Design Wednesdays: Vision Map

by Atim Annette Oton

Have you sketched an idea down before for a client? Have you been keeping your dreams in your head. Well, it’s time to put it down on paper. And I call this process life mapping and my tool is a Vision map. A number of designers wonder and ask me why I am focused and productive, my vision map is one of my secret tools.  I begin one every year instead of resolutions. I  keep one in front of me daily, its what i look at in the morning, it is part of my daily routine ;  i update and add to it periodically as I download my thoughts, change and connect the dots.

bubbleBubble-Diagram-2 Samples of Bubble Diagrams

My first vision map was a bubble diagram that I learned about in my first year in architecture school. I used it to design a project on my room and after that I used it to plan my education and career. It is how I came to lead a small student organization from 40 members to 375 members. My vision map was how I strategize, plan and execute my ideas. It is what I use now except it is now a more elaborate diagram. action-diagram

The first vision map, 2013.

I stopped in my second year of college keeping my plans in my head, as my first job lesson for life taught me to put my dreams and visions down in paper, simply, if you write it down, it becomes real and it actually makes you see it. Keeping it inside does not give the dreams life. Words and diagrams with arrows connecting the dots is a strategic moment of planning and crafting dreams. It is a bold step in owning an idea of your future. It is most importantly a place to reveal the truth about what you want and desire to accomplish in your design life.

Group brainstorm

Sample of Brainstorming

The real first step of my vision begins with brainstorming. It’s putting down on paper everything. When I see it all, I might be overwhelmed but after years of doing this, I know the second step is to choose 3-5 things to focus on. This step is crucial as it defines my intention and capacity to implement. I am a designer and a design implementation, I use tools to develop ideas, structure and implements results. I take my process seriously and I share it with other designers in my loop when they ask me. I have been know to look at and advice designers about their vision map. Let’s talk about your visions and dreams. My next blog will talk about building your dream with 3 projects.


2 responses to “Design Wednesdays: Vision Map”

  1. Seems like a great way to everything you inspire to do down. There are so many ideas though, I am curious of first listening them out and then forming a final bubble diagram would be beneficial? As you mention it will change over time. Also, I appreciate that quote by Dan Brown. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. The next step after it was done was to identify the three projects that stem from the bubble diagrams/your dreams that can focus on.


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