What is Mind Mapping?
Think of a mind map as the ultimate organizational tool you can have for your brain. It is the most efficient and easiest way of putting and taking information in and out of your brain.
Mind maps allow you to organize facts and thoughts in the natural way that your brain works so now your brain is engaged right from the get-go.
Another great advantage of mind maps is that you can see large amounts of data or information all in one place, and this promotes problem solving and allowing you to see new creative ways of solving the problem.
Using mind maps will help you be more creative, save time, problem solve, reach goals, remember better, study faster, be more efficient, see the big picture, concentrate, communicate better and plan better.
According to Michael Michalko in his bestselling book Cracking Creativity a mind map does these 6 things:
1) Activates your whole brain
2) Clears your mind of mental clutter
3) Allows you to focus on the subject
4) Helps demonstrate connections between isolated pieces of information
5) It gives a clear picture of both the details and the big picture – Allows you to group and regroup concepts, encouraging comparisons between them
6) It requires you to concentrate on your project, which helps get the information about it transferred from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.
Our brain works best with imagery because its natural aptitude is for visual recognition and mind maps make your thoughts visible. Think about it when you recall something you’re not recalling text you’re recalling an image.
Using mind maps is much more stimulating then conventional note taking which tends to be very linear and monochromatic, and the use of a mind map makes it extremely easy to recall information.
So I want you to think about a mind map as a huge storage and retrieval system for the massive library of information that exists in your brain.
The best comparison of a mind map would be a map of a city. The center of your mind map would be the downtown core of the city, and this is where the main idea for your mind map would be. Think of the main streets leading from the downtown core represent the main thoughts of your thinking process.
And the side roads from those mains streets, think of those as your secondary thoughts, and so, and so on. And you know how on city maps they have images or shapes for places of special interest, such as a cross for a church or a big H for a hospital?
On a mind map these images or shapes represent a particularly interesting idea.
Here is a sample of what a mind map could look like:
Ok, there are 7 steps to a mind map so let’s go through those seven steps.
You’re going to need a piece of paper, now take a piece of paper if it is a standard size of 8×11 size just turn it on its side this way you have more room.
In the center of the page use an image or even cut out a picture of your main or central idea. You’ve heard this before “A picture is worth a thousand words” And it is true. The use of a picture is more interesting to your brain and will keep you engaged.
Use color and use it everywhere. You want to use color because it’s exciting, it adds life to your mind map, plus it is as exciting to your brain as pictures are, and we want your brain to be excited.
Start connecting your main branches to your central image, and then your second and third level branches to the first and second levels and so on and so on. Why do this? It’s called association, and this is how your brain works. It likes to link things together.
You’re also creating an architecture for your thoughts. Just think of your mind map as a tree, which has its trunk and all the connecting branches radiate from the trunk.
If these were not connected the tree would not exists. Just like your mind map if things are not connected everything would fall apart.
Do not use straight lines use curves. Straight lines are boring to the brain, curved lines are more attractive and are more exciting to the eye. Think about it have you ever seen the treatment of all straight branches?
Only use one keyword per line. Why? A single keyword is more powerful and has more flexibility. By using single keywords you’re better able to spark off new ideas and new thoughts. Using a full sentence tends to diminish this trigger effect that single keywords have.
Use images everywhere. Why? Simply put, images are worth a thousand words. Plus your brain uses images for memory and all other functions. So if you used 20 images on your mind map you have really uses 20,000 words.
I hope you found this helpful. I’m a mind mapping maniac – everything starts with a mind map.
Start mind mapping everything – you’ll see your productivity and creativeness explode!!
I guarantee it!
Here’s a cool free mind mapping tool: Bubbl.us
I believe in you!