Brainstorming is a great way of solving problems and coming up with new ideas. It allows one to examine the problems from outside the boundaries of normal thinking, and understand the issues and root causes, and come up with alternative solutions. Brainstorming can also be used for impact analysis and decision making.
The basic concept behind brainstorming is to:
- Capture ideas as quickly as possible
- Capture the ideas as they occur assuming no money, time, resource or any other constraint, and without judgement
- Building on ideas as one thinks of them, and
- Pushing oneself to think in a new direction.
Brainstorming is also a great way to build teams because there are shared Discussions and there is also space for individual ideation and innovation.
From the project management perspective, brainstorming is a good way to explore new ideas, possibilities, and alternatives. It gives a much more understandable and complete project plan.
Using Mind Mapping as a Tool for Brainstorming
Mind mapping is one of the best ways to capture one’s thoughts and bring them to life in visual form. Beyond just note-taking, though, mind maps can help one become more creative, remember more, and solve problems more effectively.
While brainstorming is the key to solving most problems, is it even more effective when done using mind maps.
Mind maps are effective because they create a visual landscape of the ideas so one can look at the root cause(s) of the problem.
One can get lots of ideas and thoughts while brainstorming and these can be recorded. What really can get these ideas organized is a mind map.
Organized around a central idea, a mind map works like the branch of a tree. Ideas and then sub ideas that are associated with the main idea branch off from the central idea.
When to Use a Mind Map?
Brainstorming and mind mapping are best suited for the following activities:
- Writing: Brainstorming ideas for a final paper.
- Memorizing: For example, outlining all the characters in Romeo & Juliet, or remembering the stages and steps in a complex scientific experiment.
- Breaking down: For example, breaking down all parts of a cell makes it easier to remember.
- Planning: Planning an essay and making sure no point is missed.
- Organizing: Making it easier to wrap one’s head around all the content covered in a semester.
Brainstorming with a Mind Map not only allows one to identify what the problem is and how it affects other areas, it can also help show why the problem started in the first place.
Mind maps help connect ideas in the following ways:
- Radiant Thinking: The human brain is a storehouse of memories associated with smell, taste, actions, and reactions. When these memories are used for various thoughts and actions, it is called Radiant Thinking. Mind maps are the best tools that bring out the Radiant Thinking in individuals where every thought and idea is connected in a beautiful manner.
- Co-ordinating between the left and right hemispheres of the brain: Our brains are divided into two hemispheres, left and right, which perform a wide range of intellectual tasks called “cortical skills.” These include: logic, rhythm, line, colour, lists, daydreams, numbers, imagination, speech and spacial awareness. A Mind Map, involves numerous active cortical skills and helps one memorise information quickly.
- Harnessing the power of images: Images activate numerous cortical skills which, again, improve our memory and our ability to associate ideas and concepts. A mind map, which is essentially an image once completed, is an ideal resource to stimulate this brain activity.
Mind Mapping Promotes Collaboration
A Mind Mapping software is used for collaborating with others to develop plans or implement key projects. It allows individuals to harness the input of all members of a group in a dynamic and creative way. All ideas or statements can be recorded in an appropriate place on the Mind Map and discussed openly at a sensible time.
When used for group brainstorming sessions, Mind Mapping was seen to enhance critical thinking and co-operation as well as providing a solid basis for collaborative problem-solving. Groups involved in the sessions reported that they enjoyed expressing their opinions in a participative and open climate.
Mind Vector and Brainstorming
Mind Vector is a powerful mind map software that enables the 20 individuals to brainstorm together at any given point in time.
They can create a mind map of their project or any subject using the Mind Vector tool and share the map with the other individuals. With the click of a single button, the map can be shared with all the group members who can in turn access the map and make the necessary changes to it as per their convenience. This enhances the advantages of brainstorming because every idea or thought gets recorded in the map.
Mind Vector provides a unique dashboard facility where the map is visible to all the collaborators who are sharing it.
Mind Vector can be accessed from the Web, and Apple mobile devices. The easy accessibility of this tool helps the group members to access the topic anywhere and make changes.
We can therefore conclude that with easy availability of appropriate tools, mind mapping and brainstorming can together bring forth many innovations that would otherwise lie untapped and unutilized in the minds of creative individuals.
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