Mind Mapping: Definition, Uses and Advantages

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Most people have great ideas and equally great thoughts about how they can execute those ideas into tangible, successful, functional entities that don’t just reside in the mind. However, daily stress, work pressure, or even relaxation can jumble everything up, resulting in a confusing mess that is neither great nor successful in making itself tangible. Luckily, there’s an amazingly simple tool that you can readily use any time, and virtually anywhere. Learn more about mind mapping—definition, functions, and benefits, and watch your productivity rise to levels you never thought possible.

Mind Mapping: Definition

In a nutshell, mind mapping is a technique in which a central idea, and the information about this main idea, is radially and hierarchically organised in a graphic manner.

The concept of mind mapping was born in the 1970’s, when renowned television host and psychology expert Tony Buzan introduced this method of organisation via visual representations. According to Buzan, mind maps take advantage of all of the cortical functions of our brain—cognition, visual association to shapes, colours, patterns, keywords—and maximises our ability to recall and comprehend an idea, or a group of ideas.

How does one make a mind map? All you need is a piece of paper, some coloured pens, photos, stickers, post-it notes—whatever you need or want to use to make your mind map as visually rich and engaging as possible! Your imagination is your number one equipment in mind mapping.

Start with your main idea or subject, and branch out to the more detailed subtopics and information by using key words, phrases or pictures to represent them. Don’t forget to connect these to the centre—but don’t limit yourself by making sure there’s equal distance between each subtopics, or using rulers to ensure perfect lines. Our brain is wired to take in mind maps as a whole, and process each branch and detail more effectively if the ‘design’ is all you. Your keywords, your graphics, and your chosen colours will help you recall these data more than by following a standardised pattern.

Mind Mapping: Uses and Functions

So where can you use mind maps? Everywhere! Mind mapping is ideal for studying, keeping an organised timeline for a project, for writing, delegating and monitoring tasks in your company—the list goes on and on. Once you get the hang of using mind maps in your daily life, you’ll see a significant difference in your productivity.

Team leaders and members alike can take advantage of the ease and comprehensive qualities of mind maps. It makes taking down notes in meetings effortless, and presentations more interesting, unforgettable, and visually impressive.

Mind Mapping: Advantages and Benefits

From studying to reviewing for exams, from recording he minutes of a meeting to making a presentation for the higher ups, mind maps have proven to be one of the best (if not the best) tools for productivity.

Easier Recall. Since mind maps are visually oriented, our brain processes the entirety without much difficulty, as opposed to bullets, paragraphs, and lists that we have to read up to down, left to right.

Better Organisation. Mind maps arrange your ideas and information in a hierarchy; the most general topics branch out to the smaller details, via the use of keywords, photos or pictures. This way, the words and data don’t get mixed up, and nothing is left out or forgotten.

Encourages Creativity. Mind mapping is all about using your imagination! You’ll be using your colours of choice, your photos and picture representations, and your keywords and phrases when formulating a mind map. You can go as simple or as intricate as you want—go crazy with it!

Portable and Convenient. Mind maps can be done practically everywhere—all you need is your writing tools, a blank paper, and you’re good to go!

What’s more, there are digital options now made available for you, so you can take your mind mapping activities wherever you go. Mind Genius is a brilliant mind mapping software that lets you create, review, revise, and export your mind maps to other office programs and options, letting you share your work and ideas with amazing ease—and it has an Ipad application that lets you use MindGenius anytime, anywhere!

Take advantage of the exceptional benefits of using mind maps. Before you know it, you’ll be the more organised master of your universe!

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About Author

Colin Cooper is the CEO of Boost Your Business, the leader in marketing and business development for both large and small scale businesses. As one of the most innovative marketing specialists for over a decade, Colin and his team of business and online experts collate their years of know-how and experiences with the Boost Your Business: Body Armour for Business, an online magazine created to provide a holistic resource avenue for everything business, health, and wellness.