Should I? What if…? If you are still at that stage when you are still trying to decide if you should have a facelift, then a mind map might help you make a decision. Of course, you need to do your research and maybe even have a few consultations. But in the end it is up to you. This is a complex and important emotional decision. We are not talking about choosing a nail varnish!
I first came across mind mapping several years ago when my son started using them in his schoolwork. The concept is neither new nor difficult to understand or use and was first popularised by Tony Buzan in the seventies (Bay City Rollers, David Bowie etc). Nowadays mind maps are widely used in many fields. However, in case you have never come across the concept, I thought it would be useful to flag the idea up.
I use mind maps all the time, for planning projects, trying to make a decision or simply planning my day. They are very useful for thinking through almost any issue, however complex. The idea behind mind mapping is that you take a central idea (should I have a facelift?) and then write out the pros and cons and any associated ideas in a spider diagram – have a look at the example above.
The advantages of mind mapping are:
- it can allow you to develop an overview of a project
- the process of making the mind map makes you think about all the aspects of an issue
- it allows you to really drill down on an issue; if we drill down on the ‘how long will I be off work after an advanced mini facelift?’ idea above, it might then look something like this:
- it helps you to link and connect ideas
- it helps you to break up ideas into smaller pieces
- you can use pictures rather than words if that suits you better
- you can add new ideas as and when they come to you – you can take a break and come back to it when you have had a chance to develop your ideas
- placing the main idea in the centre of the page allows you to link other ideas more naturally than in a simple list
- mind maps visually depict how the brain works and links ideas
- it is a very quick and simple to use
- it is very flexible with almost limitless possibilities
- a lot of the mind mapping software is available for free
To start with, you need nothing more than pen and paper to mind map. There are of course many software programmes available for mind mapping but I have found that Simple Mind is very flexible and suits me well. The great advantage of using software is that it is very easy to shuffle ideas around. For example, you might want to put the pros on one side and the cons on the other. Or you may want to put the important ideas nearer the centre. Try to find the method that works well for you.
Once you have finished your mind map, why not share your ideas on our Forum? We have created a special mind map section so everyone can benefit.