Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Many Uses for Mind Maps


I have a number of training workshops coming up in the next couple of weeks and what better way to plan them out then with a mind map. Using a mind map gives you the ability to get your ideas down and then gives you the flexibility to move your ideas around as you survey the landscape. When I first open up the mind map I quickly to a "brain dump" on the topics I plan to cover and once that is in place, I can begin to see how all the pieces fit together. It gives me a great deal of freedom knowing that I have complete control of how to structure the day by getting a snap shot of the activities and topics planned. Once I have decided on my topics I often will turn on the numbering feature which lets me take a look at the sequence of events.

If I plan on using web sites in my training session I will attach a hyperlink to the activity. Likewise, I will often add notes to my mind map which can provide additional information to my participants on a topic that I will be covering. But the real benefit of using a mind map for the development of my training sessions is that when I am done I can quickly turn my map into a Word document which becomes an easy to use handout for the session. Both MindManager 8 & MindView 3 have excellent Microsoft Word integration for exporting your mind maps to a visually pleasing Word document. For those colleagues of mine who are more visual they get the mind map on the front page of the handout right before the Table of Contents. One of the advantages of building my training handout in a mind mapping tool is that the Table of Contents is linked to the contents. By Control clicking on an entry in the Table of Contents the user is automatically taken to the topic in the body of the handout. All of the web links are carried over as well, which makes it very easy for my participants to go to those sites during the class. In my effort to go green, I have created a number of Google Sites which then allows me to upload my handout to.

For those of you who use Adobe Acrobat you can quickly convert your Word handout to a PDF which protects your materials. You should note that all of the links in your document are maintained which gives the user a very good experience as they interact with your handout.

All in all, using mind maps to prepare and plan for training sessions has been just one more way that I have found to use mind maps in the course of my professional work. When you are done planning you can quickly turn them into highly interactive handouts that your participants will enjoy using.

If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from your investment in a mind mapping program send me an email. I can provide you with personal coaching and demonstrate to you all of the ways you can use your mind mapping application so you can get ahead of the pack.

 
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