What Is Mind Mapping
A graphical method of presenting ideas and concepts, the mind map is a visual thinking tool that helps in structuring information thereby helping in analysation, comprehension, synthesis, recalling and generation of new ideas in a better way.
Like every great idea, the power of a mind map lies in its simplicity.
Opposed to the traditional method of note taking or linear text, in a mind map, the information is organized in such a way that it closely resembles the way a human brain works. Mind mapping helps all the cognitive functions of the brain by engaging it in a very productive way as it combines both artistic and analytical activities. And the interesting part is that it is so much fun!
What does a mind map look like? Let us look at an example.
This mind map explains – mind mapping!! It is a visual presentation of the techniques and core elements used to draw mind maps. Though it may look slightly confusing in the beginning, you will completely let go of the habit of note taking once you get used to mind maps.
Benefits and Uses
The benefits of using mind mapping and why mind maps works have already been stated above. Fundamentally, mind mapping helps to avoid the dull, linear way of thinking by awakening your creative side and making note taking a fun activity.
What are the uses of mind maps?
- Taking notes
- Solving Problems
- Brainstorming either individually or as a group
- Studying and Memorizing
- Presenting Information
- Research and consolidation of information from various sources
- Jogging Creativity
- Gaining insight on subjects that seem very complex
It is very difficult to do justice to the various uses of mind maps – the truth being that mind maps can help in brining clarity to the way you think about any subject in various contexts like family, personal, education or business. It could be planning a day in your life or planning your life, writing a summary on a book, planning and designing presentations, launching a project, writing a blog – well, just about anything.
How to Draw a Mind Map
The process of drawing a mind map is quite simple
- Start with a blank page. Write or draw the idea you wish to develop in the middle of the blank page. The orientation that best suits this purpose is the landscape one.
- Develop around the central topic the subtopics that are related to it and connect them to the centre using lines.
- Repeat the same process by generating lower-level subtopics for the subtopics and connect each lower-level subtopic to the subtopic it corresponds to.
Certain other recommendations:
- Use a lot of colours, symbols and drawings. Try to make it as visual as possible and your brain will be thankful for the effort. There are a lot of people who do not even give it a try by saying they are not artists. Do not let such excuses keep you from trying at least once.
- Try to keep short topic labels – if possible, limit them to a single word or just a picture. When trying out mind maps for the first time, there is always a temptation to write complete phrases, but keep looking for opportunities to use single words or figures. This will make your mind map more effective.
- Vary the size of the text, its colour and alignment. Try various thickness and lengths for the lines. Try out as many visual effects as you can bring out to highlight important points. Even the tiniest effort helps to engage your brain.
An immensely interesting and rich topic, we have only scratched the surface of mind mapping here. Wikipedia is a good starting point to know more about the subject.
Try doing mind mapping by yourself and do not worry about getting it right – just try to have fun.