Did you ever forget important ideas? Perhaps, you did. Sometimes we all forget important information just because we don’t write it down. Sometimes we think that it’s impossible to forget something but then we get distracted, and the idea goes away forever.

If your idea is simple, you can always just jot it down. For example, write it on a sticker and put it somewhere where you can see it. However, if an idea is complex, for example, if it’s a big project, the task becomes much more difficult. You have an understanding of what everything should look like but complex plans require you to think of many details, and sometimes it’s hard to understand where to start. The best way to write down a complex concept is to create a visual structure which will represent all its aspects and include all necessary details.

Visual schemes can help you easily remember and learn complex information. The thing is that our brain processes visual information much faster. We spend 60,000 times less time processing images than text, and 90% of all information our brain receives is visual information. How to use this feature of our brain to remember more and to be more productive? It becomes possible thanks to mind mapping.

Mind Mapping: What Is It?

Simply put, mind mapping is a method of organizing notes. Content strategists at College Writers note that the difference between plain text or tables and mind mapping is that the latter allows you to organize any information as you want, connecting different topics logically. Just write the main idea or task in the center and then build branches to other ideas or tasks. After that, build new branches from these sub-ideas or smaller tasks, and repeat it as many times as you need. Such a structure is very simple, it looks natural and allows you to quickly understand the logical connection between different pieces of information at a glance.

To create a mind map, you only need a sheet of paper and a pen. However, there are many programs that allow you to create complex mind maps, attaching documents, media, and sharing them with other people. Such mind maps can be a great solution for a business meeting or a brainstorm session. In addition, mind maps can help you remember all your everyday tasks and perform them in a necessary order, being much more productive.

How Do Mind Maps Increase Productivity?

  • First, mind maps allow you to organize your ideas. It’s easy to get distracted when brainstorming or planning tasks. Using mind maps, you connect every thought to the main idea and divide all other ideas into subcategories. This approach makes it easy to focus on what is important.
  • Mind maps present information in a visual manner, which helps you make decisions quickly. When concepts and ideas are presented as an image, your brain doesn’t waste time connecting various aspects of the concept and visualizing them.
  • Mind maps also allow both sides of your brainto work simultaneously. They connect logic and intuition, which boosts productivity and helps you solve problems faster. The right hemisphere is responsible for analysis, logic, reasoning, and critical thinking. It may seem like you don’t need anything else to make business decisions, however, the right hemisphere is not responsible for creativity. Mind mapping allows you to analyze information and come up with creative solutions at the same time.

Why You Should Use Mind Mapping Software for Productivity

1. You can rethink your ideas

Every time you add new thoughts to a mind map, you integrate it into the general structure. Not only does it help you connect new ideas to the main agenda, but it also allows you to rethink the whole plan taking into account new details.

2. Creative problem-solving

Using logical connections and associations, you can find creative solutions, and you can do it quickly. Pieces of information that might seem unrelated are logically connected in relation to the main idea and other issues. Thus, you can focus on creativity.

3. Flexibility

You can freely operate your knowledge with no need to worry that you change something important. Rearrange tasks and solutions independently, build new relationships between different ideas, and add any new details without changing the existing structure.

4. Easier decision-making

Mind maps are a great solution if you want to estimate all the pros and cons of a certain solution. You can build mind maps that include different variants of the possible outcome, predicting future problems and making optimal decisions.

Mind Mapping Software for Personal Productivity

Coggle
This is a free extension for Chrome. It’s a good solution for projects that require collaboration. The interface is intuitive and simple. You can add images and comments. The app also has a chat, which is great when you have to work with a large team. In addition, this program is compatible with Google Contacts and Google Drive.

Creately
This is a powerful mind mapping program that has hundreds of libraries and examples. It has many customization options and is great for collaboration. You can also export your mind maps into Adobe Illustrator and then modify them as you want.

MindMeister
This program allows contributors to collaborate in real time. It also allows you to use various types of lists and documents. It has a simple interface and is perfectly optimized for mobile devices. All the information is synced with a cloud storage. You can install MindMeister for personal use ($4.99 per month) or buy a business subscription for $14.99 per month.

XMind
It’s an open source solution. You can create an account for free or buy premium features for $79 per year. The main advantage of XMind is that it enables you to export your mind maps in many different formats, including HTML, PDF, and even TXT.

Bubbl.us
This is another tool which helps create diagrams and has a variety of templates. For example, you can choose templates for project development or event management. This program doesn’t have powerful customization tools but it allows you to change colors and it’s free. However, if you want to enable sharing, you’ll need to pay $5 per month.

Conclusion

Mind maps can increase your productivity because they save your time. You can write down your thoughts and connect them logically, building complex diagrams which are easy to understand and remember. Mind maps help you organize your ideas by imitating the way our brain links different concepts. Mind maps are a great solution for brainstorming, business meetings, and any everyday tasks that require you to plan many actions in advance. 

Ester Brierley

Ester Brierley is a QA Engineer in a software outsourcing company, but thinking about her own entrepreneurial journey. Now she is a competent virtual assistant and seasoned content creator for College Writers. And in her spare time, Ester takes online courses to improve her marketing skills. Follow her on Twitter.