Mind Mapping

There are many ways available to organise digital data and communicate ideas to teams of people. Whether via a simple word document, a complex spread-sheet or a database of useful entries, the organisation and dissemination of data is a crucial thing to the smooth running of offices. This is especially true if you have large teams of people to work with. Losing track of data or not representing it in a way that people can readily understand is one of the foremost problems that will slow down the way you work and decrease your efficacy as a working unit.

Documents are great for presenting wordy concepts in a linear fashion while Power-Point presentations are the best visual aid for when you are talking to a large group of people. Storing lots of entries that you need to look up and rifle through on a regular basis or even present data in graphs and charts? Databases are the way to go. Spread-sheets are great for tables or for accounting with formulae and other features that can automate data capture to a large degree.

So what then is mind mapping and where does it fit into the grand office scheme of things? I came to mind-mapping quite late but have used it a lot since I was introduced by a friend and colleague. For the uninitiated it is a simple way to quickly add data to a map that helps you think quickly and put ideas down and rearrange them in a brain-dump kind of fashion. I find it most useful in the early stages of projects where you are throwing ideas around and trying out different connections the concepts you are putting down. The great thing is that you can export that data to a number of different formats such as documents, spread-sheets and even presentations so you can move onto the next stage of polishing without having to re-enter all of that data.