I rediscovered a mind mapping and mind maps for me a few days ago. I used to dislike them for a long time but then I understood, that I had tried to use them in a wrong way. And here I'll try to summarise information I have about mind maps.
What is a mind map
As I see, a mind map is a tool that helps us to overview a situation, to see a whole picture, to understand a problem's dependencies.
An important thing about mind maps is that they give us a possibility to get free of keeping a huge amount of data in our minds and let us a chance to concentrate deeper on each part of a topic. It helps us to use our mind resource more effectively.
What is it good for
Mind maps are good if you want
- to look at the whole picture and understand what do you have now about a topic
- to understand dependencies of a problem. What you have to resolve to reach a goal
- not to lose a complex model of some topic or problem
What is it bad for
I think, that we should not use mind maps to plan our resources. Mind maps might be helpful to understand what kind of resources do we need but they are not about planning resources or time.
We should use each tool by their direct purpose. Mind maps are not a silver bullet, they can't solve a lot of problems, otherwise they are such kind of tools that solve just one problem but do it as no one can.
My personal case of using mind maps is using them the as the first step (preparing, maybe) in plan building to summarise what I know about a problem that I need to solve.