I’ve been interested in mind maps since experimenting with them as a teacher in the early 1980s.
Of course it was pencil and paper back then – which made editing colored maps a real pain.
Still, there remains something uniquely creative about the low-tech way and I continue to use it for my own impromptu idea sessions.
Nowadays there are a fair number of free and commercial mind mapping software tools available for use on a PC – with MindGenius as my software of choice for business planning, product creation and some client coaching exercises.
(Aug 2014 Update: I now use the open source software, FreePlane:
Here’s an example of a very simple MindGenius map I created which outlines a coaching process used by a fantastic business coach, Christian Micklesen:
With face-to-face career coaching, I’ve noticed that a paper or software mind mapping approach can be very effective for those clients who are ‘visual’ and/or ‘kinesthetic’ learners.
For example, we can explore the personal vision and goals the client is most interested in, gather this information in a simple mind map format – and then use that for client fieldwork (fancy name for homework lol!) and follow up.
However, when the client’s on the far end of a telephone is where the laptop or A4 mind mapping approach has a teeny weeny problem…
There are tools available to share mind maps online in real time and the image below is something I created in 5 minutes while checking out http://bubbl.us
This is not (AFAIK) a collaborative real-time product where client and coach can share and update the same map.
If you know of any online real-time collaborative mind mapping tools, please leave a comment and let me know.
Here’s to exciting times ahead for online collaborative coaching tool!
– Mark McClure
PS – March 2012 Update:
This short video about mind maps and self-coaching may give you some ideas: