. Efficient. Powerful. You should try :)

PS : sorry for my language mistakes, please correct me when i use a word for another or anything helping people to understand this post better. Thanks :)
 

Rolando

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I'm using mind maps as well (mostly for the job), and it helps to do an initial structure of topics. My preferred SW is XMind - there is still a free version available for download, they just hide it in the website...
 
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avgjoe624

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that seems complicated, but I understand that its just the thought processing put into a diagram. if it works for you it works.

im a "lister" which I guess would be the same concept