How to Brainstorm with Mind Maps – Learn Easy TricksNancy
We all want a solution to tease out our ideas and learn concepts based on a usable format. Such a step is both important to our daily lives, educational assignments and business. Lists and paper notes can’t always help, so what else should you try? Today we gonna see how to brainstorm with mind maps in the best mind map software.
What Is Brainstorming?
Brainstorming is popular both in professional and educational contexts, and it is a technique generated to assist teams in finding creative ideas in order to solve practical problems. It has already been proved by university researchers that the creative output of groups would be around 55% higher than that of individual members in terms of problem-solving productivity.
Mind map created by Edraw MindMaster
A typical brainstorming process usually includes the following key principles:
- Each brainstorming session should only focus on one particular problem;
- Participants are encouraged to point out as many ideas as possible;
- Don’t judge others’ ideas and welcome unusual ideas;
- Try to develop your own ideas based on others;
Why Should I Use Mind Maps for Brainstorming?
Mind maps have many great advantages for different fields of users in various industries and sectors. Normally, the main benefits of mind maps are:
- It is a productive way to visually organize your thoughts on one topic;
- You can freely use words, colors, images, and numbers to highlight ideas;
- It shows great flexibility and can help you explore more rooted relationships with different ideas or sub-topics;
When to Use Mind Maps for Brainstorming?
Actually, you can use mind maps for brainstorming in nearly all cases such as below:
- Reading assignments in school projects, especially when you are absorbing content;
- Product or website UI design, project management, business reporting, software testing and so on to help you prioritize project tasks;
How to Brainstorm with Mind Maps?
Recommended best practices for a productive brainstorming process are based on the following:
Step 1: Decide Your Central Topic
Open a blank mind map with the easy mind mapping software, click on the brainstorming feature and write down your main topic in the central place. Besides texts, your central topic could be in the form of an image or a question.
Step 2: Set Timer and Rules
Set the total time that you want to spend on the current brainstorming session, and some other reminders and rules.
Step 3: Collect Ideas
Encourage your teammates to freely point out potential ideas or ask questions to break down the central topic. The common way of doing so is to use the 5W1H method: what, who, when, where, why and how. Also, remember to tailor your list of questions to suit the task that you have been given.
Step 4: Identify Relationships to Organize Ideas
- Review your map when the current session expired. Find and highlight those important ones as branches in your map;
- Go through any other ideas to think about their inner relationships or gaps, which can be in many different types: similarity, contrast, cause and effect etc.
- Connect all these relationships between ideas by using lines, arrows, callouts, summaries, boundaries and more to arrange elements in a logical order;
Step 5: Present Your Result
Present and explain your findings with a laser pen/colored pencil in the full-screen mode, or you can try the slideshow function to auto-create slides based on your mind maps.
What Else Should I Consider?
- Don’t be afraid if you are not a professional designer: It’s totally OK to have a single-color mind map, or just a black and white style map. It’s not mainly about creating an attractive theme, it’s more about making easy-to-follow content.
- Be sure to share the final result of your team brainstorming to not only every participant in the activity but also staffs from other departments.
So far, we have discussed why, when and how to use brainstorming with mind maps in detailed and understandable steps. Now you can have a try to do your team project or assignment by using the handy mind mapping software. You may also surprise to find some other useful tips while doing brainstorming!