tools for getting your ideas in order
Mind mapping has been around for years and it’s a terrific tool for expanding ideas. They are great for working through all the thinking associated with a specific idea and putting it into some sort of order.
What I’ve been looking for though is something that allows me to collect a bunch of related ideas and organise them. I’ve needed something that allows me to get the thoughts out of my head and on to something I can work with. For that task Mind Maps don’t quite work for me. In the past I’ve tended to use paper and pens or Post-its (nothing wrong with that), and sometimes PowerPoint.
I’ve recently discovered a great (free) tool that allows me to collect my ideas and organise my thinking into a concept map – a new term for me. From the concept map I can take the key concepts and expand and refine them as mind maps. The mind maps allow me to sort, categorise and expand sub-ordinate thoughts; I can document these into very specific outputs and actions.
The following is a concept map that shows the process and the relationships between Concept Maps and Mind Maps.
This was my first attempt at using IHMC’s (Institute for Human & Machine Cognition) concept mapping tool Cmap. It took me about five minutes. Very easy to use, so if you’re looking something to help capture, connect and visualise your thoughts try it out. A great source of information and resources on Mind mapping, Brainstorming and Creative Thinking is Innovation Tools. Check them out too.
InnovationTools provides entrepreneurs and innovators with a focused, growing collection of the best resources on business innovation, creativity and brainstorming. Our goal is to help you to learn more about the tools, strategies and techniques you can use to be more creative in your business — and to help your company to increase its capacity for innovation and change.