I always wondered how I could organize my ideas. A few years ago one of my teachers showed me the rudiments of mind mapping. I found it was a great idea for me at the time. I used it a lot for my advertisements projects.
A quick history
People have been organizing things on paper for centuries, but the first man to claim the invention of mind mapping as we know it is Tony Buzan. He claimed that the brain prefers to scan a sheet in a non-linear way instead of scanning it from top to bottom and left to right.
How it works
Mind mapping is way to organize thoughts by using all your brain. You start with a central point or idea. Then you can join secondary ideas or branches to your graphic. You can do this process how many times you want. It is suggested to associate a color to a certain topic (branch). You should also use keywords so it won’t get polluted with useless information. You may also use drawings or pictures. This way you organize your thoughts and stimulate the brain.
Why use mind mapping
You can use mind mapping for a lot of purposes:
-joining words and visuals
-writing course notes/making course notes
-helping you study
I have used mind mapping for a long time but always did it on paper with color pencils. I still find it a lot useful. Everything goes so fast in my head that it is a real challenge to put it in order and put it down on paper. I used first with an ad project and did one to clarify a brainstorming that went in four different directions. Using drawings helped me associate a visual to an idea and helped my team create a product of quality.
It is the only mind mapping software I use because it is user friendly, I can use it for many purposes and there is a free version. It offers many templates that the user can use such as project management, cause and effect, meeting management, plans, dashboards and analysis board. The only thing I don’t like about this software is its lack of customization. There are some certain links between branches i can’t do and it bothers me a little.
Mind mapping is a great tool to master because it can be useful in many cases. The software I use is easy to use and can say I lie it even with is lack of customization. I am using the free version of Xmind. The real version may be more complete but I can live with this small problem if I can save 99$.