Planning an event can be tremendously stressful for some. I have had clients stress over Christmas to the point where complete sabotage and failure are guaranteed. So how can we plan for an event and ensure that we don’t miss anything important?
We can write a list – what to do, what to buy, when to do it. This list can be in the form of chronological importance or priority importance. So let’s back track a bit and assume you are already struggling with ideas and the basic plan, not to mind the where, when, why and how-to?
Why create a Mindmap?
Very often, someone wants to plan a surprise or event for a friend or loved-one. This can prove an almost debilitating exercise for many; so what I want to to is look at ONE possibility that can help your life to be easier, less stressful and ultimately organised. This will ensure that you enjoy the event as much as the person or people you are organising it for.
Because we are now over the indulgence of Christmas, and have embarked on a journey of resolutions and lying low for January, we do need some indulgence to get some spark back.
How to create a Mindmap
Let’s look at organising a romantic weekend away (or this can be applied for a romantic meal / night-out).
Mind-mapping is a great way to organise your thoughts, and come up with ideas that a simple linear list can limit. Mind-mapping was introduced by Tony Buzan, who was inspired by Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics. I have drawn a simple mind-map for a romantic weekend away using a piece of software on my iPhone called iThoughts. It’s not free but is dynamic and abstract enough to allow me add colourful branches, images, and do lots of editing to my mind-maps. A great alternative is a free piece of software called Freemind. Either way, there is no reason why you should not be up and running in a few minutes.
So for instructions on how to begin a MindMap, go get the handbook version of Buzan’s Mind Map book, or follow the steps below:
- Start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colours (It is very important to use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your Mind Map)
- Draw a branch out from the centre (main) image for each main “thing”
- Select a single key word for each branch and print using upper or lower case letters
- The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and thinner as they radiate out from the centre
- Make sure the lines are the same length as the word/image they support
- Use multiple colours throughout the Mind Map, for visual stimulation and also to encode or group (each main “thing” plus all it’s own branches can be of one colour)
- Use emphasis and show associations in your Mind Map
- Keep the Mind Map clear by using radial hierarchy, spanning out similar to a web, each radiating branch of lesser importance than the one before
It is also important to develop your own personal style of Mind Mapping. However, begin by studying examples to see how others are putting them together and notice how your ideas are formulating (but do not compare).
Here is the development of the one I created using FreeMind for Desktop (although you have much more freedom with hand drawn mind maps). Click on the images to expand them and see more detail: