I seem to be recommending mind maps to artists with great frequency these days, so I thought it would be useful to review what they are and how you can use them in your art business.
A mind map is a tool for brainstorming or organizing your ideas.
Mind maps are perfect for creatives and artists because they put words and ideas in a visual format.
In contrast to the way we write (linear, left-to-right, up to down), mind maps explode from the center. Related thoughts branch out from the core. It's easier to explain with an image.
When to Use a Mind Map
Mind maps can be used to generate ideas for anything. Consider creating mind maps for:
- Your next piece of art
- A class you're teaching
- A marketing campaign
- A talk you need to give
- A blog post
- Your newsletter
But mind maps can also be used to organize something you've already created in order to help you understand it better. I mind-mapped the content on ArtBizCoach.com when I wanted to revamp the site.
I used to use a program called My Thoughts for Mac to create mind maps on the computer. It's good to start with pen and paper, but I find that I like to move things around quickly, which this program allows me to do. (Sadly, they no longer make this program and I haven't found a good replacement.)
I'm sure you can find similar programs for PCs, but I would caution anyone who wants to use the computer for mind mapping to look for the simplest program available. There are many out there that are too complicated.
Mind mapping should be EASY. You should be able to do it quickly to keep the brainstorming process fluid.
The resulting map might look complicated, but it shouldn't be difficult to get to that point.
To Mind Map an Idea
Follow these steps to use mind-mapping in your brainstorming session.
1. Draw a circle in the center of the page. Inside the circle, write the topic under consideration.
2. Start your branches from the center. Your first branches will be the main subtopics of your idea.
3. Add additional thoughts to the ends of these branches until you're out of juice.
You can see that this could go on forever!
Use your mind map to create detailed outlines for your writing or plans for your events.