By: Tristan Loo
Mindmapping is one of the simplest, yet most powerful tools a person can use when developing ideas. It is a non-linear way of organizing information that allows you to capture the natural flow of your ideas as they spring to mind. Mind maps were developed in the late 1960s by cognitive psychology expert and author, Tony Buzan, as a way of helping students learn and take notes in an unconventional visual format designed to increase memory retention.
The Benefits of Mindmapping
· Brainstorm new ideas, new projects, new products & services.
· Managing projects and covering all bases.
· It clearly defines the central idea, by positioning it in the center of the page.
· It allows you to indicate clearly the relative importance of each idea.
· All your information is laid out on one page.
· It allows you to add new information very easily.
· It makes it easier for you to see information in different ways, from different viewpoints, because it does not lock it into specific positions.
· It allows you to see complex relationships among ideas, which might not be as apparent if using a linear system of brainstorming.
· It provides a foundation for questioning and discovery.
Here are Some Simple Steps to Follow When Mindmapping
Start at the center. This is contrary to the linear method that we are taught in school to begin at the top left-hand corner of the page. Our brains actually prefer starting at the center and working outward. Begin with a piece of paper. The bigger the paper size, the more complete your mind map will be. In the center of the page, write a word or phrase that embodies the entire idea that you are focusing on at the moment.
Dump it!! In order to make mindmapping work, it is necessary to let go of trying to find the right answer, or the best answer, and just allow your brain to dump ideas onto that mind map. Mindmapping is a idea-dumping process that helps stimulate new ideas and connections between those ideas.
Branch it out. As new ideas emerge, focus on those ideas and see if you can break them down even further. Allow the ideas to expand outward into branches and sub-branches. Put down all ideas without judgment or evaluation.
Work fast. Your brain works in short bursts of creative ideas, so in order to capture those ideas, you want to work as rapidly as possible to put ideas on paper. It is therefore important not to judge or evaluate the quality of those ideas or else your mind will become locked up. Work fast to get as many ideas as possible onto paper as you can.
Don’t be confined by boundaries. Make sure that you do not create boundaries for yourself when it comes to mindmapping by limiting your physical space for ideas. Don’t feel confined to a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Use an easel pad, or butcher paper to mindmap because this medium offers more space to elaborate on your ideas. Now there is some computer software available that allows you to mindmap. These are quite good and you can print out your mindmap when you are finished.
Don’t stop. Make sure you write down everything that comes to mind even if it is completely unrelated. Otherwise your mind will get distracted onto other things and you won’t be able to come back to what you were focusing on in the first place. Always keep your hand moving. If ideas seem to slow down then draw empty lines and your subconscious mind will work hard to fill those empty lines with ideas.
Organize later. Sometimes you see relationships between ideas immediately and sometimes you don’t, so you just connect the ideas to the central focus and keep adding to your map. Organization should not be your focus until after you get your ideas on paper.
Source: Ezine @rticles
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