Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brain Storming With Mindmapper

Writen by Paul Urban

What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming has in the past been viewed negatively. All that paper stuck over walls, PC's Fridges and any where else we can think of to "jog our memories" or when plan those simple or complex tasks from grocery shopping to increasing sales by 10% all with illegible notes with no structure or direction to them.

You spend many hours of planning something individually or in those dreaded business meeting of which most never gets achieved no matter how good the suggestions or ideas they get lost in translation with no real document process in place.

To some degree we all know brainstorming and what it is but nearly 95% of people or businesses do not know how to document it or the best way to use and place those ideas into there plans or business.

However effective brainstorming can increase productivity by making valuable breakthroughs from all involved.

When you have people bouncing ideas around that can be captured and filtered in an easy visual format you will guarantee higher productivity and ultimately profits with simple techniques that will create a feeling the whole team is involved and see in plain visual format exactly what needs doing to achieve those results.

The Usual approach to Brainstorming:

We have all used them! those darn post it notes, flip charts and huge white boards that look like road kill once we have poured our ideas out all over them. Very cumbersome that requires hours afterward to be properly understood and concluded thats why many brainstorming sessions fail!!. Despite all those "power ideas" being discussed there is rarely the follow up done and the key actions never jumped on resulting with ideas forgotten.

With MindMapper Brainstorming has been completely resolved and you will never lose another idea or thought that could be the next breakthrough to leapfrogging your competitors.

Using MindMapper to Brainstorm:

You have a simple yet powerful software in place like MindMapper you have a process that captures those ideas and information. MindMapper does so in a simple visual format that ensures you will succeed in your objectives

Any one who can turn on a PC can use MindMapper!

MindMapper is the ultimate Brainstorming tool, it allows you to progress your Brainstorming into crystal clear information that is easy to see and read making it child proof to understand.

Your ideas and information is gathered and structured automatically in a visual map. This visual map is easy to collect and collate information.

Try this! In your next Brainstorming session (business meeting, project planning session or even your shopping list) use MindMapper. Encourage all involved to contribute ideas no matter how small, irrelevant or grand. Encourage feedback applaud ideas from all involved and place into your map.

When you have MindMapper open create the objective of your Brainstorming session in the centre heading. Then bounce ideas and add new branches with each aspect needed to achieve this (Tip- use Keywords for your main headings in branches). Then create sub branches to break down each idea further. Creating branches and sub branches is a snitch just click on a branch type and hit enter and so on with each sub branch.

Add notes to each idea! Click on the branch or Sub Branch and add your not in the text box at the bottom of your map. (TIP- only use bullet points of the idea in your notes to keep the flow of the idea and information coming)

You will notice before long that there are many branches and sections with sub sections making your map look larger than needed.

Break these down, collapse branches of the map so only the "key objectives" are showing. You can always go back to each individual section to "storm" more. The key factor is that you will have all your ideas and information within a couple of clicks.

This makes it simple for you to go back to an idea with no more scrolling through notes and interrupting the brainstorming process.

During your "Brainstorming" if you decide a certain idea would be better in another section or you want to use that idea in all areas simply "drag and drop" your idea into that branch.

Enhancing your Brainstorming session:

Typically this is where other Brainstorming methods and software begins to fall short of MindMapper.

Information overload with traditional MindMapping methods your map gets messy the information is all over the place and cannot be accessed easily creating a bottle neck in the brainstorming process.

Not with MindMapper. With MindMapper you analyse break down ideas and information into branches and click on the branch (objectives) to decide which are critical or most significant and which is the background information required. By doing this you already have saved hours in time and probably money (staff time, resources). Without hardly any effort on your part to gain there input.

The Nearly finished Map!

When you have completed your brainstorming session your map can be broken down to a crystal clear set of blue prints, you then begin to allocate tasks and information to people who will be working to achieve the main objective.

All the ideas and information discussed can be sent to those involved allowing them to remember each specific task or piece of the map they need to complete. Each person can then access the map with MindMapper on workstations and begin the process of achieving the main objective. (here is where sub maps are encouraged to them to keep the brainstorming process going)

Wow! you have just saved countless hours and increased your productivity! can you remember doing all this without MindMapper! Gathering all information and allocating the "branches" to be completed for your success in the key objective. None of this is possible with out MindMapper. Well it is but why waste a few weeks and half a rain forest in printing.

Once the map is complete comes the action and communication planning: To ensure Maximum results from MindMapper and ensure those ideas and information gathered in the brainstorming session are not just shop talk, you need to decide on a plan of action.

You can achieve this using the legend in MindMapper. On the right hand side of MindMapper there are symbols (legends) and color codes that can be used to break the map down to Action each part of the brainstorming session.

You can allocate people to each objective (or task) by color or priority. (1-10) Add resources that may be needed to achieve this. Add documents for reference or hyperlinks to information sources.

Acting on the brainstorming session

MindMapper allows you to act on your brainstorming session in a number of ways. You can export or save your map on the network so it can be accessed and action taken and update the map after each component has been completed.

You can ensure that each specific task is sent to the owner by MS outlook simply export part of the map that they will be working on to MS Outlook and they will soon see there Task list in MS outlook flashing.

The key point is that everyone know's exactly what they need to do and is expected of them to achieve the main objective.

Other bonuses you can do from your brainstorming session:

Once you have completed your Brainstorming session you can create this in a presentation or report. With MindMapper you have a variety of options including exporting to MS word (report writing) MS PowerPoint (full project process presentation) or MS Project and go further implementing the brainstorming session into a full fledged project.

With just a couple of click's on the mouse you have a completed format ready for reporting, presenting or project initiatives.

So MindMapper can not only take your brainstorming sessions to real life goals it can make those things happen today!

So why waste more time and money on planning non starting ideas use MindMapper today and get ahead and Explode your productivity and ultimately your profits!

Visit our website to learn more:

No comments: