Dan Woods explains how mind maps help him design content for his books.

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Mind maps provide a way to navigate a much larger space of ideas in a smaller visual field.

A TECHNOLOGY ANALYST, Early Adopter evangelist and contributing journalist on Forbes.com, Dan Woods is also a content marketer at Evolved Media, a newsroom for B2B technology companies. Evolved Media has created more than 25 books.

The Main Takeaway

While mind mapping – a form of visual outlining – may oftentimes appear to be superficial, Woods opines that the power of mind maps is “best revealed when you have to handle not 5 but 50” projects or complex tasks. When designing content for a book, mind mapping can be harnessed as a powerful tool for managing the information overload and multitasking that inevitably comes with content creation.

In his article for Forbes, Woods shares how mind maps can quickly and easily eliminate the 3 challenges he and his team faces in creating books.

Obstacles and Difficulties

Traditional content designs tend to be highly annotated, and the skeletons can run into 50 – 60 pages alone. These documents are also largely linear, which means that once you move away from this incremental flow, it becomes very difficult to return to it. Moreover, collaboration only seems to further exacerbate these problems.

Without the appropriate outlining tool for content design, it’s easy to see how writers may end up unable to reach their full productivity potential.

Using an Outline

Woods is a firm advocate for utilizing mind maps to solve these problems in designing content for books: whether his work requires him to capture a wide variety of ideas from interviews or work with a large team, the use of outlining ensures that his mental capacities will not be unnecessarily fatigued.

The condensation of information into a smaller, more manageable space allows him to process and reorganize more ideas in a shorter amount of time, thereby boosting his productivity.

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