Mind Mapping a powerful technique to help you get your thoughts down on paper

If you haven’t heard about mind mapping you are in for a treat.

Our brains work by hanging new thoughts off the scaffolding of ideas and knowledge it already has stored away. Our brains make links, and if you can supply your brain with lots of different ideas and new thoughts you are more likely to come up with a ‘eureka’ moment.

When we write down our thoughts in a list we can stifle our brains ability to make new and interesting links.

A mind map is a visual, colourful diagram arranged around one central word or idea. Lines are added with words or pictures and they branch out like the roots of a tree.

Mind maps can be drawn quickly by hand and can be useful if you want to make notes during a lecture or meeting.

Tony Buzan, who has done the most to popularise the mind mapping technique suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:

ü  Start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colours.

ü  Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.

ü  Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.

ü  Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.

ü  The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and thinner as they radiate out from the centre.

ü  Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.

ü  Use multiple colours throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also to encode or group.

ü  Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.

ü  Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.

ü  Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.


Once you get the hang of it mind mapping is a very powerful and helpful tool, you can use it to help you study or organise information, generate ideas, put complex ideas down on paper, help make decisions, note taking and brain storming.

Below is a link to a video from Youtube about how to draw a mind map. You will also find books at your library on mind mapping.

How to create a mind map

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