Information, knowledge and ideas are cheap and plentiful today. But the sheer volume of it that’s available with a click of a mouse creates a new problem: we are all overwhelmed with information. How do you sort through it, distill it and use it to share your unique point of view with the world?
Not surprisingly, mind mapping software is a powerful tool that can help us with these tasks. And make the most of the cornucopia of information, knowledge and ideas that are available to you today.
The traditional approach, used by millions of would-be creators:
- Conduct a wealth of online research.
- Copy and paste relevant excerpts and citations into your favorite digital note-taking tool.
- Become overwhelmed as you skim through 60+ connected notes. You can only view one of them at at time, so it’s hard to see how the ideas they contain are connected. Sure, you can connect related concepts from different notes together, but it’s hard to see a bigger-picture view of what you’ve collected, distill it into a cohesive whole and add your unique point of view to it.
- Struggle to organize it into a useful form.
- Feel emotionally and physically exhausted.
A better way, which is an order of magnitude more efficient and effective and results in higher-quality output:
- Open up a new mind map.
- Conduct online research.
- Use your mind mapping software to group related bits of research and notes together – with ease.
- Use topic embellishments, such as topic color, shape and icons, to visually classify and prioritize your findings.
- Distill your findings. Keep what’s really useful to what you’re trying to create. Eliminate the rest.
- Organize, interpret and enhance what’s left. Make it your own, in preparation for sharing it with the world.
- Export it to the platform you’ll use to produce the final result (Word, Google Docs, PowerPoint, etc.).
- Publish your original content, based on your extensive research.
Which approach would you choose?
A caveat: It’s not my intention to criticize note-taking tools. I use them daily for my writing. This post is being written in one. It’s just that projects of this magnitude benefit from a tool that enables you to clearly see the forest AND the trees, and that empowers you to see your information and ideas in relationship with each other.
That’s what mind mapping software does best!