Part One – 7 Steps To Making A Mind Map
Well before we get into the 7 steps of creating a mind map, I should answer the question you’re probably asking right now; “What is a mind map?”
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 your thoughts in the most natural way for your brain to be engaged from start to finish.
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:
– Activates your whole brain
– Clears your mind of mental clutter
– Allows you to focus on the subject
– Helps demonstrate connections between isolated pieces of information
– Give a clear picture of both the details and the big picture
– Allows you to group and regroup concepts, encouraging comparisons between them
– 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. 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.
Consider a mind map as a great storage, retrieval and system for the huge library of information that exists in your brain.
Not to mention by using mind maps you’re putting yourself in some pretty great company;
– Leonardo da Vinci
– Pablo Picasso
– Tomas Edison
– Sir Isaac Newton
– Albert Einstein
– Marie Curie
– Thomas Jefferson
– Ted Hughes
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.
The side roads or secondary roads would be 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?
On a mind map these images or shapes represent a particularly interesting idea. Below is a sample of what a mind map could look like:
Ok, lets go through the 7 steps of creating a mind map.
First you will need some items:
– Blank piece of paper
– Colored pens or pencels
– Your imagination
Take your paper and turn it so it sideways. Why? This will give you more room and you can spread out more naturally and be more free.
In the center of the page use an image or even cut out a picture of your main or central idea. Why? The use of a picture is more interseting to your brain and will keep you engaged, and you’ve heard this before “A picture is worth a thousands words”. And it is true.
Use color every where. Why? Because color is 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? 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 it’s trunk and all the connecting branches radiate from the trunk. If these were not connected the tree would not exsist. Just like your mind map if things are not connected everything would fall apart.
Do not use straight lines use curves. Why? Straight lines are boaring to the brain, curves a more attractive and are more exciting to the eye. Have you ever seen a tree made of all stright branches?
Only use one keyword per line. Why? A single keyword is more pwoerful and has more flexability. 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 imagies everwhere. Why? Simple put, imagies are worth a thousand words. Plus your brain uses images for memory and all other functions. So if you used 20 imagies on your mind map you have really uses 20,000 words.
Those are the 7 steps you use to make any mind map. In part two of this article series we will use these 7 steps and create your mind map.
Talk to you in the next article – Creating Your First Mind Map – Part Two.
Start Mapping Baby!!