🏫 The Polish Academy of Mind Maps: Q&A with Beata Mertyn
Hello and welcome to the May edition of our Q&A series!
In this series, we'll share real-life examples of how people use Meister products in a variety of industries - You'll find inspiration, tips and creative new ways to use our tools.
Today, we’re speaking with the Ambassador of the Polish Academy of Mind Maps, @Beata Mertyn. Read on to find out Beata's top tips for effective mind mapping, and to gain insight into mind mapping for planning and content management.
Got your own use case you'd love to share? Reach out to me or @Andrew Lapidus!
MindMeister for Education with Beata Mertyn [Q&A]
Hi Beata, it's great to have you here with us! I'm excited to see what mind mapping expertise you'll share with us today 😃.
In the Community, you mentioned that you're the Ambassador of the Polish Academy of Mind Maps - Please can you share some more information on what this Academy does?
Thank you for inviting me to this interview and for kindly welcoming me to the Meister Community.
The Polish Academy of Mind Maps is an online academy founded by Tomasz Stachura. The Academy helps teach people how to mind map on paper or using online tools for both private and professional use cases. It teaches via bi-weekly mind mapping workshops showcasing maps and sharing tips.
Oh, that's super interesting! What exactly does your role as ambassador entail?
Thank you for spreading the news about this wonderful process 😌. How does mind mapping align with your personal values?
In a nutshell, my values revolve around success, happiness, positivity and gratitude. This is what led me to my work in mind mapping.
- Why? To implement creativity and flow in others.
- How? By learning from others and looking at issues from different perspectives.
- What? I use mind maps to share good habits and life hacks.
To me, these two sides are entwined: They are held together by a mutual desire to spread positivity.
So you're philosophical as well as positive 😃. Do you remember when you first came across mind mapping?
To be honest, I don’t remember the exact moment. However, I do have some memories from university when I was taking notes in a mind map and a classmate asked what the visual meant 😅.
Throughout life since then, I’ve had bursts of mind mapping, starting and stopping again as and when I needed it - It’s been like a dance I wasn’t conscious of! At times, I found it strange because I had periods where I struggled to take notes effectively and didn’t connect this with the absence of mind maps.
By the third time I restarted mind mapping, I fell deeply in love with the process and the rest is history 🤩.
It’s interesting that you came back to mind mapping three times (although it is a magic number 😉). Can you recall when you first used MindMeister?
Yes - I remember this moment clearly! I was watching Mani Vaya's YouTube videos summarizing development books and noticed an online mind mapping tool in one of the videos. Although I didn’t recognize the tool, I was impressed. I reached out to Mani on LinkedIn and asked him about the tool. You can probably guess the rest 😆 - Yes, he was using MindMeister! While he was very complimentary, I wasn’t completely convinced and didn’t go further at this stage.
💡Mani still uses MindMeister for his videos today! Check out this video on social media marketing!💡
Some time later, I heard about the Polish Academy of Mind Maps. Like Mani, Tomasz uses MindMeister. I was completely intrigued by the way he was using MindMeister so I made an account and experimented with my 3 free maps. 9 months later and I’ve learned everything I can about mind mapping - Today, I use it for almost everything!
As a daily user of MindMeister, you must have a solid idea of what works well and what doesn’t. Can you tell us about a feature you couldn't live without?
Hmm, that’s a really interesting question…I’d have to say my favorite feature is linking 1 map to another so that I can connect topics across maps. This is definitely a big advantage over pen-and-paper mind maps! Similarly, I love adding connections to link topics in a single mind map. Linking and connecting topics makes this web of thought even more powerful.
I imagine you’ve perfected your mind mapping workflow after studying the ins and outs of the process for 9 months. Please tell us how you make your workflow smoother in MindMeister.
I’m glad you asked - I do have lots of tips 😀. For example, copy and paste branches instead of typing them out again. You can even copy and paste entire sections from one mind map to another. I’m also a big fan of keyboard shortcuts - Learning shortcuts definitely makes me work more effectively. When I find a new shortcut, I practice it and implement it into my daily mind mapping process. Here are my favorites:
- Moving some topics from one branch to another using Ctrl + Up/ Down Arrow. I actually found this shortcut in the Community. It has changed my life! I found it quite difficult to move a branch using a mouse because it’s a bit more clumsy. Now, I can move it precisely and easily with the keys.
- I also love the classic Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V for pasting files and images to my mind map. If I have an image or file on my desktop, I also drag and drop it into my map.
As an ambassador for an Academy of Mind Mapping, what is your one top tip for great mind mapping?
It’s hard to think of just one!
Recently, I was watching some TEDx videos about how drawings can improve memory and 2 points stuck out to me:
- Drawings don’t need to be art.
- Drawings are for you, not for other people.
Replace ‘drawings’ with ‘mind maps’. I think the above is a crucial lesson - Leave behind any mental barriers and let yourself type everything you have in your mind. When your thoughts are flowing, you’ll feel satisfied and forget the passing of time. Submitting to this creative process allows me to feel productive and happy!
I also have to quickly mention my 3Ps: Practice, practice, practice. I cannot overstate the importance of practice in developing any skill, and mind mapping is the same. Keep practicing and I guarantee you will see the value.
We'd love to see some of your mind map templates. On LinkedIn, you mentioned using mind maps for life planning. Could you share one of these mind maps?
Absolutely! This is a mind map I recommend people use for life planning. You can copy it to your own account and then follow the process in the mind map.
The mind map has 5 main branches:
Expand each of these 5 branches and work through the topics from top to bottom. On the right side, you can see a floating topic with questions designed to inspire thought. Read through them if you need prompts.
You also mentioned you create mind maps for content management. This is especially interesting for me because I work in content. Could you please share one of these mind maps?
Yes, sure. Here, you have a mind map from a conference I took part in called Happiness at Work. I made a mind map to summarize the sessions and remember the key messages. It includes tips for being happy at work whether that’s with an office, hybrid or remote model.
I hope you find something useful in the mind map!
Thanks so much Beata, it's been brilliant to hear how you use mind mapping! How can users reach out to you for more information?
Feel free to reach out to me in the Community or on LinkedIn. Please also check out my new brand on Facebook - Here, I show people how to be more creative and effective when mind mapping with tips and tricks. The page is in the rebranding process and I’ll be changing the name soon - Stay tuned! :)
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