Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Map your way to success ...

Simple ideas sketched on cafe napkins have turned into great business realities that have made industry giants.

Often when we have ideas that we need to work out, we reach for a piece of paper and pen. Sometimes we draw out our ideas; sometimes we journal our thoughts. Others boot up their computer and capture their thinking while their fingers run across the keyboard.

But many people, when working out concepts, ideas, or a series of thoughts, often need and benefit from a visual diagram of their thoughts. It helps to "flesh out" all of the elements and even provides for enhanced creativity.

Yet so few actually use tools developed for "mapping" such thought processes.

Years ago John Trent wrote a book called "Life Mapping" with the concept being how you can get a bigger picture, and better context, of your life by "mapping" it.

Business persons and groups have been using "mind mapping" for years, and technology increasingly is adding ways to share those thoughts in real-time and more collaborative ways.

Following are some simplistic (very!) samples of what can be done to map out personal life, professional life, or even ministry thoughts, ideas, concepts, projects, etc.
Many people could benefit significantly by mapping out a variety of issues in their personal lives, professional lives, or in the ministry work they are responsible for. There are a variety of free and paid online resources to provide you with mapping tools beyond what can sometimes be the messiness of paper and pencil. Most have the means to share with other users, or even work collaboratively, to send their work to others and to post their work online.

Let me encourage you to give "life mapping" or "mind mapping" a try. See if it helps you personally improve your thought or planning processes. Consider how such mapping could be done collaboratively to benefit your work or ministry teams. I think you will find the mapping processes to be greatly beneficial, especially for all you visual learners! And you'll likely find the process to be fun as well.



  1. Scotty,
    Hey, great post. I work at Mindjet (we make the mind mapping software MindManager). We have lots of examples of how to use mind maps for life and work dasbboard maps. You can check them out at http://blog.mindjet.com and if anyone has questions about mapping, feel free to ask. I'm happy to help! Btw, we're neighbors. I'm in Novato :)

  2. Hey neighbor! Thanks for the info, and Mindjet is a familiar name in mapping, thanks for the info and post!