How to stop procrastinating and get all of your great ideas on paper

If your a visual person like me who lives and breathes ideas and creativity, but often find if difficult to get great ideas down in a way that is organized, you may want to try mind-mapping. (for software I use Mindjet)

mindmap

Mind-mapping is an extremely fun exercise that I use when I have a really big (or small) idea that I want to get out of my head and on paper and don’t want to worry about organization yet. In fact, the beauty of this process is that it’s so freeing and the non-formal structure increases your creativity and the ideas will just flow. As you write down ideas you start to see patterns, and one idea leads to another. By the end of the process you suddenly have all your ideas for a topic loosely organized. 

Now you can take this idea-map and start to break it down into a more organized structure. It will allow you to create goals and tasks and see the relationships between all of the ideas. 

The reason I like this type of exercise is because it’s fun and most of all it does not cause idea paralysis. Have you ever tried to create a list of for a big idea and get frustrated because it seemed hard to organize your thoughts? Mind-mapping (I like idea-mapping better) avoids this type of paralysis and frustration by just letting you write down any idea without worry of formal structure. Once you are done the feeling you have is one of major relief and gratification because you have emptied the holding bin inside your head and allowed room for new thoughts and ideas. Keeping things locked in your head causes frustration and anxiety until you can empty those thoughts. 

Mind-mapping can be done with a number of softwares ( I use http://www.mindjet.com/ ) or even a big whiteboard (my favorite – my office is filled wall to wall with whiteboards) and when you fill up the whiteboard use a digital camera to take a picture and can then wipe the board clean for round 2. 

In the end you will be amazed at how many new ideas this exercise develops and how organized your ideas will actually become as you start mind/idea-mapping. Now go idea-map all those great ideas!!

mindmap1

here’s another good article by Thursday Bram on mind mapp to presentation

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Thanks for stopping by! ~ Devin Day

Comments

  1. says

    Mind mapping is a great idea, but I find all the software out there to facilitate it to just get in the way. Part of the idea is to get a creative flow going, and let things come out of the back of your brain, so the front of your brain can identify them and organize them. Most software I’ve tried just gets in the way of that. In other words I spend more time messing with the software then I do mapping out my thoughts.

    The best way I’ve found to do this is sticky notes and a great big wall. You write things down in no great detail, then organize them in clusters or flows on the wall. As your thoughts progress it’s a simple matter to unstick and reorganize things by just moving the sticky notes around.

    Works even better with two people, one writing ideas and the other sticking them.

    Nice site you have here.

  2. Devin Day says

    Datter,

    You make an excellent point. With myself, I tend to use my white board 99% of the time.

    I also find that because I am standing while using the whiteboard, I get more blood to the brain. This blood-flow I have noticed allows me to be far more creative than sitting in a chair.

  3. Devin Day says

    For more information on Datter’s idea about the sticky notes there is an excellent book called slideology. This book lays out a step by step processes for using sticky notes to organize ideas.

    The book is also one of the best book recourses for creating a killer presentation to present your big idea.

    Check it out here – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0596522347

  4. says

    I was thinking I would use the free “MindNode” software that is available to Mac users and is really quite good, but you make a good comment and reason for using the big whiteboard behind me. So that’s one thing for the task list!

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