Mind maps are a graphical depiction of interconnected thoughts, ideas or facts. Mind maps were made popular in the 1970’s by a British man called Tony Buzan.
Before personal computers were available, mind maps were created using pen and paper. Now, with the advent of the personal computer, mind maps can be produced using computer software, making them much more viable as a business tool.
Creating mind maps with a computer has the advantage that the contents can be easily modified to suit changing requirements. Some mind map software even allows task-tracking information to be embedded within elements in a mind map. This information can then allow a project manager (and other project members) to gain useful information regarding the progress of the tasks.
In theory, mind maps should be indispensable to the business world, but, in practice, it has not yet embraced these concepts and remains committed to the use of traditional “linear thinking” tools like word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software and email for communication and dissemination of ideas amongst team members. If Micro$oft included mind mapping software as part of their Office suite I expect adoption of mind mapping would skyrocket.
Mind maps work by starting with a “central theme” and then linking first-level nodes known as “topics”. Second-level nodes and beyond are known as “sub-topics”. The process is simple and intuitive, and it is quite startling how quickly and easily one can capture and develop ideas which are already embedded somewhere in your brain.
To learn more about mind maps, see here: Mind map wiki