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Visualize, Organize, Realize: The Magic of Mind Mapping

Full transcript below

I don’t know if you are, but I am a very visual person.  When I see a diagram or process flow it helps me understand concepts quicker than reading it solely in text.  I have found that my mind just works that way and I tend to always make pictures when I am breaking down something complex or trying to understand a concept. 


I have found I even document my personal and professional goals visually and I do that through mind mapping.  I have found mind mapping to be a great way of brainstorming and organizing my thoughts and I want to share the magic of mind mapping with you. 


>> Time to Enter the Dojo <<


Have you ever found yourself studying for a certification exam or preparing for a test and there is so much information that it is overwhelming?  It may be that you are reading a book to prep or trying to digest note cards but no matter how hard you try for some reason you just can’t digest the information.  I have been there and I know and feel your pain.  I remember when I was learning katas in martial arts, I would struggle to remember all of the movements, especially for the more complex katas. I decided one day to have a parent record the class session of the katas and I would go home and watch the video over and over to commit the movements to memory.  I found that when I had a visual in my head it was easier for me to execute.  I found this to be the case for a lot of what I do personally and professionally. 


So, what is this thing called “Mind Mapping”? Mind mapping is a visual technique used to organize and represent information that involves creating a diagram that visually outlines ideas, concepts, or information, with the main topic of the theme placed at the center and associated branches radiating outwards.

Mind Mapping
Mind Mapping Example


Let’s break this down a little further.  A mind map typically starts with a central idea or topic placed in the center of the page, represented by a central image or word. From this central idea, branches extend outward, each representing a different subtopic or related concept. These branches can further branch out into more detailed information or additional subtopics.


Components of a Mind Map:

  • Central Idea: The Central Idea is placed in the center of the mind map, it could be a word or an image that represents the main topic or theme.

  • Branches: The branches extend outward from the central idea, connecting to related subtopics or ideas. Each branch represents a different aspect or category related to the central idea.

  • Subtopics: The branches connect to the subtopics and the subtopics represent specific details, examples, or components related to the main topic. These can branch out further to represent even more detailed information.

  • Keywords and Images: Alongside the text, keywords, phrases, or even images can be used to represent ideas, making the mind map more visually engaging and memorable.

  • Color and Formatting: Different colors, fonts, and formatting techniques can be used to distinguish between different branches, subtopics, or levels of information, making the mind map easier to read and understand.


How to make a mind map

Example: For this article, I am going to use the example of how I create a strategic plan for my business every year by walking through each component.  See Figure 2.

  1. Determine the central idea.  When thinking of the central idea identify the main topic or theme around which you want to organize your thoughts, ideas, or information. 

    1. Example: The central idea for the example mind map is the 2024 Strategy for Paula A. Bell Consulting, LLC. 

  2. Identify the branches. Here is where you will identify the key categories, subtopics, or related concepts that stem from the central theme. 

    1. Example: The branches for the 2024 strategy mind map will be: Strategy, Marketing, and Events.

    2. These branches are the high-level topics of focus.

  3. Identify the subtopics. Here is where I will go deeper into the branches identified.

    1. Example:  

      1. For the Strategy Branch, the subtopics are new products, new template journeys, eBook, and membership programs. These subtopics are the focus of each of the main branches

      2. As you can see below some of the subtopics go into deeper. 

What I like is the mind map keeps me focused on what I need to work on first, and not go into the land of scope creep.  Sometimes as a business owner, you can be presented with many different opportunities, but you must stay focused on the goals you have set to grow your business.  There are some additional opportunities to explore as they arise but this keeps my compass in the right direction.

Detailed Mind Map
Detailed Mind Map Example


When I started creating these mind maps for my business, I started to see results.  This picture was burned into my mind and I stayed true to my focus.  In addition to the mind map I documented my goals and my why and desired outcomes for each goal.  This sets me up for success.  I also have a Mastermind team that holds me accountable to the goals.  It’s a well-oiled machine and it always starts with the mind map. 



Benefits of mind mapping

Mind mapping offers a range of benefits across various aspects of personal and professional life. Some of those key benefits include:

  • Enhanced Creativity: Mind mapping encourages nonlinear thinking and creativity by allowing you to visually explore ideas, connections, and relationships in a free-flowing manner.

  • Improved Memory and Retention: The visual nature of mind maps aids in memory retention by associating information with images, colors, and spatial organization, making it easier to recall details later.  I am a witness to this benefit. This has been a game changer for me personally and professionally. 

  • Better Organization and Structure: Mind maps provide a structured framework for organizing thoughts, ideas, and information, helping to clarify concepts, identify relationships, and establish hierarchies.

  • Effective Learning Tool: Mind mapping is a powerful learning tool that helps to condense and synthesize complex information, making it easier to understand and retain key concepts.

  • Enhanced Problem-Solving and Decision-Making: Mind maps facilitate problem-solving and decision-making processes by visually mapping out different options, evaluating alternatives, and identifying potential solutions.

  • Increased Productivity: Mind mapping helps to streamline workflow and increase productivity by breaking down tasks into manageable chunks, setting priorities, and tracking progress more effectively.

  • Facilitates Collaboration and Communication: Mind maps serve as a visual aid for communication and collaboration, allowing individuals and teams to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and work together more efficiently.

  • Stress Reduction and Mental Clarity: The structured and visual nature of mind mapping can help reduce stress and overwhelm by providing a clear and organized representation of thoughts and tasks, promoting mental clarity and focus.

  • Versatility and Adaptability: Mind mapping can be applied to a wide range of tasks and projects, including brainstorming, planning, note-taking, project management, problem-solving, and goal setting, making it a versatile tool for personal and professional use.

  • Promotes Innovative Thinking: Mind mapping encourages innovative thinking by encouraging you to make unexpected connections between different ideas, leading to new insights and creative solutions.


Overall, mind mapping offers numerous benefits that can enhance cognitive processes, improve productivity, foster creativity, and facilitate effective communication and collaboration in various contexts. The visual representation of interconnected ideas and concepts is organized in a hierarchical and structured manner, making it a powerful tool for brainstorming, organizing thoughts, problem-solving, and planning.


I hope you will consider leveraging mind mapping in your personal and professional life if you have not already, especially if you are a visual person.  This technique is a game changer. 


Until next time,

The BA Martial Artist is signing off!


P.S. If you are looking to determine how you should gain clarity and focus on where you want to go in your Business Analysis career, my “Career Ninja Mastery Kit™” is the tool for you.  

P.P.S. If you are working to advance your career and and you need additional assistance on updating your resume I offer an online self-paced resume course and resume review services working with me directly.  If you need additional help with interview preparation I offer an online self-paced interview preparation and execution course and interview preparation services working with me directly.

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