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Mind Maps in Action: Time Management

As we focus on Productivity this month at Biggerplate, we talk to Paul Klipp about his use of mapping as a time management and organisational tool.

Could you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

I own a software company in Kraków, Poland, as well as an event management company that organizes conferences and training. I also own a web-based project management company that produced kanbanery.com. I'm a frequent speaker at conferences, mostly on project management topics, but also on other topics that interest me. In my free time I run and read. I'm currently training for an ultra marathon.

In a nuthshell, how do you manage your time and workload on a weekly basis?

I have big goals posted on the wall, like learn a language, buy a bigger house, own a horse, just to keep my long-term goals in mind when planning the short term stuff. I plan every week using a mind map with nodes for every important area of my life. Then I use personal kanban to focus on doing each week when I'd planned on Monday.

How were you introduced to mind mapping?

When I worked as director of a competitive intelligence group in South Africa, my mentor introduced me to mind mapping. He had been a student of Tony Buzan.

How would you have previously managed your time, and what made you adopt mind mapping as one of your organisational tools?

I've tried everything, starting with lists, then evolving to value grids adopted from Steven Covey's first books, then through GTD and finally I developed my own system that is a mix of all of them.

What do you perceive to be the greatest benefits of mapping, both as a time management tool, and in general?

Mind mapping makes the big picture digestible. That's what I think makes it so useful. You can see relationships even as you're focussing on details.

How do other people respond to your personal organisation technique and to your use of mind maps?

I've spoken about my technique in open spaces at conferences, and the response is overwhelmingly positive.

What could be done to encourage wider adoption of mind mapping?

It's just a tool. There are many good tools. I wouldn't advise anyone to use every good tool, but they are all worth trying. I'd love to see more published mind maps. They can be a great communication tool. If proponents of mind maps used them to disseminate their ideas more, their value would be more apparent to others.

Would you like to add anything else?

Perhaps only this, If you're using productivity tools because you're overwhelmed, you might also consider cutting back. The biggest problem is rarely not getting enough done; it'd doing things that don't bring you joy and fulfilment. If all you accomplish is doing more things that don't need to be done, you're not doing yourself any favours.

Thanks to Paul for sharing his experiences with us! Want to find out more? Why not follow Paul on Twitter?

Do you have an example of mind maps in action? Get in touch via Twitter or comment below!

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Barney is Community Manager at Biggerplate and shares user stories, mind mapping tips, and other news and updates from our global member community!
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