Mind Mappingby Gillian Burn
- Why is a Mind Map® more effective than making ordinary lists?
- The mind maps I have seen look messy and untidy, does this matter?
- Will it really save me time and improve my creativity?
- Do you have to use colours, as I don’t feel comfortable using coloured pens in meetings?
1. Why is a mind map more effective than making ordinary lists?
The mind map helps you link together ideas to 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!
2. The mind maps I have seen look messy and untidy, does this matter?
A mind map is unique to each individual and is created with their own style. When you first start, you may find the branches look untidy as you get used to drawing curvy lines instead of writing on traditional lined paper. The more you practise the technique, the more confident you will feel. A map does not need to look like a work of art, as long as you have captured the main information on key branches. A mind map can look untidy to an onlooker, as they have not personally created it or seen how each area links together. When you explain your mind map to someone else, the message is much clearer.
3. Will it really save me time and improve my creativity?
Mind maps are great time savers 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.
4. Do you have to use colours, as I don’t feel comfortable using coloured pens in meetings?
You do not have to use colour unless you need to use the Mind Map as a memory tool. Using colour and images on a mind map enhances your memory by 25 to 50 per cent. In business settings, most of my mind maps are in black or blue, with the occasional use of red to highlight a section or to show an action point. I also regularly use pencil to create mind maps. The choice is yours.