Plan for 2021 with MindMeister

If the often-surreal events of 2020 have taught us anything, it is that even the best-made plans can be rendered obsolete by circumstances beyond our control. However, with the year ending and no end to the uncertainty in sight, unpredictability cannot become a reason to neglect planning for the year ahead. Instead, it is a chance for companies everywhere to find new techniques that help them to plan more creatively, flexibly and collaboratively for 2021. 

Plan for 2021 with MindMeister

Despite (or perhaps even because of) the uncertainty that dominates the horizon for businesses around the world, the benefits of planning effectively for 2021 could be extremely significant. In this post, we look at how mind mapping with MindMeister can help you define your business goals and set your strategy for next year. Using quick, easy templates, you’ll soon be well on the way to a more productive year when Q1 begins. 

Organize Efficiently 

For your business to succeed in 2021, a good overview of who is responsible for what at your company is vitally important. With the help of a well-structured org chart, you can quickly create a clear, high-level overview of the hierarchies and interdepartmental relationships within your organization, which in turn serves as useful reference material for existing and new employees. 

Your company org chart should contain the most important information about each position at the company: the roles and responsibilities of the individuals and the teams they belong to. If your company has a hierarchical structure, this can be depicted by the various levels of your org chart.

To create an org chart in MindMeister, go to Templates and select “Company Org Chart”. Before you start, read more about the benefits of creating an org chart in this post.

Here are some further tips for creating attractive org charts in MindMeister.

  1. Use colors and icons to make your org chart easier to understand. This will allow your team to find what they are looking for quickly. 
  2. Allow your team to enter their personal bios and information into the org chart: this will have the dual benefit of saving you time and making your team feel more involved. 
  3. Encourage your team to add photos of themselves to the chart to give your organization a more friendly face. 

Collaborate and Plan

A new year means a new space for fresh ideas. While you will probably already have a level of vision about what you want to achieve with your team over the next 12 months, fresh inspiration could be the difference between a good year and a great one. While you try to incorporate as much input as possible into your plans, two things are important: first, that you garner as many original ideas as possible from your team, and second, that these ideas are documented and developed effectively so that they can be compared and analyzed at a later date. 

Mind mapping is the perfect solution to the challenges that goal-setting can pose. With the help of a simple, collaborative brainstorming session with your team, you can bring a plethora of ideas onto the table with the minimum of fuss. Better still, the non-linear structure of the map will allow you to format your ideas in a way that allows for the infinite development of each individual point.

To start your plan, set up a brainstorming session with your team about the goals and objectives for the year ahead. You may want to predefine certain parameters in advance (to keep the discussion within set boundaries), but if you’re feeling bold, simply start with a blank canvas and let your team’s creativity flow. When creating your brainstorm, keep the following points in mind: 

  1. Think big, then add detail. The main topics of your plan for 2021 should be as broad as possible to start with. You can add the specifics, including links to external documents or other attachments, as you progress. 
  2. Once you have gathered a good amount of input, use MindMeister features such as commenting and voting on map topics to refine your ideas and eliminate low priority targets.
  3. Draw relationships between ideas where you can. There will be certain themes that will fall into more than one category, so it is important to show the connections between these.

Visualize Your Projects 

Once you’ve narrowed down your grand aims for 2021 into more tangible goals, you can continue to develop your plans using MindMeister. From the relevant ideas in your 2021 brainstorm, simply break off topics or individual points into a new project map. To do this, right-click on the topic, select Tools, then Create as Map.

Alternatively, you can create a new project plan in MindMeister using an oven-ready mind map. Go to Templates and select “Project Plan”. Before you start, read more about how companies are creating better projects with MindMeister. 

The visualization of your projects using mind mapping allows you to see potential holes or roadblocks clearly and find creative solutions to any issues before the work begins. You can also include maps in your project plans by embedding them in your Confluence pages or exporting them as Word documents, PDFs or text outlines. Better still, individual map topics can be transformed into trackable tasks using the integration with MeisterTask. 

When creating your project in MindMeister, consider the following: 

  1. Design your main project mind map to keep an overview of the project’s main goals and milestones. To avoid clutter, you may also want to include a directory of other mind maps and document repositories and insert external links where necessary.
  2. Use mind maps to take minutes from project meetings with your team and link to these from your central project mind map.
  3. Consider information security while sharing your maps, especially with external partners. User groups are an easy way to manage access settings for larger organizations with access to many different maps within a project. 

Look Forward

Let’s be honest: 2020 has been a tough year. However, the dawning of 2021 is a chance to start afresh and bring positive change with creative, innovative approaches to an uncertain future. While mind mapping alone won’t solve the pressing issues of our time, the creativity that the technique inspires may lead you to ideas that change the world. 

Already one step ahead? Share your plans for 2021 and your top tips for companies looking to do the same with us via Twitter @MindMeister. Let’s keep the discussion going! 

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