Posted by : Amber Marfatia
Mind mapping is one of the best ways to capture your thoughts and bring them to life in visual form. Beyond just note-taking, though, mind maps can help you become more creative, remember more, and solve problems more effectively. Whether you're new to mind maps or just want a refresher, here's all you need to know about this technique.
A mind map is basically a diagram that connects information around a central subject. I like to think of it like a tree, although it has more of a radial structure. In any case, at the center is your main idea, say, poetry, and the branches are subtopics or related ideas, such as types of poetry, famous poets, and poetry publications. Greater levels of detail branch out from there and branches can be linked together.
Mind maps can be more effective than other brainstorming and linear note-taking methods for a number of reasons:
Think of it this way. Imagine you were asked to write down as many uses for a brick as possible. Many people would just start listing all their ideas (building a wall, building a walkway, etc.). But what if you started from a broader perspective, such as thinking about the properties of a brick. It's heavy, so you could use it: as a paperweight, to hold down a garbage bag while raking, as an exercise weight, to grill juicer chicken, etc. It's also thick, so you could use it to prop up a planter or as a doorstop. It's red, it's hard, it's rectangular, etc. That's the magic of mind mapping: Once you start, the possibilities seem almost endless.
It's a graphical tool that can incorporate words, images, numbers, and color, so it can be more memorable and enjoyable to create and review. The combination of words and pictures is six times better for remembering information than words alone.
Mind maps link and group concepts together through natural associations. This helps generate more ideas, find deeper meaning in your subject, and also prompt you to fill in more or find what you're missing.
A mind map can at once give you an overview of a large subject while also holding large amounts of information.
It's also a very intuitive way to organize your thoughts, since mind maps mimic the way our brains think—bouncing ideas off of each other, rather than thinking linearly.
You can generate ideas very quickly with this technique and are encouraged to explore different creative pathways.
- Start in the CENTRE of a blank page turned sideways. Why? Because starting in the centre gives your Brain freedom to spread out in all directions and to express itself more freely and naturally.
- Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea. Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focussed, helps you concentrate, and gives your Brain more of a buzz!
- Use COLOURS throughout. Why? Because colours are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Colour adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, adds tremendous energy to your Creative Thinking, and is fun!
- CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc. Why? Because your Brain works by association. It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.
- Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined. Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.
- Use ONE KEY WORD PER LINE. Why Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.
- Use IMAGES throughout. Why Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words. So if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 words of notes!
There are many tools (free and paid) available that offers mind mapping. You can find the entire list here
However my favorite tools are MindMeister and MS Office One Notes.
One of the map that I created, can be found at http://www.mindmeister.com/40993055/cloud
The map is all about what cloud computing is and the way I represented the same in form of Mind Map.
There are many sample maps available which can be explored to get some ideas. Hope you enjoy this way of putting the thoughts and remembering the same.