Using Mind Maps: Move Mountains of Information

Are you collecting data to create stories, write training content, develop e-learning and you just have too much stuff?  You may choose from a variety of techniques to develop the content — two commonly-used methods are: 

  1. Develop content using a mind mapping – arranging the flow of the content – I prefer to use this!
    — A free-flowing way to outline content
    — Use key words for main topic areas
    — Connect things that relate
    — Use it as a “tool” – let it work for you
  2.  Arrange content on 3” x 5” note cards (sometimes referred to as a “Scan Plan”) 
    — Assemble and write key topics from process map
    — Identify key topics or central idea
    — List the materials, illustrations, examples and facts needed to support topics.

            — Follow the key purpose of the white paper you wrote in planning the project. Arrange cards in order of logical sequence for writing chapters or sections.

These are only two examples of many different ways to develop technical content.  I suggest mind-mapping because it is helpful to have visual images of the technical content you found during the analysis phase.

Mind-mapping is an effective program development tool.  It allows us to see spatially how concepts and information might relate in ways when other methods, like note taking, aren’t as effective.  If you are interested, I can share my basic template for a mind map.  You can take a few minutes to practice the technique, or brainstorm with others on how you can apply this process in your next training development.  Email me to ask for the template.

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