For most people, the default way to take notes and plan events is very linear. On a clean page in the top left corner they start to write things down in sentences one line after the other. The drawback to this linear approach is that it is challenging to connect thoughts and ideas quickly, especially when they are separated on the page. A great alternative approach for note taking and planning is a mind map.
Mind maps, popularized by author Tony Buzan, are a way to represent information in a visual format that is quick to make and easy to absorb. As described on the site iMindmap.com: “A Mind Map is a visual thinking tool that can be applied to all cognitive functions, especially memory, learning, creativity and analysis.” Not only is a mind map a great alternative to regular note taking, it is also a strong collaborative tool as multiple people can work on a mind map at the same time. A large poster size paper and a bunch of markers allow a team to brainstorm very quickly and creatively. In the July 2016 article of Toastmaster magazine, Tony Buzan said the following about Mind Maps, “It’s like a gymnasium for your mind and gives you a multiple-level workout. I use it when I’m planing my day, giving a speech or writing a book.”