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Optimize your card’s capabilities

So you’ve applied for your credit and maybe it’s even en route. What now? 

It’s time to make use of all those incredible features, the ones that made your card stand out from the rest. 

To do this best, you’ll want some sort of plan. However, a list may not be the best way for you to gather all the ways you want to use your card to its fullest capacity. Lists can be never-ending and overwhelming. Instead, we’re going to use a mind map.

What is a mind map? Integrify says it best: 

Mind mapping is a brainstorming technique that organizes information around a central topic or theme.

English author Tony Buzan popularized the concepts of mental literacy and mind mapping, arguing that creating a two-dimensional structure engrains tasks in your memory for the long term better than a linear list. Buzan calls mind mapping the “swiss army knife of the brain.”

Mind mapping can help you visualize and accomplish your goals—without the often-paralyzing pressure of a numbered list or deadlined agenda.

A mind map typically looks similar to this:

Source: MindMapper

In addition to creating a mind map to optimize your card’s capabilities over time, you can create mind maps for other areas of your life, helping you plan to diversify your freelancing income, spruce up your home office, complete a pro-bono passion project for a local non-profit organization, and more.

You can create your own mind map by hand, in a simple Google Doc, or with a tool like Notion or Canva. Later in this step, we’ll give you a template you can work off of, but feel free to adjust it based on your preferences.

What a mind mapping of credit card optimization could look like

Yasmin is ready to optimize her business credit card, making the most of its features so she can get all those juicy perks. To get the ball rolling, she created a mind map for tasks she aims to complete in the first year of owning her credit card. 

First, she centered the mind map around a key topic: her brand-new business credit card.

Then, she organized the mind map around the card’s perks she wants to use.

Each one of those perks has a branch specifying the task she needs to complete in order to make use of the perk.

Create a mind map for how you’ll use your business card in the first year

You can use this template in Canva to create your own mind map and make use of the features the card offers and optimize your freelancing business.

Like Yasmin’s sample, you can create a mind map around the central theme of your new business credit card. 

Choose the four main perks you want to take advantage of (such as bonus points, cash back, early spend bonuses, travel rewards, building business credit, or other card benefits).

Then, branch off each of those four goals with specific tasks you must complete in order to gain access to these benefits (like spending in certain categories, spending a certain amount within the first few months of account opening, using bonus points for business travel, paying your card on time to build good business credit, etc).

These four branches are the tasks you’ll complete over the first year of card ownership. Highlight the deadlined tasks (for example, early spend bonuses that require a certain amount of spending within a specified period of time) and add those deadlines to your work calendar so you’re aware of when you must complete the tasks by.

Ultimately, your mind map helps you organize a theme (in this case, making the most of your business credit card) and clarify what steps you need to take to get it done.

Playbook recap

Congratulations! You’ve hit yet another major milestone in your freelancing journey—and this is just the beginning. Not only did you get a business credit card, but you got the right card for you after thoughtfully considering all the options available and the features they offer.

Plus, you are prepared to be a responsible credit card owner, making a spending plan and understanding how using a credit card impacts your personal and business credit score. 

And by creating a plan for the first year of ownership, you took into consideration all those cool features and figured out how to use your card to its fullest potential.

Now, your freelancing business is ready to grow, one swipe at a time. 💳

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