Mind Mapping

by Gillian Burn

Uses of Mind Maps®

You can use mind mapping in many areas of your life, at home and at work. Popular uses of mind maps include the following:

  • Taking notes – for example, during meetings or lectures, while on the phone, preparing agenda points or capturing actions
  • Studying – collating key facts, helping with revision and recall of information
  • Generating ideas – on new topics or areas you need to explore further
  • Enhancing learning as a powerful memory tool
  • Improving creativity
  • Problem solving and analysing situations
  • Planning – for example, a project, a presentation, a party, a celebration, workshops, seminars or conferences
  • Dealing with information – for example, gathering information, researching or analysing data
  • Enhancing your memory
  • Organising thoughts
  • Improving thinking skills

A Mind Map is an external manifestation of the complete creative thinking process.

Tony Buzan
  • Helping with communication
  • Providing a summary of key information from a book
  • Writing – for example, preparing information for reports, articles, chapters of a book and so on
  • Preparing for interviews or appraisals – for example, questions to ask, important facts, areas you wish to cover, personal achievements, experiences or areas where you need further clarification

Benefits

Mind maps have many benefits, covering every aspect of your life. People who use mind maps say that they

  • Save time
  • Improve memory
  • Are a powerful visual aid
  • Are fun, relaxing and easy to do
  • Help to reduce stress and tension, so ideas can flow
  • Are suitable for any age, from young to old
  • Are a great tool for organising thoughts, ideas and being creative
  • Are unique and different
  • Provide a one-page summary, at a glance

For learning to be fast and effective, your brain needs to be given the big picture first.

Bill Lucas, Power up your mind, learn faster, work smarter
  • Can be added to more effectively than would be the case with linear notes
  • Have the ability to link key areas together
  • Act as an effective prompt to share key information with other people
  • Can be done almost anywhere, with just a pen and paper – you do not need a computer or fancy equipment

Lists

The mind map helps you link ideas together and see, at a glance, which aspects of your ‘to do’ list could be done together or combined. Ordinary lists often run to several pages, making it harder to see areas that could be linked together. A long list also looks more daunting than a picture of radiant ideas. By capturing everything on a one page, a mind map makes information easier for the brain to process and register. Be patient, it may take a little time to get used to changing the habit of making lists!

Time saving

Mind maps are great time savers and improve creativity because they help you process ideas, with the minimum of thinking and preparation time. Creating the mind map allows your brain to explore ideas quickly, jot them down and add to them in a way that working straight on a computer or in a traditional linear form does not. They also have the ability to free up the thinking and creativity process, reducing time overall.