Posted by: Susan Hendrich | May 13, 2011

Sticky Note Mind Maps

Need help solving a dilemma? Want ideas for a better way to do things? Got a new project that needs structure? Try Sticky Note Mind Mapping!

Psychologist Tony Buzan developed “Mind Mapping” as a tool for thinking ‘laterally’ – it’s a type of visual brainstorming that’s based on a central idea written in the center of a page (or wall), then related ideas are added on branches that radiate from this central idea. Because of this structure, it requires all ideas to be connected to the center and allows connection to one another, providing opportunity for convergent thinking, fitting ideas together, as well as thinking up new ideas. Sticky note Mind mapping allows you to ‘storm and sort’ your ideas.

Steps:
1. Find a large section of blank wall or whiteboard and lots of sticky notes and markers. Using a variety of sticky note colors and sizes, simply jot down all your thoughts on the sticky notes – with each new thought or concept on a new sticky note.
2. As you write down your thoughts on the sticky notes, stick them up on the wall or whiteboard – you can group them into similar themes as you stick them up, but the best thing about using sticky notes for this map is that you can move them around as your thoughts develop.
3. Once you’ve jotted down all your thoughts and stuck them on the wall, look for branches and connections between the ideas. What’s missing? What are the recurring ideas? Where are the connections?
4. When you’ve sorted the sticky notes into a map that makes the most sense of your thoughts, you can either take a photo of it as your record, or draw it as a real mind map.

Considerations:
• Don’t think too much about structure as you’re preparing the map – just let it flow as you work through the process
• Work through it quickly to keep up the flow of ideas
• Keep the points brief – you can expand them later
• Use sketches, images and pictures (if you can) – it makes it easier to remember and more personal, but make sure it doesn’t slow down the brainstorming flow. ClipArt is great for this!
• Once you’ve got it all down, stand back and take a look. What’s missing? What are the recurring ideas? Where are the connections?
• Continue! This mind map is a work in progress.

Have you tried a sticky note mind map? If so, let us know how it helped you!

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