Categories | Getting Things Done | Software
It’s well-known that David Allen is a big fan of mind mapping for capturing ideas and brainstorming projects. In the GTD book, you’ll find several references to this creative brainstorming technique (pages 70-72), coined by British Researcher Tony Buzan.
The wonderful thing about a process like mind mapping is that it gives our brain a way to capture ideas without having to figure out on the front-end what to do with it or how to organize it. Have you ever tried to sit down and sequentially plan a project, but get frustrated trying to corral all of the random details in some kind of order? Our brains don’t always logically “organize” information as we think of it. Mindmapping removes the sequential limitations and gives the brain a way to freely download. It can also be a great problem-solving tool as well if you find your team getting stuck on a solution. Sit everyone down with a flip chart or whiteboard, get a neutral scribe who won’t control what’s added, and let everyone randomly call out ideas.
Mind mapping can be done in hard or soft copy–depending on your style. There is no right or wrong way. If you are a pen + paper kind of person, try it that way. There are also several good electronic mindmapping tools available. David uses MindManager by MindJet. However, there are others available too, ranging in price and features. Lifehacker recently did a nice review of their top 5.