Mind Mapping is both a visual and written depiction of your thoughts and ideas. The practice was developed in the 1960’s by Tony Buzan, an avid researcher of the brain. In 2006, Buzan created the iMindMap– a software dedicated to capturing your mind maps electronically.

Mind mapping is a form of self-expression, and although there are guidelines for creating mind maps, the art part is fundamentally up to the creator. Mind maps are considered to be more effective than standard brainstorming techniques for both adults and kids. The visual representation requires higher mental processes and has shown to be especially helpful for developing this skill in young people.

Mind maps are helpful for topics such as:

  • learning new languages
  • studying for exams
  • setting goals and plans
  • improving one’s output of creative ideas
  • creating a collaborative mind map while brainstorming with co-workers in the business world

Often, mind maps are used while you are free-associating ideas and keeping them organized as you continue to generate more ideas.

How to Mind Map:

7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

  • 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 imageis 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 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!

Click here for more information on Mind Mapping

I have personally used mind-maps for various purposes, such as brainstorming group activities, Newsfeed topics, goal-setting, planning, learning, and budgeting. I find mind maps to be a fun way to jump in and produce more ideas. Plus, if you get side railed by another idea then it’s an easy way to come back to the original topic or add on to other ideas. It’s all on one page. It’s not an overwhelming to-do list. It’s actually kind of fun! If you are like me and have absolutely no artistic ability, either print out little pictures from the internet or use stickers. Now, who doesn’t love stickers?!

All kidding aside, I urge you to try mind-mapping next time you have a million ideas that are pinging around in that brain of yours. I’m sure you will be surprised at the results!


Image credit: www.tonybuzan.com

About the Author

Tara is a wellness Newsfeedger for the Local Biz Magazine who is in the process of writing her memoir on finding hope and meaning while living with a mental illness. Tara loves the concepts of positive psychology, incorporating them into every aspect of her life and spreading the message on the science of well-being.