Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping

Mapping Inner Space

When attacking a new project my business colleague, Lorraine Lane with Lane Business Consulting http://www.lanebc.com/, regularly recommends sketching out a mind map. We usually take a few minutes to do this activity in order to brainstorm and then organize our thoughts for a project. I am a very visual person, so this activity really resonates with my style of work. In an effort to hone this skill, I recently read Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping by Nancy Margulies with Nusa Maal. While I am not an “artist,” it has been fun to add a creative flair to my project planning with basic symbols that most anyone can recognize.

The book starts out very basic and then introduces more advanced techniques. Some tips along the way are:

  • Prepare: Be prepared with about 30 minutes of time set aside along with supplies so that you can fluently brainstorm.
  • Organize: Create a central image and draw branching lines that radiate out. Use key words, print, use basic symbols, associate freely and stick to the one-word-per line rule.
  • Incubate: “Move completely away from the task” so that you can think about it and add new ideas. Return to the map with a fresh perspective.
  • Organize: Now you can prioritize, identify important points, and group like ideas. You may want to create a new organized map in a clockwise sequence.
  • ACT!: With your new map you can begin the project, give a speech / presentation, organize a meeting / event, or even pack for a trip.

It’s that simple! I’m currently developing several industry specific marketing packages in which the mapping skills have really helped move the projects forward. Try it – you’ll like it. I’ll bet you get  as much out of it as I did.

Enjoy!

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