is Mind Mapping? Description
Mind Mapping is a popular brainstorming tool and learning technique of
visually arranging ideas and their interconnections. It can be used to graphically
arrange the linkages of some central concept or issue with other concepts
or issues into memorable treelike diagrams. It allows you to create, capture,
organize, and communicate readily understood and highly interactive visual
representations of complex ideas, information, and data.
A mind map always starts from some problem or issue which is positioned
in the center. Typically it contains words, short phrases and pictures, which
are connected to the central issue by lines.
Most people are visually oriented. Using structure, words, color, images,
and hyperlinks (and sounds) to bring concepts to life, Mind Mapping links
a central concept or issue with related concepts or issues. Unlike linear
thinking modes (that you probably learned at school) it stimulates imagination
and creativity, by connecting
left and right brain thinking. Thus it is believed to harness the full
range of your analytical and creative skills.
Origin of Mind Mapping. History
Radial drawings have already been used for centuries to analyze all kinds
of problems. An early example is the graphical representation of the categories
of Aristotle by Neoplatonist thinker Poephyry in the 3rd century. Tony
Buzan, a British psychologist and a business creativity guru, was seeking
a visual and faster way of outlining ideas on paper to support learning and
memorizing. He made the modern Mind Map popular in the 60s.
Usage of Mind Maps. Applications
Commonly, the following functions have been described for Mind Mapping
- To visualize human information exchange (e.g. workshops, project or
staff meetings, brainstorm sessions and strategy sessions).
- To organize, reorganize and filter the thoughts and ideas that are collected.
analyze and structure the information, to identify relationships between
- To improve knowledge management systems. The Mind Map can be used as
a visual interface that contains information or external links. Latest software
allows automatic build-up of the Mind Map by search engines and renewal
of the content by refreshing.
- To produce and present information in a better way. Mind Maps can be
automatically converted to other forms of communication, such as: web sites,
MSPowerpoint presentations, Projectmanagement information, MSWord files
and MSOutlook tasks.
- To better manage the information for meetings, presentations, projects,
proposals, research, contacts, etc. Both in the preparation phase, the execution
phase and the follow-up phase.
Mind Maps can be used for a large range of activities, including:
- Note-taking and reporting. Recall.
- Brainstorm. Improve creativity. Capture ideas. Compare:
Cause and Effect Diagram
- Clarifying of thoughts. Summarizing. Gain an overview. See topics in
their context. Presentation.
- Analyze and solve complex problems.
- Team building.
- Collapse or expand topics to see more or to see less detail (through
- Support group communication processes (through software).
Software for Mind Mapping. Programs
You can draw mind maps by hand, during a lecture or meeting, but the process
can also be supported by specialized Mind Mapping software, resulting in additional
benefits and new and interesting application areas. Mind Mapping software
can be used on several levels:
- Individual use. To increase personal effectiveness (elaborating
ideas and plans, control over complex information, time and project management).
- Use in teams. To increase creativity and team work (brainstorming,
staff meetings, project meetings, project management, knowledge management).
- Use at events. To increase interaction and stakeholder communication,
visualize discussions and enable easy reporting mechanisms in the follow-up
of the events such as conferences, workshops and seminars.
- Corporate use. To create an open and collaborative culture and
to standardize and support work processes (project management, procurement,
HRM, sales & marketing, research & development).
for Mind Mapping. Process
Some generic hints to create a good mind map are:
- Position the main idea in the center. Preferably a picture of it.
- Use lots of space, so you can add things later.
- Use colors and capitals where useful. Personalize the map.
- Look for relationships.
- Create sub centers for sub themes.
Strengths of Mind Mapping. Benefits
- Simplicity. Ease of use.
- Associative. Any idea probably has many links.
- Visual. Easy to remember.
- Radial. Allows you to work in all directions.
- Overview. Helps to see the big picture and relationships between issues.
Strengths of Mind Mapping software. Benefits
- On a technical level.
- A mind map can be collapsed or expanded to quickly increase or decrease
the level of detail.
- A mind map can be filtered (priorities, key words, colors) to produce
customized versions of the ‘mother’ Mind Map.
- Mind maps can be enriched by: texts, graphics, spreadsheet info, links
to files, websites and RSS-feeds.
- Mind maps can be linked to produce multi-maps.
- Various modes of collaboration can be supported (such as brainstorming,
presentation, building, customizing, project management,
- Mind Maps can be converted to almost all traditional forms of
communication (vice versa).
- On a functional level.
- Flexible idea capturing and filtering mechanisms.
