Recently I’ve taken on several new projects that need to be created almost from scratch. Also, because the deadlines are either at least a couple of months away or not even specified, I’m having to be disciplined and set some imaginary completion dates.
I’ve always considered myself to be a good planner of projects, to be logical, pay attention to detail and, indeed, I’ve prided myself on completing ahead of time on many occasions. This was very useful during my corporate career.
Those experiences and skills have also served me well in my own small business, except in one rather important area.
When it came to creating a new product, my old ‘linear’ way of thinking didn’t seem to work too well. I found that my paper lists became very messy as I thought of new points to add in, and that logic wasn’t terribly helpful for new products that didn’t exist yet (except in my head!).
It was obvious that a new way of thinking was called for. Mindmapping, devised by Tony Buzan, has been a real revelation. It enables you to let your brain take a more circuitous route and capture more and different thoughts than if you were simply writing a list. One of my local networking contacts, Andrew Wilcox of Cabre, is using Mind Manager software in very innovative and effective ways in businesses.
Now, whenever I start a new project, I plan it out as a mindmap first. The lists come afterwards. More creative – and even more new ideas!
How do you think?