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Mind Mapping Meetings

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Can't keep up with the many topics covered in a meeting? Fed up with reading long minutes? Well, focus only on the action plans and the ideas that matter - Try mind mapping.

Mind Mapping is a method of tracking concept (or tasks) as they are being created in a logical, flowing manner. In other words, it's a simple way of capturing concepts in 'logic bubbles' and freely assigning which concept is related to another.

One way I try to do is to visualize the meeting agenda as if it is clusters of circles. Each main idea or concept expands to many more circles linked relationally to it. Further detail leads to more circles while unrelated concepts or out-of-the-agenda topics get a separate circle each.

The main circles are called 'parent' and each small circle is a 'child' - naturally ideas can be merged or married to each other - very helpful in exploring combination of ideas. Once the idea of parent & progeny is clear, you can get fancy with your mind maps by drawing trees & branches growing out from the "root". Experiment with various shapes to indicate relationships, etc. How fancy it is depends on your imagination.

I use this method to ensure our meetings keep within the agenda. Similarly, this ensures that any out-of-the-box ideas stand on their own and will not muddle the main topics at hand. If they are worth exploring, then I can zoom in on them instead.

Good for brainstorming sessions and creative action plans. Here's a list of mind mapping tools that I recommend:

  1. Bubbl.us - online mind mapping web 2.0 application using bubbles. Easy to use, just use [tab] & [enter] keys. One limitation though: it does not allow merging or marrying of ideas. Good for quick maps on the fly!
  2. OmniGraffle - Mac only. Diagramming & charting software. Shareware.
  3. FreeMind - a free open-source program available for Linux, Windows & Mac. Highly recommended.
  4. ConceptDraw MindMap - an expensive but powerful software for integration with MS Office. Available for Windows & Mac (8-28).
  5. Keynote, Powerpoint, or Word - A bit clumsy, but works. Use text boxes & shapes+text, arrows and lines and just cut, paste & edit.
In the absence of software, drawing on a pad is an old school but still effective method of mind mapping. I recommend free-flowing discussions and free-flowing maps to ensure that even out-of-the-box or out-of-agenda topics are not left out but explored throughly if necessary.

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posted by Jdavies @ 8/23/2007,

2 Comments:

At 8/27/2007 04:55:00 PM, Blogger Omar said...

Our team launched a new collaborative web-based mind mapping tool called Comapping. It is worth checking it out at comapping.com.

 
At 8/28/2007 07:00:00 PM, Blogger Jdavies said...

thanks omar. While I welcome comments in my blog, shameless plugging is something I'd discourage. This is why I rejected your previous ad, and approved this one above that owns up to the link you are providing.

fyi Above link is under 30-day trial only.

 

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The Author

J.Davies

Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.


About This Blog

This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.

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