I’m a confessed mind map user and booster. For that I have to credit Tony Buzan who introduced me to mind maps in the mid 70’s with his book “Use Your Head”. It was one of those “Aha” moments in my life where I recognized that mind maps could provide me with insights that I’d never considered before. I believe that entrepreneurs who must come up with better business proposals and students writing essays and term papers will gain exceptional benefits from using mind maps.

I can’t display mind maps in this article. I’m therefore giving you a couple of references to check them out. The first is Tony Buzan’s website at http://www.thinkbuzan.com. The other is Phil Chambers’ Learning Technology Newsletter at http://www.learning-tech.co.uk. (I have no connection with either of these sites.)

Why are mind maps so valuable for whatever you’re working on? I like to think of mind maps or mind mapping as organized brainstorming. Brainstorming is a very useful technique that I often employ. It works when you/and your team write down a list of ideas, facts, thoughts about an issue or topic, as quickly as possible within a given time frame.

What mind mapping does is take those brainstorming ideas as they come up and place them into a pattern that’s very focused on that topic or issue. So imagine, when you come up with each idea, each fact, every single piece of information and you then employ a mind map, every single item is allocated to a section or branch of the mind map. What this does is give valuable relationships and interconnectedness that you may never have considered.

You physically see, or can determine, how one idea relates to another. In brainstorming many of these relationships are never evident or fail to show the possibilities that they can generate. Mind maps provide the cross-fertilization, the development of fresh ideas, so valuable in the creative process and for increased productivity. They’re particularly valuable for entrepreneurs when faced with having to submit a winning business proposal. For students there’s no better way of coming up with a viable topic for their essay or term paper.

I make notes using mind map techniques. I can immediately put down on paper where the various points from an interview or lecture are connected and what they may mean. Mind maps link things together (I’m not talking hyperlinks here though there’s plenty of mind map software available if you want to go that route.) You discover things that you expected and things that you did not expect - and that’s the payoff. Use mind maps and you’ll find that your work becomes that much better.

Here’s the clincher though. It’s very important to try this stuff. Brainstorming is easy. Mind mapping takes practice and there are different ways to do it. It only makes your work better when you use it. As a long time proponent of mind mapping and its impact on my work, I want others to get the same benefits as I do. So please, if you want to see some possibilities that you haven’t experienced before, try mind maps.

Author's Bio: 

Neil Sawers develops books and e-books to help entrepreneurs, small business and students write more easily and effectively. For further information on great tools like brainstorming, mind maps and freewriting, entrepreneurs please download the Discovery Process section at http://www.how-to-write-proposals.com/proposal-chapter.html. If you're a student, or you know a student in high school or first year college, download the following free chapter at http://www.how-to-write-proposals.com/tensteps.html. These are powerful tools. Please use them.