Mind Mapping and Brainstorming-Powerful Time Tools

Mind Mapping and BrainstormingMind Mapping and Brainstorming are powerful time management skills.  “What do mind mapping and brainstorming have to do with time management?” you ask.

Well, I’d say that they both help with time management because they are such  efficient and effective tools for:

  • Exploring and developing ideas,
  • Setting goals and priorities, and
  • Freeing up your creativity.

Mind Mapping and Brainstorming: What are They?

Brainstorming: So, first let’s look at brainstorming.  Most of you have probably been involved with brainstorming at one time or another.  Often it’s a group activity, meant to get as many diverse ideas as possible out on the table.

You might be encouraged to engage in a little silliness while brainstorming. The goal of the brainstorming process is to free yourself to entertain ideas without filtering or pre-judging them – so anything that helps you let go of self-criticism – or even temporarily suspend logic – is a plus.

Brainstorming isn’t about assessing the feasibility of an idea – it’s just about having it! So it’s often done quickly, and once you get rolling, it can really jump start your creativity.

Mind Mapping takes the energy of brainstorming and begins to harness it.  When you work with Mind Mapping you are externalizing your thoughts and associations so that you can see them.

Then, once you have them mapped, you can start rearranging and combining them in new ways.

Mind Mapping gives you access to ideas that might never occur to you otherwise. And Mind Mapping in combination with Brainstorming is a particularly powerful way to tap your creative energies and ideas.

Mind Mapping and Brainstorming Tools

I recently explored a post on Mashable titled “24 Essential Mind Mapping and Brainstorming Tools” that offers some excellent venues for working with both Mind Mapping and Brainstorming.

It’s a very comprehensive collection, with tools for working in groups, as well as for exploring your own, individual creativity.  There are lots of free tools to take a look at, as well as paid options.  And many of the tools offer both free and paid versions.

PoppletHere’s an example of a quick little Mind Map we created using Popplet – one of the tools listed.  (You can click on the image to see an enlarged version.)

Flexible and fun, there is a free version of Popplet, so you can try it and see what you think before investing further.  It offers the capacity to draw, enter text, upload images, etc.

bubbl.usBubbl.us is another free tool that we looked at and enjoyed playing with.  It was very easy to pick up and intuitive to use.  (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

If you’re interested in a nice, entry-level introduction to a Mind Mapping tool, this might be a good place to start.

While the article focuses on tools for creating Mind Maps on-line via a desktop or laptop, it also offers a list of mobile apps for iOS and Android users.

Do you use Brainstorming and Mind Mapping in your work?  Have you ever tried it with a group?  Or to tap your creativity when you’re stuck?

I’d love to hear what you think!




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  1. You should also check out WikiBrains for brainstorming + mindmapping

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