Tap Into Your Ideas + To Do's Using Mind Mapping, with Special Guest Amanda Lathrop

Click on image to view recording. Video duration: 34 minutes.

Click on image to view recording. Video duration: 34 minutes.

Does it feel like you’re always spinning a million plates? Do you worry you’re not keeping track of them well enough? Are you more of a Visual thinker than a Sit-Down-and-Write-An-Outlined-List thinker? It might be time for you to experiment with Mind Mapping!

Kelly Pratt, founder of the So Do It! Society, interviews entrepreneur Amanda Lathrop about using Mind Mapping for tracking all the different parts of her life.

I use Mind Mapping to get everything out of my head. I run my own business. I am Single With Dog, but I also help out my extended family a lot. I take care of my two nieces, took care of my grandmother while she was sick, and keep a lot afloat. Using my Map helps me to get that all out of here (points to her head) and into something that I can actually use.
— Amanda Lathrop
 
Entrepreneur Amanda Lathrop shows viewers a sample Mind Map.

Entrepreneur Amanda Lathrop shows viewers a sample Mind Map.

 
One of the books Amanda’s grandfather showed her when she was a Fifth Grader was by the inventor of Mind Mapping, Tony Buzan.

One of the books Amanda’s grandfather showed her when she was a Fifth Grader was by the inventor of Mind Mapping, Tony Buzan.

 
I found that when I planned per month, I always planned way more than I could do. When I planned per year, it’s like you said: you make it and then you put it away and you go on with your life! Three months seems to be where I can get to most of what I wanted to get done.
— Amanda Lathrop
 
My Map shows everything I can think of, or want to do. What I actually put into my monthly To Do list becomes a real thing to HAVE to do.
— Amanda Lathrop
Is your brain’s “junk drawer” too full? Amanda Lathrop rids herself of the distraction of her “mental ephemera” by using Mind Mapping.

Is your brain’s “junk drawer” too full? Amanda Lathrop rids herself of the distraction of her “mental ephemera” by using Mind Mapping.

So you have blank pages in your paper planner that are waiting for your next quarter. You are helping yourself (wrangle) what I call "mental ephemera."

I think of our brains a little bit like a junk drawer where there are so many things that we should actually throw away, or at least put in its place. The definition of the word "ephemera" is the thing that you're supposed to use once and throw away, like a ticket stub or receipt or something like that. So much of our lives are those little things that we are supposed to deal with and get rid of! I know in David Allen's Getting Things Done process, the GTD, he calls those, "open loops." I call it "mental ephemera." — Kelly Pratt

Writing it down stops two things: 1) it shows you how much you really do get done, and 2) it makes you realize that you don’t have as many ideas or stuff to do as you thought you did! It’s (the ephemera is) just running over and over and over and over again. It feels like it’s a mountain, and really it’s just a hill.
— Amanda Lathrop
 
So, Do It! Salons of up to 9 women take place over 13-week trimesters and meet in-person every other week.

So, Do It! Salons of up to 9 women take place over 13-week trimesters and meet in-person every other week.

 
My suggestion is when you do this, yourself, don’t put down something like Lose 10 Pounds. That’s not a concrete thing. What does it mean? For instance, what does it look like to be healthy? I break it down into two sections: mentally healthy, and physically healthy. Those are all in boxes, because that’s the way I think; you can do whatever you want. And then I put in circles, actions. So to be physically healthy I’m going to... Eat paleo. Or I’m going to do yoga, or I’m going to do a breathing exercise.
— Amanda Lathrop
 

I like how you said, 'Don't say lose 10 pounds,' say maybe, 'Health,' and maybe say, 'how do I want to feel?' — Kelly Pratt

Amanda Lathrop: Yes.

A sample Mind Map, courtesy of Creative Commons.

A sample Mind Map, courtesy of Creative Commons.

 

Riffing on more ways to set up & Use Mind Maps

Kelly Pratt: A construct I discovered in about 2010 is something from the Hindu world called the Purusharthas, and they break the life down into four "aims of life."

 
The Hindu Purusharthas, the Four Aims of Life. Source: Chapter8IndiaProject

The Hindu Purusharthas, the Four Aims of Life. Source: Chapter8IndiaProject

Amanda Lathrop shows host, Kelly Pratt, an example of her Mind Map for her business goals during “Talk2Think,” a weekly online, live show for members of the So, Do It! Society.

Amanda Lathrop shows host, Kelly Pratt, an example of her Mind Map for her business goals during “Talk2Think,” a weekly online, live show for members of the So, Do It! Society.

I think like Mind Mapping: I think like what you're drawing, but because my mind moves so fast, sometimes writing it isn't fast enough for me. And, I change my mind a lot! I am what we call a Quick Start: I change my mind a lot, and I'm very visual, so this particular software works for me. I'll show you guys a couple examples. — Kelly Pratt

Kelly Pratt executed the About Page on her eponymous website as a Mind Map.

Kelly Pratt executed the About Page on her eponymous website as a Mind Map.

Click here to read full Article from the show and interview with Amanda Lathrop at the So, do it! Society