Mind mapping on the iPad is a powerful combination for business. Here are 10 ways you can use them to think deeply about your business – and kick your productivity and creativity up several notches in the process!
1. Visually outline your goals. Drill down from high-level goals in each of your life roles to specific action steps you can begin taking now to bring each of them into reality.
2. Start a to-do list. Group items by their context and location. For example, tasks to do at home, items to pick up from the grocery store, topics you need to discuss with your significant other, etc. Also consider adding icons (1,2,3 or A,B,C) to denote their relative importance.
3. Think through a new project or initiative. Create map branches for its key elements: Objectives, people, resources, timetable and more. Then add details to each section, including tasks to be done and who should be responsible for them.
4. Create a list of the top 10 people with whom you’d really like to network, and capture as many details as you can about what you know about them, common connections and shared interests. Then create a timetable for reaching out to each of them. In today’s world, your level of success is directly tied to the strength of your network.
5. Deconstruct a problem or challenge. Break it down into its individual elements and outline all contributing factors. Try to discern the root cause of it. Then use what you’ve learned from this problem definition exercise to brainstorm potential solutions.
6. Plan an upcoming business meeting. Create branches to capture all of the important details, including the agenda, who to invite, supporting materials that will be distributed, meeting location and facility needs (projector and screen, plus broadband access so several people at remote locations can participate via Skype, for example).
7. Create an “idea repository” to capture your best ideas. Include their potential pros and cons in sub-branches. Add priorities to them so you know which ones you’d like to implement first, which should come next and so forth.
8. Think through potential scenarios that may affect your business in the future. What if the economy got dramatically better? What it got much worse? What if a strong new competitor emerged in your industry or profession? How would you respond? Exloring “what ifs?” is a powerful use of mind mapping apps/
9. Conduct online research using your tablet device, and use a mind map to capture and organize your findings. Many apps enable you to attach notes to map branches, where you can add your own thoughts about what you’re reading, and links to the source web pages. Mind maps are awesome research tools!
10. Outline the content of a report or presentation you need to create. Think through the major sections and what you need to cover in them. Create map branches and sub-branches to capture these details. Mind maps, because they are so visually oriented, make it easier to see what’s missing, what’s superfluous, and what needs to be re-ordered to make better sense.
Remember: You can use your tablet device anywhere. Portability is one of its most compelling advantages. So get out of the office, find a quiet spot and do some really deep thinking – and use your mind mapping app to capture it all. I predict you’ll like working in this way so much that you’ll make it part of your regular work routine.
Also keep in mind that many mind mapping apps can export to popular desktop mind mapping software formats. So you can get a strong head start on a map on your tablet device, and then transfer it to the desktop to further flesh it out and complete it.
Thinking deeply about your work and your life is one of the most valuable things you can do to improve them. It’s an outstanding way to propel yourself to higher levels of performance and achievement. Now that you have the tools to do so, make an appointment with yourself for several hours, several times a month. Retreat to your quiet spot and get thinking!