Mind mapping is a brilliant way to get information and ideas out of your head and down on paper. It’s similar to brainstorming but in a more creative and visual way – great for all those visual types (like me) that like to see things in an overview type form.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when you have a million ideas and concepts floating around in your mind. Mind mapping allows you to dump all that information in a non-linear way that opens you up to additional ideas and thoughts. It’s a wonderful way to capture ideas while brainstorming at the same time.


Mind mapping can be used for almost anything, including:

  • capturing ideas
  • brainstorming
  • organizing your thoughts
  • providing an overview of a situation (or relationship)
  • visioning
  • problem solving
  • planning
  • expanding on an idea
  • allowing multiple people to chime in on one idea/thought easily

I’ve used mind mapping to brainstorm ideas for my business, to plan for the next 3 months to five years, to vision the future I want and to get all my complex ideas down.

  • Get yourself a large piece of paper and something to write with. I prefer mind mapping on big butcher block paper using different color Sharpie markers to illustrate the different areas of my map.
  • Write your basic concept/idea/theme as your center point. Put this in a circle, cloud, square or whatever works for you.
  • Next branch off subtopics from the central topic, connecting them with a line.
  • Add details to the subtopics, connecting lines from the details to the subtopic or relevant detail, continuing to branch out as needed.
  • Continue to add subtopics and details until you feel complete.
  • Center point: my business name (and mission/goal).
  • Subtopics: different areas of my business, such as coaching, design and marketing.
  • Details: detailed information about each subtopic, such as different programs and services I offer under my coaching subtopic.
  • Use different colored pens/markers for the different subtopics and all their connecting details. For example, all my coaching stuff would be in green while all my marketing stuff is in red. This helps you to see each section more easily and allows you to really cram stuff in without too much confusion or subtopic overlapping.
  • Be as visual as you can. Add drawings and symbols as you feel called. Play with it. Allow your creativity to come out.
  • Keep things short and simple. Especially keep the subtopics limited to one or two words. The details can be a bit longer but don’t start writing paragraphs. Keep things quick and succinct.
  • Have fun with it. Seriously get as creative as you want! The more creative and loose you are with it, the more your brain will deliver brilliant ideas and insights. You’ll literally be igniting your creativity.

I’d love to know what mind maps you’ve created. Please share how you’ve used mind mapping in the comments below.

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