As previously discussed in other articles, most of us are
taught what to think - not how to think. At
WindoTrader we firmly believe that each individual is capable of making
decisions that best support his or her values, goals, and objectives IF
they are provided true, accurate, timely information.
In our experience, the ability to increase one’s capacity to
use both sides of the brain can exponentially increase one’s
effectiveness and efficiency. Checklists, while invaluable
tools, are only part of the picture since they primarily support
left-brain thinking. Mind maps, on the other hand, primarily
capitalize on the essence of right-brain thinking.
For those new to the mind-mapping concept, here is a brief
A mind-map is a diagram that represents words, thoughts,
ideas, tasks, and more. The map is arranged around a key idea
and branches out wherever your thought process leads.
Ideally, these maps will allow for groupings or clusters of like
thoughts, so that the end result can be read as a literal "map" to the
thought process that created it. This non-linear approach
encourages brainstorming and free thinking, while still providing
structure and focus. Other names for mind-mapping
include; clustering, branching, radiant thinking, etc..
Tony Buzan, an author and leading authority on mind-mapping,
recommends many guidelines for creating effective maps, including the
- Use symbols, images, and colors whenever possible
- Allow each word, phrase, or thought to have its own line
- Utilize numbers or another form of hierarchy to distinguish
thought groupings by importance or priority
- Do not be afraid to try something new and make the map
unique to your own individual thought process
While the concept of mind-mapping may be new to some, this
method of recording thoughts has been utilized for centuries as a tool
for problem solving and visual thinking. In today’s business
world, mind-maps have a number of valuable uses, including designing
effective outlines, facilitation of team collaboration, and condensing
information into a concise and memorable format. In the
specific area of trading, mind-maps can be used in a number of
- Drafting a trading or business plan
- Creating a visual aid for assisting with recall and
- Outlining potential scenarios
- Journaling and note taking
- Logging observations during trading sessions
There are as many different ways to create mind maps as there
are individual people in the world; they can be created digitally or
drawn out by hand, but the important thing is to do it. Do it
often and do it consistently, as this will cultivate a thought process
that is quick, detailed, and action-oriented.
Additionally, there are many mind-mapping software options and
resources available that can prove to be excellent resources for one
desiring to utilize mind-maps and hone their critical thinking
skills. One key aspect of such software programs is that they
can be very helpful in organizing large amounts of data; they also have
the ability to pull in more than just words or ideas
- pictures, symbols, and more can be added to the map to
create an even more detailed outlook.
The following is a short list of a few of the leading mind-mapping
- Mind Genius
Mind mapping can be a powerful tool in anyone’s
problem-solving arsenal. They are fun, easy-to-use, and
enable you to take an active role in the thinking process.
Several books are available on the topic if you want to learn more,
- How to Mind-Map: The Ultimate Thinking Tool That Will
Change Your Life [Paperback] Tony Buzan (Author)
- The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize
Your Brain's Untapped Potential [Paperback] Tony Buzan (Author), Barry
- Mindmapping: Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity
and Problem-Solving by Joyce Wycoff (Author)
NOTE: Wycoff’s book is divided into three sections that take
you from a brief introduction to mind-maps, to how to effectively
create them, to how to utilize the process to help you in all areas of
life. It is a concise read, geared toward the business
professional; however, it does have valuable insights for the
individual as well. Her practical, down-to-earth approach is
often easier to follow than Buzan’s lengthy tomes - something
that busy people everywhere can surely appreciate.
The following mind-map examples are included to demonstrate
just a few of the ways this thought process can be used by traders:
This is an example of a mind-map being used for a quick
reference sheet (checklist) for preparing for and trading the
open. Obviously this mind-map relates to the Market Profile
and is based on the works of Pete Steidlmayer and Jim Dalton.
For planning and strategizing:
This is an example of a mind-map being used to plan trading
scenarios for an upcoming trading session.
For recording, tracking, or journaling:
This is an example of a mind-map being used to track and
record one’s progress and important events during a trading session.
Ultimately, the mind-map is a right-brain tool that can be an
indispensable asset to anyone looking to focus his or her thought
process. While its uses may be limitless, its effectiveness
is limited to the time and energy invested in becoming proficient at
using the system. As with anything, its effectiveness is
linked to the willingness of the thinker to dive into the process
whole-heartedly and openly.
As always, we wish you success in applying this 'working tool'
to your learning, trading, and life. The WindoTrader Team.