mindmapping has become one of my favourite activities when it comes to brainstorming ideas. I use it now almost anytime I take notes. the creativity flow is increased so much that it’s almost hard to stop.

I use it to:

brainstorm ideas
search for words to write lyrics
make decisions (on almost any topic)
finding topics for blogposts
determine to-do’s
track recording processes
track my practicing process
find solutions to problems
overcome writer’s block
do 80/20 analyses of my work and life
do interviews
…and more

basically anything I write down these days ends up to be a mind map.
at the end they look like a big idea-virus, a piece of art, and it’s so easy to go from one central keyword or idea to an infinite set of ideas and phrases linked directly to the initial idea. many times I stumble upon new and never before thought of angles of the same idea or problem.

I tried to find software that is as much fun as doing it by hand. the software I found so far is either too complicated to use or the look and feel is to dry, the handling of the software kills the creative mind-flow.

I think, anyway, when it comes to brainstorming and idea development using a computer or other technical device is drawing the attention away from the subject and the mind flow is distorted.

the technique is especially helpful when you write lyrics and you need to get words, phrases, even storylines sorted out.

this is how I do it:

1. start in the middle of a piece of paper, write down my central idea or phrase or word.
2. I write down all related ideas around that central idea and connect them with a line
3. I then repeat this with all the new findings. you’ll spread your mind in all directions and you’ll end up with a pretty cool idea-virus and everything is connected to the one little idea in the middle of the paper.

I recommend to do this as often as possible to get into the habit.
you can filter the different mindstreams which flow from the central idea by giving them different colors, so you’ll immediately see what relates to each other.

happy mapping.

tell me what the most surprising a-ha experience you got from doing mindmapping your ideas in the comments.

(photo by philippe boukobza under a cc attribution license )

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