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Mind Maps in Action: Expedition Planning

Our "Mind Maps in Action" series aims to share some of the experiences and learning of mappers from around the world, and today we're talking with our good friend, and Biggerplate Partner Hans Terhurne of Creamatics, who has been using mind maps to plan an exciting and challenging expedition that he's attempting this year with his daughter!

Hans, can you tell us something about this challenge you are taking on?

The 4D Challenge is a four day competition held throughout the Netherlands organized every two years by the Land Rover Club Holland. This demanding contest has two central themes: the Land Rover and our physical ability. It includes the following components:

  • Survival run: cross-country running with challenging obstacles en route

  • Canoeing/kayaking: competitors need to be strong swimmers

  • Mountain biking: don't let the lack of mountains in Holland make you think it will be easy!

  • Land Rover trials: tricky technical challenges will test your (co)driving skills

Every day we will face demanding challenges designed to test your perseverance and after four days a team be announced as the winner!

It sounds tough, but fun, what prompted you to try and complete this challenge?!

My daughter asked me a few months ago if I would have something against it to spend 4 days with her in a somehow active way. Actually I’m not a big sportsman so I had a lot against it … The main reason to say yes is that it’s impossible to say no to such a question coming from my daughter. I see it as a big present when a daughter is leaving her own family for four days to spend these days with me, her father!

How have you been using mind maps in relation to help you in your planning and preparation?

Actually it was the first thing we did: mapping all the aspects of this Challenge and decide what should be done and who should do what. There is a paper map on the wall at my daughters place and one at mine. Every time we meet there is a little brainstorm around the branches of that map and every now and then it’s actualized on the computer. Interesting thing is that visitors seeing the map come with some good ideas too!

View the planning mind map on Biggerplate here

So after all these years of mapping, you are still finding new uses, and useful applications for maps?

Although I know it for many years I still enjoy it to see that mind mapping is such a helpful tool. Very often I’m using software to structure my first thoughts. On the moment creativity is needed I make a printout (A1-format) to activate my creative brain part a bit more. Again in a very short time we had the same picture in mind, the same understanding of all the consequences and the commitment to go for it. Project management can be fun!

We wish Hans and Maaret lots of luck in taking on this challenge - we're sure they will be very successful! You can tweet support for Hans at

Would you like to share your mind mapping experience with us? Get in touch with us on Twitter or leave a comment below!

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Barney is Community Manager at Biggerplate and shares user stories, mind mapping tips, and other news and updates from our global member community!
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