How to Use Mind Maps to Implement Your Creative Projects & Solve Problems

Published on June 2, 2014 by

One of the most joyful things I've done to move out from getting stuck is making a mind map.

Mind maps are a visual map used to dissect a problem while creating  many possible solutions. The mind map can  start with a broad idea or challenge and merge down into a very specific solution/plan oriented solution.  Instead of going in a linear direction, a mind map is  free spirited, often utilizing shapes and colors to help organize ideas.  A mind map can be a terrific way to visually map out something that has you feeling stuck.

This is a recent mind map I created about the direction of my next non-fiction book: Unstuck.  I wrote out everything I wanted to include in the book. The big bubbles emphasize the challenges and the "rays" extending out from the big bubbles are the components of them.

unstuck mind map

For example, one bubble has the word "why" in it. Why do people get stuck in the first place? Then, I began to write out every possible reason I've researched, come across in conversations and study, and experienced personally.

If you are feeling stuck in any area of life, you can create a mind map to help you map out a plan to move past stuck and move into action that makes a difference. (We don't want action that just keeps us busy, that doesn't do us any good at all!)

1. Start with the main challenge/project/opportunity.


This can be anything from brainstorming career/job shifts or tackling moving to a new place.

2. Extend out and write the big objectives, the "what's" in circles around it.

mind map tutorial

Another way to think of the "what's" is to think of them as the problems that are blocking you from getting the big project done.  Write them down- every single one that you're thinking about.

This may represent everything you have to do.  Often, all of these things cause the cloud to form in our brains and the subsequent, paralysis of analysis.  As Robert Allen, author of Getting Things Done, says, get things out of your mind and on to paper!

3. Write out "rays."

mindmap tutorial

If you are working on a project, this is going to represent the "how's" of getting things done.  I'm currently launching a new product- the rays to the bubble of sharing my product include: tweeting, sending out email newsletter to peeps on the list, asking other bloggers to promote, putting it on the facebook page, putting it on instagram and including a logo to put on the side bar of the blog, ask mastermind group to evaluate marketing plan.

The mind map serves to  do one of (or both) two purposes:

1. Create as many ideas as possible in a very freestyle fashion.

Often as I begin to write, more ideas and needs come.

2. Organize the "parts" of a challenge in to bite size steps to work on.

Recently, someone asked me how she would go about selling her first piece of art. If it was me, I'd start brainstorming all that goes into getting a piece of art ready for sale (and shipment) and the possible ways to sell it.


If you are using a mind map to brainstorm career opportunities, the map might look much more random.  Mind maps can be used for so many projects: I created a mind map as I was moving from acute care RN positions to alternative roles for a RN, for when I was moving, for organization projects and Christmas activities.

I've seen a few online but I love utilizing the colors to help me organize and "see" the project. Have you used a mind map before?  Was it helpful

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Leave a Comment