In the beginning

In the beginning

It’s a Saturday morning back in 2003. Nothing special to do, a day just for myself. I make a big cup of coffee for myself, and sit down and open my laptop computer.

Some months earlier I had found a free computer program for mind mapping. It was more like a curiosity for me than a serious tool. It was just fun to make all kinds of lists and organize them. A list I was about to do this time, too. I started to write down everything I remembered that had ever happened to me in my whole life. It turned out to be quite a lot.

It was an amazing experience. I started by listing places I’d been to, schools I’d gone to, people I’d met. As I wrote these things down, more things started to come back to me, even minor details, like old phone numbers and a certain bumpersticker of traffic lights I had on my bike when I was six years old. It ended up being a flood of memories and I literally couldn’t stop writing them down. I spent the whole day glued to my computer screen, some 15 hours straight. I knew I had found something great.

Day by day I started to find new ways to use the mind maps. They were an immensely practical tool, and I started to use them every day and for everything. Now, after 10 years I am still using them all the time. I don’t even think about it anymore, just as I don’t think about driving a car. It just happens.

Mind mapping transformed my life, and I would love to share a part of that experience and excitement with you. As much as this blog is about mind maps, this is also about thinking about things in general. Mind maps are for me, in the end, just a means to extend my ability to think.


Antti Halla

M.Sc. in Computer Science, software engineer, personal coach, entrepreneur, writer. “Mind maps are the most important personal tool I use daily. And I’ve been doing so for over ten years now. I use them as a notebook, an idea collection, a personal planner and a project management system. The maps help me study, write, solve problems and think about anything in general. Basically, my whole life is in mind maps.”
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