Often associated with a spider diagram, concept map or brainstorm, a Mind Map is a visual thinking tool. Mind Maps provide graphical representations of ideas, displaying them in a non-linear manner. With a distinct combination of colour, imagery and visual-spatial arrangement, Mind Mapping works in harmony with our cognitive functions. For instance, your memory, ability to learn, analyse, and even your creativity, can be enhanced with the practice of Mind Mapping. By mapping out your thoughts, the technique utilises keywords to trigger associations in the brain, sparking further ideas. Generally used to visualise, organise, and classify ideas, Mind Maps are the perfect tool for revision, finding creative solutions, problem-solving, writing and making decisions.
Mind Maps can be drawn by hand or using software such as iMindMap 11. Mind Maps have the capacity to expand your thinking far beyond the limitations of standard note-taking. By following these steps and incorporating Mind Map-specific elements, you’ll be able to boost your thinking, fueling your most powerful ideas yet.
Representing the topic you intend to explore, the central idea is the starting point of your Mind Map. Its image or style should represent the topic in order to keep you focused on your subject and trigger associations – our brains respond better to visual stimuli.
The main branches which flow from the central idea will carry key themes. Explore each theme or main branch in greater depth by adding child branches for extra detail. With a Mind Map, you can continually add new branches so your ideas will never be restricted.
Mind Mapping encourages the overlap of a range of cortical skills such as logical, numerical and creative. For instance, colour coding within your Mind Map spurs whole brain thinking; it links the visual with the logical, helping your brain to make mental shortcuts. It also allows you to allows you to categorise, highlight, analyse information and identify even more connections.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And this is definitely the case when it comes to Mind Mapping. Images have the power to convey much more information than words as they are processed instantly by the brain, acting as visual stimuli to recall information. Before children learn a language, they visualise pictures in their minds which are linked to concepts. Mind Mapping maximises the powerful potential of imagery that we learn from a young age.