My Latest Book

Product Details

Also available on,, and other Amazons and bookshops worldwide! 

To Think About . . .
The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts. John Locke
My Other Books

Product Details

Product Details

Product Details

The Pathway to Awesomeness

Click to order other recommended books.

Find Us on Facebook Badge

Search This Site
« Get Everything Done's Facebook Page | Main | Sleep and the No-List »

The Scatter Map

I know some people swear by them - though I have hardly ever seen anyone using them to take notes - but I have never been able to get on with Mind Maps, especially for thinking. I find the need to join everything together in a rigid structure branching out from a central point doesn’t fit the way I think, which is far more discursive and with conclusions emerging rather than being arrived at by a logical procedure.

At the time I wrote Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play, I developed something which I called a Scatter Map. The basic idea was to scatter thoughts at random across the page and then do any linking, commenting or emphasizing that seemed necessary. There were basically no rules - which is what I like when I’m thinking.

At the top left is the sample scatter map from Get Everything Done (click on the thumbnail to enlarge). For reasons of legibility it is quite a simple one, orginally written on a sheet of A4 paper and then reduced to the size of the book page.

Looking at it now, more than 16 years after I wrote it, I can still understand it exactly. The thoughts, the situation, the feelings, the questions, the answers are all totally fresh in my mind.

I doubt whether that would be the case if I’d written a mind map on the same subject. Come to that, what is the subject? There is no subject. It’s just a collection of more or less random thoughts. Some are independent, some follow on from others, some arose separately but have been linked together.

No doubt if I tried hard enough I could succeed in organizing this as a Mind Map. But it would be much less intelligible to me today, and would probably have meant much less to me at the time.