Using Mind Maps
in The Mind Map Book, a book that provides the best step-by-step instruction
for development of the mind mapping techniques, offers this definition: "The
Mind Map is a expression of Radiant Thinking and is therefore a natural function
of the human mind. It is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal
key to unlocking the potential of the brain. The Mind Map can be applied to
every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance
can be thought of as a structured artistic representation of a word association
game, providing links between associated ideas, organized in the manner in
which the brain organizes information.
some simple rules.
Horizontal, at least 8 by 11.
Array of at least 8- 12 colors.
a central Image with one word and/or symbol using at least 3 colors.
- Draw Primary
Branches from the Central Image.
- Print one
word on each line.
- Make lines
and words of equal length.
- Begin secondary
branches, adding additional lines and words.
- Use symbols,
drawings, and colors to add life to your mind map.
- Be bold
in your use of colors.
- Be bold
in your thinking.
others drawings of mind maps for ideas.
book, Tony Buzan mentions the need to do 100 mind maps to become comfortable
with their use as a tool for planning, organizing, note taking, or journaling
our thoughts and feelings.
comfortable with the process quickly and developed my own style of mind maps.
Once you have worked with them a while your own technique will evolve. I utilize
mind maps to outline presentations, plan my monthly cycle of activities, take
notes at meetings, organize my journal comments, or plan out some new venture
in my life or business
It is helpful
to do at least one mind map per month on a regular cycle. During the month,
draw other smaller mind maps, and occasionally larger ones, to plan out other
aspects of one's life. In my craft room, an easel with a pad of newsprint sits
ready to accept the next idea colorfully illustrated by the set of markers
sitting nearby. My office is likewise equipped with markers, pens and paper
for use by children, clients or myself when trying to conceptualize a life
soon discover that the mind fills any sheet with colorfully expressed ideas,
no matter what the size. The mind does not seem to want to allow blank space
and will find some thought or idea to fill up all available spaces. As you
learn to create mind maps, you will occasionally want to use sheets the size
of newsprint or even larger allowing for larger markers, more intense color
and more expansive ideas. Occasionally, for the sake of mental gymnastics,
start with the sheet of paper as large as three feet by four feet or even larger.
My largest mind map was drawn on a 4 by 9 canvas as a presentation
outline for an audience of 80 people.
It is best
to begin with a single idea or symbol and expand it to only a few primary branches
and several secondary branches. You may want to use many drafts before you
settle on one that you'll use to either mount on a wall for your own use or
to use as a outlined for presentation people.
I have learned that people, once having seen the mind map while hearing your
presentation from this outline, will remember the picture of the mind map and
thus remember the entire presentation.
Mind Map seminars, I have found the use of sheets of 11 by 17 heavy
paper turned horizontal to be the optimal size. A large array of colorful marker
options helps beginners with learning this new technique.
now available software to develop Mind Maps. The use of computer-generated
mind maps may begin to provide an illustration of how mind maps link ideas.
But, the use of your own hand to draw, to select color, to hand write the idea,
is eminently more effective than the use of computer keyboard or a mouse when
it comes to retention. Just as there is a difference in use of the keyboard
versus a pen for writing your journal, you may feel more connected to the handwritten
have discovered the use of Crayola markers on inexpensive newsprint paper pads
as one of the best ways to become more expansive in the use of color and in
A mind, once stretched by a new idea,
can never go back to its former size.
-- Earl Nightingale
getting a Mind Mapping book (the Buzan book is perhaps the best one of the
group). Read, and do the exercises in the first half of the book. This provides
you with the basics to get you started. Later, you can return to the book when
you want to refine or improve your mind mapping style.
All Rights Reserved