Productivity Prompts: Getting Things Done with Mind Maps

Filed Under Mind Mapping

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Michael Deutch

by
June 18, 2013

For those of you starting to think about using mind maps for getting things done, David Allen’s GTD Connect community is a great place to start. Some time ago I delivered a webinar presentation on the topic, and it was great fun to both create and deliver. I mapped out everything that I had wanted to accomplish including the entire content of the presentation. Then, I built my PowerPoint presentation using my map as a guide.

For a full replay of the webinar and to view all the content, sign up for a free trial of GTD Connect or, if you’re already a member, view it here.

I’ve posted (via SlideShare) the highlights of the presentation as well:

During the webinar, I highlighted 10+ examples of how to use maps to enhance your GTD process and how you work. I’ve included these free Mindjet MindManager map templates and examples here for your use (if you have a problem downloading the individual maps below, you can grab the zip file here: GTD Webinar Map Examples):
  1. GTD’s Horizons of Focus map template – this template provides an incredible way to view and align your life’s work. From your life goals and mission all the way down to your projects and activities. Mapping helps you internalize your horizons which, in turn, help strengthen the internal compass you use to guide your moment-by-moment decisions.
  2. GTD’s Weekly Review map template – each week I turn to my ‘weekly review’ template to walk me through the process of getting current and staying on top of my game!
  3. GTD’s Mind Sweep map template – use this template alone or as part of your weekly review. Clear your mind of all its clutter so you can get creative & productive without having these unexplored areas taking over your subconscious mind.
  4. Strategic Plan map template – it’s almost the turn of the year and time to build out your [organization, department, team, life] strategic plan! Assess your world and map out your path forward to success!
  5. GTD’s Project Triggers list in a map template – use this trigger list to help define your next (and every) project!
  6. Project Questions map template – use this technique to quickly assess any incoming project or task (hint: you can save this or others as map parts to reuse in existing maps)
  7. Brainstorming results example map – this is the result of a brainstorming session where ideas were captured, then organized, then prioritized, and filtered to display priority 1 opportunities. Then, the team started to add next actions to their top choices.
  8. Marketing Status Meeting map template – example map that can be used to plan and conduct meetings.
  9. GTD Research – example of a research map that includes linked files (which will not work on your machine, RSS feeds, Google search results (via MindManager 8 for Windows), and more…
  10. Writing an Article – example of a collaborative map used to visually outline an article written by myself and a mapping enthusiast from the other side of the country! We used Mindjet Catalyst to collaboratively update and outline the article. Then, inside MindManager’s embedded browser, we linked to a Google Doc to collaboratively write the article. It was published 2 months later in South Carolina Lawyer’s printed magazine, September issue.
  11. Presentation Outline – this map example was created using the Beyond Bullet Points methodology (check out Cliff Atkinson’s book). A topic can be researched and organized into an in-depth presentation using maps. Expand or hide branches to review content at various levels of detail. The same map could be used to create a 15 minute presentation or a 45 minute (or longer) presentation based on the levels you expose… Export or reference the map to create your presentation in PowerPoint or Keynote.  For more information about this map, check out my Presentation Superhero post.
  12. Learning with Maps: The Role of Photosynthesis in Plants – this map is an example of how mapping can aid your understanding of complex issues. It was created by Wendy Mack (see her post on mapping for students here or her twin sister Amy’s post). Maps are used to study for all types of exams at all levels of education including professional certifications. Give it a shot, you’ll be pleased!

Note: GTD and Getting Things Done are registered trademarks of The David Allen Company. The David Allen Company is also a trademark of…well, you guessed it, David Allen.

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