Using Mind Maps for Organizing and Running Meetings
What’s Wrong With Meetings?
Did I hear you laugh? Yes, that’s right, meetings are known worldwide to very often be very inefficient, with many hours of time being wasted with little useful output. Often half the attendees don’t even need to be there, and sometimes the other half are just about asleep.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Meetings can be a very efficient way of communicating and making decisions. They can be interesting, productive, focussed, and dare I say it, fun!
So what’s the difference between a good meeting and a bad one? It’s all in the planning and organization before, during, and after the meeting.
Here are some ideas for using Mind Maps for meetings, as shown on the second Mind Map to the right.
Before the meeting, you can put together a Mind Map for the agenda and distribute it to the attendees. This is a good way of limiting the scope of the meeting and also showing on the Mind Map the objectives just the same way as you would for a project plan.
Then during the meeting, when you have the Mind Map in front of you, it will help maintain focus and also pace the discussion because everyone can see how many topics still need to be covered.
You can record the meeting minutes directly on the agenda Mind Map, recording the main points and action items as sub-topics below the items being discussed. Then at the end of the meeting, your Mind Map can be distributed as is for instant meeting minutes.
Keep in mind the guidelines and tips shown in the third Mind Map, which shows a few other best practices for managing the meeting so as to keep it on time and interesting and useful for all the participants. I won’t go into it in detail here – you can download the Mind Map and have a look at the ideas yourself.
Mind Map Agenda Starting Point
The next Mind Map goes into what is required for a well planned meeting agenda Mind Map. If you follow these guidelines and tips, everyone will know what the objectives of the meeting are, who’s doing what during the meeting, and how long each item will take. They will have easy access to all the required supporting material, and know how they need to prepare for the meeting.
Example: General Meeting Agenda Mind Map
The next Mind Map is a meeting agenda for a general meeting. The Mind Map title tells the recipients of the agenda that it is for a general meeting, and what time the meeting is (presumably they know where the meeting is being held).
The main topics are clearly identified so the attendees can see what is going to be discussed, and can assess how each item will impact them.
And the final Mind Map is the result at the end of the meeting. You can see that the scribe has recorded the discussions on the agenda Mind Map. This is an excellent way to keep track of the discussions and make sure that everything is covered.
You can see from the content of the Mind Map that various groups within the company have reported on their areas of responsibility, giving a summary of the status.
There are also action items there where priorities are assigned, progress is recorded, and notes are made as to when various items are coming up in the future. This could of course be extended to use the full features of NovaMind platinum to record durations, starting and finishing dates, and assigning resources to tasks.
Creating the minutes like this during the meeting reduces the amount of time taken to get the minutes out to the attendees, and improves on the accuracy of the information recorded. People can instantly see the impact on their areas of the business, and if the information needs to be disseminated to others who were unable to attend, they can get the full picture of the discussions at a glance.
Organizing your meetings like this using Mind Maps can massively improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your meetings.
There is some more excellent material about running meetings using Mind Maps in this article.