Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a way to get your ideas out on paper. They are most often drawings with phrases or words that relate to each other. It is a very effective way of getting ideas from your mind to paper. It is a great way to visualize ideas and concepts.

All mind mapping have the basic structure in common. They have the main idea in the center, and connective ideas that radiate from the center. Images, lines, words, colors, and symbols can be used to describe the flow of the idea. Using this way of describing information makes it much more interesting than lists, and it makes it easier for us to remember concepts, terms, or ideas.

One analogy of a mind map is to think of it as a city. The center of the city represents the main point or idea, the main roads are the main thought points related to the main idea, and the secondary roads correspond with secondary thoughts, etcetera.

Other comparisons of the mind map have likened them to spiders. The center is the body, and the lesser ideas of the main idea are the legs of the spider. Any of these analogies can be used to describe and/or draw a mind map.

Here are the main features of a mind map:

  • The main idea is the center of the map;
  • The main themes “branch out” from the main idea;
  • The branches contain an image or word which is drawn or printed on its line it belongs with;
  • Ideas and topics that are subtopics are shown as “twigs” of the main branches;
  • The branches make up a connected structure.

Mind maps can be drawn as rough drafts for notes during meetings, or prepared as slide presentations. They can be in black and white or color. And you can choose any size and color font you want for the best effect.

Keep in mind the following tips when constructing any mind map:

  • Start in the center with your main point. Use a bright color if desired for extra effect;
  • Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions in your mind map;
  • Select key words and print using upper case or lower case letters. Just be consistent;
  • Each word or image should be on its own line;
  • The lines should be connected, starting with the central idea;
  • Make the lines the same length as the ideas that they support;
  • Use different colors for emphasis and for coding or categorizing purposes;
  • Develop your own personal style of mind mapping;
  • Use emphasis and show associations;
  • Keep the mind map clear by using hierarchies of the branches.

Using these techniques when creating your mind maps will help you convey your ideas in a clear, concise way. It will bring your ideas to life. Instead of reading long sentences, you can now use short phrases or words, colors and symbols to make your point. This makes your presentation much more interesting and easier to retain. So the next time you feel overwhelmed by a big project or assignment coming up, don’t stress about it-mind map it!