Using Mind Maps to Get More Done,
Make Better Decisions, and
Take Action Faster … in Less Time

I’ve discovered a way to get more done and make better decisions … in less time.

And even though that sounds like a good headline for a product, it’s actually a simple technique you can use any time you want.

It’s made a huge difference in my work and personal life by making me more efficient and better organized.

I’m making smarter decisions. My projects are turning out stronger. And I have a clearer overall, more focused view of everything I do.

Plus – and this is a biggie – I now take more action and I do it faster.

For example, two of my goals this year were to write a book and build my own money-making website. It’s the end of April. My website is now live, and I’m happy to report that the book is on track to becoming a reality.

So today I’m going to show you the technique I’m using, and how you can use it to get the same results in your own life.

It’s called “mind mapping.” Have you heard of it?

Put simply, a mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas that are in your head. By being able to visualize your thoughts and then organize them, you’re able to better analyze, comprehend, recall, and generate new ideas.

And even though it may sound a little confusing to start, its power is in its simplicity.

Here is a simple example of a mind map that I created to keep track of my ideas for Wealthy Web Writer articles:

How mind mapping works …

Traditional note taking, where you arrange ideas and concepts in a structured manner, limits you to left-brain thinking only. It’s logical and analytical.

But a mind map’s free-flowing structure takes advantage of the full range of your analytical AND creative skills by encouraging right-brain thinking and helping you think more visually.

The result? Better and more complete, more creative, results.

Ideas for using mind maps …

There are many uses for mind maps, ranging from marketing plans to shopping lists, but here are the most relevant for your web writing.

  1. You want to brainstorm new ideas.

    Whether you’re writing a book, an essay, a sales promo, or a money-making website, a mind map is the perfect way to get your ideas flowing.

  2. You have a problem, and you can’t choose a solution.

    When you have a problem bugging you, and you can’t choose a solution, a mind map can help you weigh the pros and cons of each solution. Better still, it can help you come up with solutions that you didn’t realize existed.

  3. You want to organize your research.

    As a writer or web marketer, you’re constantly doing research and coming across information that will be useful in a specific project.

    By creating a mind map for every project – whether you’re working on it now, or plan to work on it in the future – you’ll automatically organize your research by adding it to the corresponding map as you find it. Once you’re ready to get started on the project, all of your valuable research and information will be waiting for you.

  4. You want to evaluate where your money is coming from.

    As a web writer, you’ll want to have your “income eggs” in various baskets, so you’re never relying on a single source of income.

    But it’s equally important to evaluate your various baskets, to see where you should be focusing your time and energy. A mind map can visually show you exactly how much revenue is coming from which basket.

How to create your first mind map …

I personally use software called MindManager to create my mind maps, because I like to store them digitally and share them with other people as needed. But you can also create one by using a piece of paper. (I recommend using a landscape layout.)

  1. Start in the middle of the page, and write down the big idea that you want to develop. Then draw a circle around it.
  2. Next write down subtopics that are related to your big idea. Draw a shape around them, and then connect each one to your big idea by drawing a line.
  3. Repeat the same process for each of those subtopics, writing down lower-lever subtopics as you see fit, and connecting them to their corresponding subtopic.
  4. Link subtopics to other subtopics if relevant.

Some tips for drawing a mind map …

  • Use colors, symbols, and ALL CAPS to help you emphasize important points. It will help organize your map and make obvious connections between ideas stand out.
  • Keep the topic labels very short. One to two words at the most.
  • If your big idea doesn’t really have any subtopics, write down keywords or even draw pictures to further flesh it out.

Final thoughts …

If you’re looking to improve your brainstorming process, or maybe you’ve been putting off a task or project for too long, try drawing a mind map. You’ll think more creatively, you’ll get more done in less time, and most importantly – you’ll take action, faster.

Or try drawing a mind map for your own money-making website, and see just how easy it is.

Grab a piece of paper, write “Money-Making Website” in the middle, and draw a circle around it.

Then write down all of the things you’re passionate about around that circle. Think of topics that you wouldn’t mind writing a few, quick paragraphs about every day.

Break those passion topics into even smaller subtopics. And use colors and ALL CAPS to indicate the ones you’re most excited about.

Then, grab a copy of Nick’s How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites program and learn how you can turn the passion you’re most excited about into a passive income stream in your spare time.

Yes, it’s really that easy.

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Published: April 29, 2009

11 Responses to “Using Mind Maps to Get More Done, Make Better Decisions, and Take Action Faster … in Less Time”

  1. I've used MindManager for a year now. It is great.

    About 10 days ago I met with my first B2B clients helping them devise a plan for the new direction for their business.

    This plan involves multiple WEB sites, special reports, landing pages, articles and more. As we talked, I put it all on MindManager. Not only was everything right there, it was easy to read and easy to shift around.

    Great suggestion!

    CathyCApril 29, 2009 at 7:25 am

  2. I think mind mapping is a great tool. I'll have to give MindManager a try.

    Recently I used mind mapping to devise a plan for a VA team to assist me with the various areas of my business, mapping out not only the business points but the team member skill sets. It saved a ton of time!

    LauraAApril 29, 2009 at 9:26 am

  3. Rebecca, Thank you very much for this tip. I have been thinking about a similar way to help me. I was thinking about an outline, which has helped me in other projects in the past. This mind mapping is a very good concept. And I plan on experiment with your idea.
    Thank you

    df462001April 29, 2009 at 12:23 pm

  4. Hi Rebecca,

    Mind mapping is somewhat similar to graphic coaching where you add visual aids by drawing them.

    Erlinda

    ErlindaApril 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm

  5. I read your tips again on mind mapping. I tried it as I was reading your article because I retain better what I read when I jot down notes. Mind mapping will help me organize my "many" ideas which were "on hold forever" because I don't really know where to start since I finished my AWAI Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

    Thanks Rebecca!

    Erlinda

    ErlindaJanuary 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm

  6. Thanks for a reminder of an extremely useful tool. I've used Buzan's iMindMap in the past, but I will check out MindManager. Do you have any knowledge of how iMindMap compares to iManager?

    DacadonSeptember 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm

  7. OMG-Thank you for the mind mapping article. A revelation! I haven't given MindManager a try yet, but just this minute jotted down the beginnings of my first mind mapping session. Powerful stuff. For someone (me) who is visual to begin with, and who tends to become scatter-brained when the ideas start flowing, this just could be a game changer. Thanks again, Rebecca.

    AnthonyOctober 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm

  8. Thanks for this awesome article Rebecca. I'm excited about implementing it on some biz ideas I've been nursing in my head. Time to 'map' them out!

    Shannon NNovember 20, 2010 at 11:39 pm

  9. I've used this in other settings but hadn't considered it since I joined COS. Thanks for the reminder of a great tool!

    ETMarch 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm

  10. Very well written Rebecca. I am an 82 years of age former carpenter, and have been tied to a walker following a stroke in June of 2004.I finished the Masterson copy writing course as well as the resume writing course several years go. At about the time I finished, I learned that my wife had committed us to the scented candle business so my copy writing was put on hold. So far I like what I see, however this old man may need some help.

    WebtexJanuary 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm


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