Mind map

Introduction

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Example of a mind map with quick list of brain hemispheres skills

Classic note taking exercise had for me some limits. As it is linear, I need often to draw arrows to link information between distant paragraphs which result in notes difficult to read after 1 month. During meetings, I caught myself drawing during the brainstorming session. When, I discovered mind map and started using it, it brought great changes in my life.

Mind Map is a tool to note your ideas visually. It has been created by Tony Buzan in the 70s. When you look at a mind map, you see structured, organized and hierarchized information presented in a network of key words and key images. The mind map schema reminds a network of neurons.

Powerful tool

Drawing mind map is very useful in contexts in which you take notes or collect information like school classes, brainstormings, meetings, to-do list, creation of a book, etc. Mind map is powerful because:

  • it offers a flexible framework where you can add new information without interrupting your flow. Less arrows and better readiness than with classical notes.
  • It makes us use both brain hemispheres during the collection of information. On one hand, we use the logical left brain as we do for any traditional note taking task. On the other hand, it lets to use the intuitive and creative right brain. Indeed, not only we draw but also we are able to associate any new information to previous one.
  • it focuses on keywords and key images that convey the main information. Therefore, with a glance at your notes you have a global view of the subject and can also target the information you are looking for.
  • it helps to memorize information as they are structured and concentrated in few keywords.
  • it uses the brain capacity to associate information. Indeed, during creation of mind map, you write down key words and draw key image. And, you create triggers of associations between your ideas. When, you come back to your mind map, by visualizing it, you will access all these triggers and associations that are stored in your memories.
  • last but not least, the information are physically dispatched in different area of your paper which allows you to use the spatial capacity of your right brain hemisphere.

Let’s create a basic mind map

In below video, we give an idea of how to create a basic mind map for the preparation of a trip to Thailand.

Here is the mind map of the video:

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Created with Xmind Software

Recommendations to create your mind map

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  • Start in the center of blank page turned sideways with your subject in a circle or an image that represents the subject.
  • From the center, draw curved branches on which you put keywords or images
  • From this main branch, create branches at second and third level. A hierarchy of keywords starts to appear
  • Create your branches in a clockwise rotation
  • On a branch, put as less words as possible in order to really focus on main idea that will be memorized easier.
  • Be esthetic though colors, drawings, emoticons, curves to have an entertaining notes writing activity and to catch information in one glance owing to great readiness.
  • Draw your mind map to activate all your brains skills and use less software… 😉

Examples 

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Exercises for relaxation by Tony Buzan

How to write a book by Brian Tracy (shared by XMind website)

In a nutshell

Mind map is a powerful graphical tool to take your notes as it uses many skills of both brains. During its creation process, you select keys word to create association between your ideas without stopping your flow of creativity. This agility helps you to remember and make sense of the information.

To go further

Use your head practical book by Tony Buzan
IQMatrix great resources for great mind maps by Adam Sicinski
XMind shared mind maps
Novamind software

Author

Remi RochelogoRemi Roche is a project manager and a coach. He uses mind map to manage projects, analyze situations and define solutions. He holds a MSC in Computer Science and a double MBA from HEC Paris and New York University Stern. He uses his available time between his family, Tai Chi and Yes Group France, a community that shares personal development techniques.
Antonio González
Thanks to Denys Kryvytskyy for helping us out with the recording. 
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