Essentially, a Skill Tree is a Mind Map on steroids. Mind Maps are great for massive brain dumps when you want to get your thoughts on paper, but it’s up to you on interpreting what gets jotted down. Skill Trees, on the other hand, are structured to take a complex idea and break it down into its subsequent building blocks.
Every skill is made up of pre-skills which are the skills that build up into the central idea. By creating a Skill Tree you can visualize those pre-skills and focus on those. As your competency improves in a pre-skill, your competency in the central idea will improve. It leverages the idea that foundation skills hold up the higher-level ones.
What I particularly love about these skill trees is that it’s a non-judgemental method to assess yourself and make plans to improve. Every skill tree is different and unique so it doesn’t matter what you put down. It only matters what makes sense to you and what you feel is important to work on. You’re giving yourself the chance to discover what you could improve on rather than relying on someone else to tell you what to do.