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Your Mind Mapping Made Easy

Discussion in 'Starting Your Business' started by T J Tutor, Feb 22, 2016.

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  1. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Entrepreneur

    I have always been a mind mapping person. I've been doing this for most of my life. I didn't know to call it that until the late '80's. We used to call it "concept immersion" in the old days.

    For me, I begin with a very simplistic and simple process that in the old days involved index cards and scotch tape. Today I use the same initial concept, but with a grease board and sticky notes. Once I have the initial details out lined and organized, I them move it all to a mind mapping software. I use an older version of Mindjet Pro from 2012.

    So, I'm telling you this as I see numerous posts from members stating they do not know where to start. I am about to demonstrate this very simple process so that you have no excuses anymore. This is how you start!

    Post 1: Getting Your Board Setup
    Post 2: Refining Your Board
    Post 3: Prioritizing Your Board Items / Migrating Your board to Mind Mapping Software / Creating Your "Do Next" Lists
    Post 4: Summary

    What you need:
    1. A Grease Board at least two feet by three feet, but a three by four (or larger) is better.
    2. Four Grease Pens (different colors)
    3. A pack of at least four Sticky Pads (3x3) in yellow. A pack of four (2x2) in lite pink or lite green.
    4. A Black Sharpie (medium fine tip). For sticky notes only! Do not use on grease board!
    Clean your grease board thoroughly before using and clean it with whiteboard cleaner.

    On a 3x3 sticky write down your idea in one or two words with your black sharpy. Then place that sticky in the upper left hand corner of the grease board.


    Next, sit down to your desk and start writing one or two word sticky notes for every area of the business you will need to set up. Keep them simple for now. I'll be showing you how to expand your thoughts later.

    Product Launch
    Risk Assessment

    As you write them on the sticky notes, put them on the board in no specific order, just slap them up for now. You will end up with something like this:

    Now, you will possibly end up with more than this. Not to worry, whatever you have can be added to at any stage as we progress.

    Next, we will organize these into departments. Product, Marketing , Administration, Accounting, and Finance. Again, we can add or subtract at anytime.

    With a grease board marker (not your Sharpie!), write the department names at the top of your board.

    Then, organize the stickies below the appropriate department name.

    Now, at this stage, you want to reflect and study the board. Determine what is missing. Some of these may be turned into a smaller sticky at the next stage or a later stage. Additional large sticky's may become necessary.

    End of 1 of 4
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016

  2. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Entrepreneur

    Now that you have studied your board, made adjustments, added new items, it's time to add a bit of a breakdown with the smaller sticky's.

    What you want to do is look at each of the large sticky's you have up and break them down into smaller chunks, then write them down on the smaller sticky's. For example, manufacturing can be made up of quality control, inventory, warehousing, supply, and assembly.

    Now you should have something like this:

    Here is a sample of what you should be seeing now. Some of you will have fewer items and some of you will have more items. All of that is fine, each of us have a different product, or project, or business, to start mapping. What is important is that you begin your mapping now, there is no reason to wait! NOT EVER!

    NOTE: Mapping can, and should, be used for most any type of project in business. Mapping can be used in any number of fields including business, sports, medicine, etc. I have been a competitive bass fisherman and many of us use mapping of this nature for our tournaments. MAPPING WORKS!

    So, those without a plan never get their ideas off the ground and working for them. A person with an idea and no success is the result of having all of these thoughts represented on the board running around their heads without an organized and clear representation of what must get done to make things a reality. No map, no plan. Your plan always starts with a map. As a businessman, and over more than four decades, I've done hundreds of these on bar napkins when inspiration struck. I've started mapping in the sand on the beach, on the back of placemats, etc. Creating a representation of that which must be completed keeps your responsibility and obligation right in front of you.

    While I am posting the process here in four stages, it doesn't mean you should run through this in a rapid pace. When you arrive at this stage, you should be focused on creating rudiment accomplishments with what is on the board at this time.

    For example, a draft of a digital product can be done now, or a prototype of a physical product can start to be developed now. You should be researching viability and market demo's at this time.

    These boards will help you prioritize your entire process from start to finish.

    Next we will talk more about how to prioritize your tasks at these initial stages.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  3. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Entrepreneur

    So now we want to focus on the most important areas to focus on first. The areas we will spend our initial efforts on. The business, product, or service that we are developing. We've simply called it the "My Big Idea" to this point.

    Let's say it is a product. I've set up this mind map to represent the rudimentary outline of a company with a product.

    As you can see below, I have also transferred the sticky note outline to a mind mapping software. I used MindJet, but there are several others, a couple are free.

    Once we get the sticky note mind map transferred into our mind map software, we can isolate areas to focus on in the beginning.

    You absolutely don'y have to do a software version at this point, but if you can, it will be beneficial to your efforts. It offers better options for creating your to do lists and such all in one place.
    If you look in the lower left hand area above, you will see a primary item labeled Product. We are going to make a map of just this area and start to focus on what action must be taken in order to fulfill each items requirements. Let's take a look at an isolated map of the Product category. With most any mind mapping software you can select a topic and right click it to make a subordinate map that is linked to the primary (or main) map.

    Below you can see that I have created a subordinate map of the Product topic. Now, while we are using a product as an example, this could just as easily be a service or digital widget. Remember that this demonstration is to help you have a map of getting things done. This is your road map to taking action and tracking your progress. This is likely the area of your primary map where you will determine the viability and sustainability of your idea.

    Once we have this subordinate map, we will make one of each of its primary topics. In this case, the prototype, the market research, and manufacturing.


    Next item up, the prototype. So here is where the rubber meets the road. Below you see that we isolated the Product topic and opened up our notes area for the subordinate map. We will do this for each primary topics above so that we have one of each as we see in the example below.

    In most mind mapping software we can open a notes interface and this is where we will itemize our tasks. There are also grids available if you have that preference. You can pretty much customize these any way you like to itemize the tasks and track your progress.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  4. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Entrepreneur

    Reserved for Post 4
  5. ruener79

    ruener79 Entrepreneur

  6. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Entrepreneur

    XMind is great as well.

    I use mind mapping for most every project small or large. It keeps the needs and requirements right in front of us so we know from minute to minute, day to day, what must be done next.

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