Use a “Mind Map” to find new ideas

Mind mapping is not a new tool. Once upon a time it was a simple tool that could be scribbled quickly. Then came the websites and the software – and now mind mapping is a bit intimidating to the average user.

I’ve simplified things with the exercise I provide below (a pdf). A Mind Map is a simple start to a brainstorming – use it if there is a topic integral to your challenge you’d like to see more clearly. The exercise is easy – break down the topic, then build it out and then look for interesting connections to trigger ideas. I recommend the box/bubble style of map (first example below) vs. the traditional style of mind map which is illustrative and looks more like the root system of a tree (second example below). I find the “tree” style too personal and too cumbersome to be built by a group. That said, it triggers ideas just as easily as the other style.

The topic of breakfast broken down in order to trigger ideas for a new breakfast food experience.

This example from – click on this link to see more.

I recommend you do a fast and furious mind map in the box/bubble style, and not worry about…

  • how pretty it is, OR
  • what uses it might have beyond a trigger for new ideas.

That said, your completed mind map may turn out to be an excellent breakdown of your topic – suitable for other useful purposes e.g., a communications or training tool. In that case, scan it or remake it so that it is more easily shared. You can remake it using flow chart tools in Microsoft Office applications, or try out specialized software. Go here for Five Best Mind Mapping Software Applications. Warning: mastering technology takes away energy from generating ideas so wait until after brainstorming is over before fussing with the mind map document.

Get it now

To download the pdf, click here: Mind Map Exercise.pdf

This is a preview of the pdf:
Please respect copyright: all material belongs to Creative Expeditions Inc. Feel free to use the exercise within your team but please secure the permission of Inge Christensen before replicating material obtained from this website for any reason!

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