What important decisions have you made with the help of mind mapping?

Filed Under Mindjet

Michael Deutch

July 8, 2009

Yesterday’s post, Live a More Effective Life by Mapping Your Most Important Decisions, received a great comment from Michael Rose, a web editor for the blog Freelance Advisor.

I asked, "What important decisions have you made with the help of mind mapping?"

Here’s what Michael had to say:

At the end of ‘08 I read David Allen’s ‘Making it all work’. I had a whole 5 days at the beginning of the year and spent a whole day on each of the 5 steps. At the end of the process my mind was so clear of the ‘runway’ and ‘project level’ stuff I was able to think long and hard about the higher levels of focus.

I’d also happened to catch Marissa Mayer (Google VP) in a talk about making big decisions and she mentioned what I’ve come to call the ‘Mayer Method’. She basically said that before moving to Google she created a list of all the good decisions she’d ever made in life and what motivations and values they all had in common (i.e. working with people, wanting more creative freedom, moving East, stretching herself, etc.)

I applied this method to my GTD perspectives process and used MindManager to get everything down on paper. I just got everything down on paper and then made sense of it the following day.

The result? Me dropping 5 or 6 largish projects that no longer worked for me, I decided to quit my job and go freelance and I’ve just applied to do the MA I’d been wanting to do for almost 10 years!

GTD + Mayer + MindMap = major life changes and making sense of the motivations behind them = never been happier :)


My First Mapped Decision: Should I accept the job at Mindjet?  

I basically mapped my way through the Mindjet interview process. As part of my research, I asked anyone and everyone if they had heard about mind mapping, MindManager, or Mindjet. Searching online, I found many Mindjet fans. In person though, I couldn’t find anyone who had mind mapped or used our software before.

Until…I spoke to a friend who was in recovery. She has had a pretty hard life and turned to both drugs and alcohol early on as a way to deal with her pain. She explained to me how she used mind maps to support her recovery process.

She created a series of maps to help her gain new insights into what led her to a life on drugs and what were the negative influences that could drag her back down that path. She also mapped what her healthy life looks like and how she can fill it with positive influences to keep herself clean. I had chills listening to her.

After listening to her story, I was pretty much sold. Through the interviews and conversations, I knew Mindjet offered a powerful business and productivity application. What I also loved about it was the ability to also be a transformational tool for life. Hearing stories like these make working for Mindjet and promoting mapping such a pleasure! So, needless to say, my map of Mindjet became overwhelmingly clear: take the job! And, like Michael said above, never been happier :)


How about you? How has mapping impacted your ability to make work or life decisions?  


About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter

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One Response to “What important decisions have you made with the help of mind mapping?”

  1. Catherine Franz

    Last year, around July, I knew the economy was going to tank to a recession. Feeling this upcoming gloomy change, I knew I needed to restructure my marketing, sales and business practices to adjust to it.

    I had no clue really on where to begin. And there wasn’t many solutions being said. So I created a new mind map (Mind Manager). I added a section for each of my web sites (I had three at the time), my blogs, and other scattered things and ideas. It was a big mess. One of the biggest, worse, unorganized mind maps I had ever done in the last 15 years. Every few days I looked at it, shaking my head, still seeing the mess.

    I stopped looking at it for a few weeks thinking it was hopeless, “I had no idea of what I was doing.” Then one morning, from my waking state, I could see two connections.

    I went to the map, organized those and even found a few other things I was missing.

    From that point on, every few days I began seeing new connections, new ways on how I needed to restructure.

    By September the plan was clear. It was now organized and it all made sense.

    I continued prioritizing and adding the task elements and project dates. The task list was huge but bitable.

    Shortly afterwards, I had my restructuring outline and all the details for completing it.

    I learned the most valuable lesson of them all through this process . . . patience. Before this my mind maps were fairly simple.

    This new plan ended up becoming 12 maps interconnected.

    The second most valuable lesson, just start with whatever you have, don’t judge it if it’s a mess and change it until it makes sense.

    Previously, all my maps were done in one or two sittings. Long term plans were just too overwhelming. This is why it begin to really work when I broke them into different maps. Now, I feel I’ve really learned to brainstorm with maps and how important it is to let them grow.

    I still struggle with the patience . . . I still want it done yesterday. That, I believe, will be a continue work in progress.