• Pablo Peña

A tested method to unblock your Creativity

Mind map
This technique has been tested and is used by many to overcome creative blocks.

Have you ever struggled to get new ideas? Did you ever feel that you could not organize your thoughts around a new project or task?

One way to help overcome your creative block is to use mind maps.

What is a mind map?

A mind map is a diagram to visually organize information in a hierarchical manner. It shows the relationships among the pieces of the whole. In its basic form, the pieces can be single keywords or simple drawings.

If you look at a mind map you will see that it looks like a spider. The main concept or idea is represented by a keyword in the center of the diagram. Then you see other keywords around the main central word. And these secondary words are linked with a line back to the center. The lines are sometimes drawn using different colors to differentiate them.

You can draw a mind map by hand on a piece of paper. Students and many professionals use mind maps to take notes during a lecture, meeting or planning session. Mind maps can also be drawn on a whiteboard.

Some use mind maps in a collaborative way by several people working on it at the same time. As mentioned before, they can do this on paper, a whiteboard or through a computer program.

Man writing a mind map on a whiteboard
Many use mind maps on a whiteboard for team presentations

Mind mapping software is available. This software can organize large amount of information on the user’s computer and on the Internet. This information can be spreadsheets, images and other types of documents.

Are mind maps useful?

Some researchers have studied the effectiveness of mind maps. They found that their use can help understand concepts and memory recall. Many users of mind maps find they help boost their creativity.

If you want to learn how to use a mind map you can find many books on amazon.

You can also try the mind mapping software. There are a few good programs available. Some are even free of charge. One I would recommend is FreeMind. But its has not been updated in a while. There is a more recent program that is derived from it: Freeplane.

You can download Freeplane from https://www.freeplane.org

The software works on Windows and Mac computers. You need the Java program installed first. If you do not already have it, go to https://java.com

The first thing to do if you are new to mind mapping software is to follow the tutorial. In Freeplane you can find it the Help – tutorial menu.

The cool thing about map mapping software is that it can help you get your ideas organized and you can then export the mind map as a PDF or slideshow presentation. You can also export it as a web page.

You can email the file to a colleague to get feedback. Or you can use a mind map in your next team meeting.

Many people especially those working in creative occupations have found that mind maps help them improve their creativity.

There is one author that wrote an entire book using mind mapping software through the entire writing process. And there are film makers using mind maps to create their films. As you can see the applications are numerous.

If you feel blocked now and short of ideas why not try mind mapping?

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