When crafting new presentations or discovering messaging, it can be a good idea to spend some time figuring out what your current thinking is.  One way to do that is through mind mapping.  Mind maps are a fantastic way to free associate on a specific topic, in a more structured manner.

Here are some steps for creating one, followed with a rough visual outline of one:

  1. Find your central topic(s).  Jot them down on a side piece of paper.  They should be simple words of phrases like “money,” “working,” “financial analysis,” etc.
  2. Grab some colored pencils and some blank white paper.
  3. Have some sort of a side distraction so you’re not 100% focused on this.  You want to be able to free flow (I like to do these with a non-complicated movie on)
  4. Draw a circle in the center of your first piece of paper, write your first topic in.
  5. Draw lines out of that circle for some big categories that come to mind
  6. Keep drawing lines out of the various categories of details that come to mind
  7. Spend about 30 minutes on this
  8. Repeat until all of your topics have been gone through
  9. Analyze your mind maps to see your thinking.  You now have new content to use when you work on your storylines.

More advanced tips:

  • Use color to group and differentiate your information
  • Use icons or illustrations to either illustrate your words or replace them
  • Use online software if you don’t have access to paper.  Can make them easier to share with others.
  • If not using an online software, take pictures of your mind maps and upload them.

An illustration: