How to Use Mind Maps to Unleash Your Brain's Creativity and Potential

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Mind mapping is without doubt one of the greatest methods to seize your ideas and convey them to life in visible kind. Beyond simply note-taking, although, thoughts maps may help you change into extra artistic, keep in mind extra, and remedy issues extra successfully. Whether you are new to thoughts maps or simply need a refresher, here is all you might want to learn about this method.

What Are Mind Maps?

A thoughts map is mainly a diagram that connects info round a central topic. I like to think about it like a tree, though it has extra of a radial construction. In any case, on the heart is your important concept, say, poetry, and the branches are subtopics or associated concepts, reminiscent of forms of poetry, well-known poets, and poetry publications. Greater ranges of element department out from there and branches could be linked collectively.

Mind maps can be utilized for just about any considering or studying process, from learning a topic (reminiscent of a new language) to planning your career and even building better habits. The Asian Efficiency blog presents a couple of uncommon methods to make use of thoughts maps you may not have thought-about: create a information financial institution (since thoughts mapping software program enables you to connect recordsdata and add hyperlinks), remedy issues (reminiscent of which bank card to make use of), create e-book summaries, and set targets. They’re nice for groups to make use of as nicely, for group brainstorming and interactive displays.

Why Mind Maps Are Better Than Text Notes

Mind maps could be simpler than different brainstorming and linear note-taking strategies for numerous causes:

  • It’s a graphical device that may incorporate phrases, pictures, numbers, and colour, so it may be extra memorable and pleasing to create and assessment. The mixture of phrases and photos is six times better for remembering information than phrases alone.
  • Mind maps hyperlink and group ideas collectively by way of pure associations. This helps generate extra concepts, discover deeper that means in your topic, and likewise immediate you to fill in additional or discover what you are lacking.
  • A thoughts map can directly provide you with an outline of a giant topic whereas additionally holding giant quantities of data.
  • It’s additionally a really intuitive strategy to arrange your ideas, since thoughts maps mimic the way in which our brains suppose—bouncing concepts off of one another, reasonably than considering linearly.
  • You can generate concepts in a short time with this method and are inspired to discover totally different artistic pathways.

In one survey, executives who began utilizing thoughts mapping software program mentioned they had been in a position to work considerably quicker than earlier than and juggle extra advanced tasks by way of thoughts mapping. And research suggests thoughts mapping can enhance studying and reminiscence by 10 to 15% versus standard note-taking and learning methods. It also can prevent time, as the Learning Fundamentals blog writes:

A scholar just lately mentioned to me –

“I believed thoughts mapping would take a whole lot of time to do however truly it saves me time as a result of I don’t need to learn my notes time and again anymore”

Mind mapping lets you research much less since you perceive the data at a deep stage on account of creating thoughts maps. If you simply learn your notes time and again likelihood is you’ll solely perceive the content material at a superficial stage and also you’re going to waste a whole lot of time.

I exploit thoughts maps particularly after I’m caught on an issue or am dealing with author’s block. (The picture above is my starter thoughts map for this put up, created in OneNote. Yeah, it isn’t fairly, however that is okay. OneNote appears to be very best for thoughts mapping as a result of even handwriting is searchable, you possibly can embed different recordsdata, and when you’ve got a pill PC, draw on the display.) By beginning out with the essential questions—who, what, why, and so on.—after which following every thread, I am extra assured I am not lacking something, and the concepts simply appear to come up on their very own.

Think of it this fashion. Imagine you had been requested to jot down down as many makes use of for a brick as attainable. Many folks would simply begin itemizing all their concepts (constructing a wall, constructing a walkway, and so on.). But what if you happen to began from a broader perspective, reminiscent of eager about the properties of a brick. It’s heavy, so you might use it: as a paperweight, to carry down a rubbish bag whereas raking, as an train weight, to grill juicer chicken, and so on. It’s additionally thick, so you might use it to prop up a planter or as a doorstop. It’s pink, it is laborious, it is rectangular, and so on. That’s the magic of thoughts mapping: Once you begin, the chances appear nearly infinite.

How to Get Started Mind Mapping

You can create a thoughts map on paper, in a drawing app in your pill, or considered one of many popular mind mapping software tools, reminiscent of XMind, Lifehacker readers’ favourite thoughts mapping software program.

Pen and paper could also be higher as a result of you may get your ideas out extra rapidly and the act of drawing the branches out can help recall. On the opposite hand, utilizing the pc could make your thoughts maps searchable and embody attachments. If you are having hassle deciding from among the many tons of digital tools to choose from, the Mind Mapping Software blog suggests you search for these 5 options: the flexibility so as to add hyperlinks and attachments, add notes, filter content material, export to different packages or codecs, and use keyboard shortcuts.

Once you have chosen your device, comply with these seven steps and suggestions for making a thoughts map, from British writer Tony Buzan, who trademarked and popularized the time period “thoughts map” within the 1960s:

  1. Start within the CENTRE of a clean web page turned sideways. Why? Because beginning within the centre provides your Brain freedom to unfold out in all instructions and to precise itself extra freely and naturally.
  2. Use an IMAGE or PICTURE to your central concept. Why? Because a picture is value a thousand phrases and helps you utilize your Imagination. A central picture is extra attention-grabbing, retains you focussed, helps you focus, and provides your Brain extra of a buzz!
  3. Use COLOURS all through. Why? Because colors are as thrilling to your Brain as are pictures. Colour provides additional vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, provides great power to your Creative Thinking, and is enjoyable!
  4. CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central picture and join your second- and third-level branches to the primary and second ranges, and so on. Why? Because your Brain works by affiliation. It likes to hyperlink two (or three, or 4) issues collectively. If you join the branches, you’ll perceive and keep in mind much more simply.
  5. Make your branches CURVED reasonably than straight-lined. Why? Because having nothing however straight traces is boring to your Brain.
  6. Use ONE KEY WORD PER LINE. Why Because single key phrases give your Mind Map extra energy and adaptability.
  7. Use IMAGES all through. Why Because every picture, just like the central picture, can also be value a thousand phrases. So when you’ve got solely 10 pictures in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 phrases of notes!

Or, nicely, here is a thoughts map about thoughts mapping:

There’s nobody normal means it’s important to create a thoughts map, nevertheless. If you need to use greater than key phrase or add extra textual content to a department, that is a private alternative. Go with what works successfully for you.

For additional info and inspiration, take a look at these thoughts map galleries and different sources, which illustrate the numerous methods you need to use thoughts maps in your life:

Photos by Solarseven (Shutterstock), Voland77, LoggaWiggler, Mind Mapping Site, Roberta Buzzacchino.

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