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Using a Mind Map to Define Your Idea or Project

A mind map is a great way to clear your thinking on any subject or project. Some people use the technique as a “brain dump” which helps a lot with overwhelm when you have too many ideas floating around in your head. It is a visual technique which helps get past a lot of the blocks our brains set for us. It is also a great way to take notes in any class! This is an example of how a mind map works. The instructor is using a tablet but all you need is a big piece of paper and some fresh markers!

From the Wikipedia on Mind Mapping:
Tony Buzan suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:

  1. Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
  2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.
  3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
  4. Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
  5. The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the center.
  6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
  7. Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also for encoding or grouping.
  8. Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy or outlines to embrace your branches.

Mindmapping Tools

You will need:

    • paper – preferably large enough that you can go wild.
    • markers and maybe pencils
    • a quite block of time to focus without distraction

Mindmapping programs are available. Some are open source, some will cost you. In general – pens and paper works great! The goal though is not to get fussy. The goal is to capture your thoughts and ideas fast!
Mind Map Example 1

Personal development Mind Map
By Thum Cheng Cheong

You do NOT need to be a skilled artist to create mind maps but some folks have made a career of offering this service. Be inspired but don’t worry if yours is more plain or basic!

The Art of Mind Maps and Other Resources

43 Intricate Mind Map Illustrations
Mind Map Art Gallery
Mind Maps on Pinterest