- Various modes of presentation (Mind Map, website, PowerPoint, etc).
- Reporting (Mind Map, Word, Outlook, Visio, etc).
- Implementation – project management.
- On a knowledge and information management level.
- Software can connect people in a direct and effective way to information.
- Knowledge and Information processes are better
integrated in work of people.
- Information is better managed and needless duplication of information
is avoided as the information of the Mind Map can be transformed and synchronized
Book: Tony Buzan - The Mind Map Book: How
to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential -
||Why are Mind Maps So Easy to Remember?
"Why are Mind Maps So Easy to Remember?
Mindmaps and semantic networking tools are producing visual concept maps. Concept mapping is a study strategy that requires learners to draw visual maps of concepts connected to each other via lines (links). These maps are spatial representations of ideas and their interrelationships that are stored in memory, i.e. structural knowledge (Jonassen, Beissner, & Yacci, 1993)."
||Mind Mapping Applications (usages)
"You can use Mind Mapping to:
- Plan and organize
- Add structure to text and reports
- Prepare information for learning
- Finding quality issues
- Testing protocols
- Web site planning and development."
||Mind Mapping - Still Can't Get It!
"I've read books, attended Tony Buzan's course, but still cant seem to get it. What could I be doing wrong? I know mind mapping can be very helpful, it just hasn't worked for me... (yet). Please advise."
||Mind Mapping for Trainers
"I have been using mind maps when giving adult training. It is a great way to know where you are in your training and what is coming next, without having to look in your papers. I now use it a lot in my training sessions. Now I am trying to adopt mind maps when I'm reading."
||Mind Mapping for Studying Law
"I used a mind map when studying law, It is most helpful because I can identify different context put it on the map and easily remember. When a concept is more difficult to learn symbols or pictures can be used as well. Also it can be applied for legal cases."
||Tools for Mind Mapping
"Mindmapping males communication easier when translating vague ideas and visions into concrete projects. I personally love the software "personal brain" because it allows me to use several mindmaps simultaneously. It takes the mindmapping just one step further."
||Mind Mapping in Science
"I think that the mind mapping method is useful. Also, I hope to ask some questions about it:
(i)How can i write mind maps for experimental procedures, since science subjects must follow the steps and not randomly arranged
(ii) If the keywords must be linked in order to present the ideas clearly rather than just spread out into separate words, what other symbols should i use?
Eg, in chemistry, atomization is a process in which the sample is volatilized and decomposed in such a way as to produce an atomic gas.
For this sentence, atomization, sample, volatilized , decomposed and atomic gas should be key words, but how can i express them using mind maps?"
||Mind Mapping or Idea Mapping?
"I started Mind Mapping in 1992 and was the only Senior Master Trainer for the Buzan Centre until 2006. I've authored a book titled, "Idea Mapping" and have trained 17,000+ professionals world-wide.
I use the term Idea Mapping out of respect for our mappers who map strictly by the Mind Mapping laws. Idea Mapping encourages breaking those laws. Although they have a time and place, I've had many a frustrated client who nearly threw out the tool because they felt their creativity was hampered (especially the one-word-per-branch law). I share these guidelines, but leave it to the mapper to determine if and when these guidelines are necessary based on the purpose of their map."
||MindMapping Software Tools
"MindMapping has been very helpful for my entire team at my company. We use a popular software package to map out our projects as well as communicate to other groups. Our sales team also uses maps to plan their account strategy. Mindmapping is a wonderful utility that you should try."
||Mind Mapping in Arts
"I've been working with mind maps in art creative projects with my students here at school, the outcomes are successful. They have a powerful instrument to keep in order all the ideas, feelings and every moment they can capture in their minds and then mapping on paper. After drawing the mind maps they plan their color mapping and apply it when painting the composition of art programed this year. Their compositions are fantastic and true master works of art."
||mind mapping and decomposition
"I find mind mapping a rather simplistic technique as it is based on two basic ideas which underpin analytical thinking. Functional decompostion and classification. These two techniques are inherently dangerouse as they assume things can be neatly classified - OK for ordering a few thoughts. The real world invariably involves messy/wicked problems which mind mapping cannot really deal with. Cognitive mapping is a very much better technique which allows for emergence properties to be explored along with multiple perspectives."
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Mind Mapping Education & Events
Compare with Mind Mapping: Brainstorming
| Whole Brain
| Six Thinking Hats
| Metaplan |
Scenario Planning |
Root Cause Analysis |
Dialectical Inquiry |
Theory of Constraints
| Catalytic Mechanisms
| Delphi Method
| Pyramid Principle
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