Marcus Ingemann, in his Mind Mapping Power Pack, outlines a number of intriguing techniques for visual mapping. One of them is called "The Scale." It can be used any time you need to compare several items or choices with each other. It's a marvelous way to visualize the advantages and drawbacks of a number of choices you're trying to compare, so you can come to a better informed decision.
Here's how it works:
(By the way, this technique works best with Inspiration, or with a business drawing program like SmartDraw or Visio. if you're using a mind mapping software program, you may find this a bit challenging to create, but you may be able to approximate it using floating topics.)
1. Place the items that you're trying to compare in the center of the workspace, arranged in a vertical line (click on the image above right to see the apartment selection exercise from Marcus' e-book), connected by lines. This represents the vertical "centerline" of your diagram.
2. Next, for each item you're comparing, create sub-topics representing each benefit or advantage on one side of the centerline, and all of the drawbacks on the other side. You can also add sub-subtopics with additional detail to this map. Do this for each of the items you're comparing.
3. Finally, if you want to call attention to the positive and negative factors that you believe are most important, add a background color and/or shape to those items to make them stand out.
When you have completed these 3 steps, you will now have a concise visual summary of your choices. As Marcus explains, "You can now view all of the small details in every section of your mind map, (while) at the same time you can see your situation from a greater perspective. This will give you the ability to achieve the full understanding of the (bigger) picture that is needed to make a perfect decision."
For more information and to purchase the Mind Mapping Power Pack, please click here.