“Online collaboration.” Easy to say, harder to do. Yes, we have Skype and Web Conference solutions like GoToMeeting, but how do we replace the white board where so many good ideas happen? Movements like White Board Selling embrace the interaction that happens when using visuals to tell a high-impact story.Today, we will explore the technique of mind mapping. Sounds even more difficult than collaborating, but it’s not, and it can be done online. A mind map is a graphical representation of words, ideas or other items organized around and linked to a central work idea.
How do you mind map on a white board?
Start with a blank whiteboard. Write your subject or central idea in the middle of the board. Then, write down the group’s ideas. Don’t be afraid to fill the board. Neatness doesn’t count. Initially, there are no bad ideas. What is important is to have a view of the idea conglomeration. If possible, put related ideas near each other on the board and draw a circle around related idea groups. If several idea groups interact, let the circles overlap or draw lines between those ideas.
So now how do you do this online?
There are a few great solutions out there and each is worth taking for a test drive.
This one is free so it is a great place to start. It is great for documenting a brainstorming session during a customer meeting and assigning next steps.
If you have an iPad, this is a fun tool for $9.99 that organizes information and you have the ability to export to many formats.
This allows you to organize and manage information visually in a mind map construct. Of the dozen or so mind mapping programs I have tried over the years, Mind Manager has the best functionality with a very intuitive user interface. It is free for 30 days but does cost $349.
This interactive, online whiteboard allows you to collaborate using a web browser. You invite folks to join you via an email link from within the webpage. You do not have to register or add any software to you computer. Once you team joins, just start drawing using the intuitive tools provided. Everything is recorded and can be exported to many formats. The cost? Free!
In this connected age, the white board has gone virtual. These meetings are standard in everyday business. Stay on the cutting edge with mind mapping solutions and impress your customers at your next virtual gathering.
picture by Katrina Snaps