One of the challenges that users of mind mapping software face is that we’re all left on our own to figure out how to use it. Many of us are able to master the basics pretty quickly – adding topics and arranging them, and using it as a basic outliner to capture your ideas.
But many others never progress beyond that point. It’s hard to find best practices to leverage all of its vast potential.
Also, many beginner mind mappers don’t understand that there’s more to mind maps then a spider-like network of words. There’s so much more that can be added to enhance mind maps that you don’t usually see in blog posts, templates and online mind map galleries. Because many maps shared there are very rudimentary, it reinforces the perception that this is what ALL maps should look like.
That, in turn, leads to a lack of knowledge of how to use many of its tools to enhance the clarity, meaning and impact of your mind maps.
That’s a pity, because mind mapping software can do so much more to help you think, plan and create more effectively.
A simple solution: The F.A.S.T. framework
The F.A.S.T. framework is a four-step process, based on best practices for software-based mind mapping, that can help you consistently create clear, high-quality mind maps.
It’s based on eight core principles that have been tested, refined and improved over the last 14 years:
- Create a solid foundation using carefully-chosen first-level topics
- When brainstorming topics, allow for emergent structure
- Use an iterative approach to drive depth and completeness
- Use topics not just for content but also as guides to yourself
- Don’t overlook the power of refactoring
- Use the painter’s technique
- Other people don’t have your context. Help them understand your mind map.
- Use CCA to verify the quality of your mind maps
You can learn more about my e-course that teaches the F.A.S.T. framework here.
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