Some of us might say we think linearly. That is, from one piece of information we are led to the next. But is it so? If you try to begin from a thought or an idea, suddenly you will see that not one but many other thoughts and ideas will spring up. When this complex way our brain works is imprinted on a piece of paper or a board, it is called mind-mapping and is one of the most creative and productive tools of organization and visualization.
But what is it that mind-mapping offers us?
- Helps to effectively structure our information and thoughts
- Helps inductive and combined thinking
- Boosts productivity
- Boosts creativity
- Improves memory and information recall processes
There are two kinds of ways to make “mind maps”:
The first follows the Buzan method. Mind-mapping owes its existence to Tony Buzan who in 1974 first presented it on the BBC show “Use Your Heads”. According to Buzan, in order to stimulate our memory we need a central “image” (with the main topic that we wish to analyze). From the central image, curved lines like “branches” grow and illustrate our basic ideas/thoughts. Finally, smaller branches capture different levels of depth and detail of each of our ideas/thoughts. Buzan used different colors and a single keyword per branch.
The second way is “spider maps”. They are a more modern form of mapping ideas that is broader and less rigid than that of Buzan. They can start from one or two main topics. Instead of marking the branches with colors, spider maps use lines to connect ideas. Ideas appear as “bubbles” around the central theme. The sub-themes recorded in the bubbles can in turn be further analyzed in greater depth and detail. A key advantage of these maps is that they allow interconnection between related topics without restrictions.
Aristotle once said: “The soul cannot think without an image.” Mind maps are your way to create the image of your goals, ideas or visions.