Are you looking for an effective way to help you organize your thoughts and motivate your action? Mind maps are a great way to move your life and business forward by increasing interest and expanding creativity. Mind maps are an effective tool for planning, learning, organizing, managing, goal setting, and problem-solving.
What is a mind map?
A mind map is a diagram, a visual representation tool that uses words, symbols, pictures, images, numbers, and colors to take a lot of information and organize it in a brain-friendly way. Because of its tree-like structure, mind maps help us organize information by related ideas and topics. At the center of a mind map is your main idea, and everything else branches off from that. By linking and grouping related associations, new ideas can come forth as we see things in a different way.
Mind maps mimic how we think, and since a mind map is visual, it is memorable, which is one of the reasons it can be so helpful. A mind map is a great way to break down complex issues. Mind mapping is a way to organize information that utilizes your natural visual thinking abilities, and by doing so it can unlock your creativity.
Mind maps help us organize, store, learn, prioritize, review and memorize information. It helps us to see the bigger picture and the complexity of the bigger picture in smaller chunks of manageable information. It can help us find hidden insights and explore new ideas.
Tony Buzan is credited with first using the term “mind map: and he offers ten guidelines for doing one. What do you need to create a mind map? Buzan recommends blank, unlined paper, colored pens and pencils, your brain, and your imagination!
How to Create a Mind Map
Buzan suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:
- Start in the center of a blank page with an image or picture of your main idea, using at least 3 colors.
- Use images, pictures, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.
- Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also for encoding or grouping.
- Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
- Use one key word per line.
- Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
- The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the center.
- Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
- Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
- Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
- Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy or outlines to embrace your branches.
6 More Mind Mapping Tips
- Use unlined paper that is oriented in landscape mode. Don’t use small paper – that just limits you. We’re looking for plenty of room to grow our ideas.
- Your main idea or subject could be your business, relationships, your health or any number of areas in your life, If you will make your main idea or subject a picture it will improve your memory of it and it can be a catalyst for your imagination.
- Use plenty of colors as you create branches off your main idea. The branches that emanate from the center are associations with your main idea. These could be things, ideas, sounds, emotions, images – the key is to allow your brain to get creative at this stage. Each branch represents a key idea or image that radiates from your main idea.
- Buzan says to curve the lines that come out of your main idea. He says that our brains are bored by straight lines, so the curved lines help our creativity.
- You may choose to brainstorm ideas before beginning your mind map. If so, this is step two.
- Create twigs that naturally grow out of your branches. These are secondary ideas that relate to the key ideas of your branches. You can think of your branches as topics and your twigs as sub-topics. Make your branches thicker than your twigs to give them emphasis.
Helpful Info on Mind Mapping
In general, color is also used for emphasis and to separate ideas. The thickness of branches and words bring emphasis, as does UPPER CASE. Size of letters and images, symbols, etc. is also a way of drawing attention to key information.
Here’s a mind map representation of some helpful rules for mind mapping effectiveness:
If you’d like more on mind mapping, Adam Sicinski’s How to Mind Map is a great place to start.
If you’d like some inspiration for mind mapping, click here to go to Tony Buzan’s Mind Map Gallery.
Try mind mapping for your business or your life (or both!). It can be a helpful tool in your quest for greater success.
I invite your comments and questions and your likes and shares.
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