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Personal Roadmaps

Sketch your own

We normally think of maps as being used when we are lost.  They are pulled out at the last moment, at stop lights, mid-step and mid-course on our way to someplace important.

But maps come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be small plots showing the top three talking points for the evening.  They can be breakout maps that help you to understand and analyze a difficult subject, say for a class.  They can be a timeline where you arrange your day. Or, a roadmap from point A (an idea for a book) to point B (self-publishing a book).

Maps can be used to:

  • Find that new job
  • Usher in a new relationship
  • Repair bad credit
  • Study for a test
  • Make a decision

Imagine getting up in the morning, flipping your phone on and plotting your day or week much like you drive to work, except that you are on the right road to make important changes to your life or accomplishing those things that mean the most to you.

Visualize your goals

One of the overlooked aspects of your mobile device, especially the tablets like the Nexus 7, iPad or the Surface, is their ability to turn their screens into writing surfaces.  Mapping is a way to visualize a problem or to set a goal and visualize a way to get there.

There are a number of different kinds of maps that you can use in your daily routine:

  • Roadmaps.  As the name suggests, these types of maps get you from Point A (the notion of talking with your boss about a promotion, let’s say) to Point B (actually talking with him with a list of talking points in hand).  Like the roadmaps, you have to navigate to a new restaurant or a new friend’s house; these maps are used to guide you over unfamiliar terrain.
  • Breakout Maps.  A breakout map is a visual list of components. Usually, they are used to analyze a problem, to list talking points, or in many cases to brainstorm an idea.  When you list items on your plan for the day, it’s a breakout map.
  • Memory Maps.  To remember things, you may want to sketch a familiar setting, like your house or refrigerator.  Then by placing items into the setting, you can recall them at a later time.
  • Split Maps.  Sometimes you need to divide your page into two columns:  Cause and solution, pros and cons, old me / new me.  These bifurcated maps come in handy when you are trying to make decisions and to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a course of action.

There are other types of maps which also come in handy, but these four basic types will get you going.  The interesting thing about these maps is that you do not always need to know what type of map you’ll be drawing when you begin.  For example, you can begin by breaking out a list of sites to see on your next trip when you see that there is an order to have them.  So, a breakout map can easily turn into a roadmap.

Also see Mobo Brain: A Guide to Mobile Brainpower

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