Mind mapping, or concept mapping, is a way of writing things down that mirrors how our brains works. It was invented by Tony Buzan.
It is an effective technique for;-
- Creative problem solving
- Project planning
- Memorising things
- frame a research question
- plan an essay
Mind Maps, also known as concepts maps, are a way of representing information in a visual format that is similar to the way the brain itself maps concepts; i.e. in a non-linear, interconnected view. Mind Maps make use of colour, images and symbols to help stimulate the brain’s recall.
A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the centre, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added.
The leading authority on mind maps is Tony Buzan. His book, Use Your Head (1989), has details of how Mind Maps can be used in a variety of situations.
Buzan suggests the following basic principles for creating Mind Maps.
- Use plain paper.
- Put the paper in a landscape position.
- Write your key theme in a circle, using colour in the centre of your sheet of paper.
- Draw a short line extending from the circle and write your first thought, in a word or two.
- Add branches to the line for connected ideas. Don’t add to the end of the branch, this will close the idea down.
- Start a new branch from the centre circle when new ideas, unconnected to the first branch, occur to you.
- Use plenty of images throughout your Mind Map.
- Words should be printed in capital letters.
- To give structure to your Mind Map, printed words should be on lines and each line should be connected to other lines.
- Words should be printed one word per line.
- Use colours as they help memory recall and stimulate creativity.
- Be as spontaneous as possible. Don’t pause or think about it, just explode on to the paper.
- Use colours to differentiate branches and ideas. This helps you to see how the map takes shape, and makes it easy to remember.
- Highlight associated words and phrases with the same colour. This helps you see if there are connected areas in different parts of the map.
- When your ideas cease to flow, scan read your map and put it away. This helps your mind to come up with additional ideas when you are not thinking about it