Drawing a Mind Map from Start to Finish

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As the subject matter for this Mind Map I decide to investigate what a “Curious Brain” is and how it could impact continual learning and development

Starting with a central image that best represents the subject being explored; in this case I have used an illustration of a brain and have started to add main branches (initially I work in pencil so that adjustments can be made if necessary before adding ink and colour)

To avoid the Mind Map becoming crowded and particularly if you are using it as a memory aid, it is preferable to have no more than 11 main branches

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I start to consider what a Curious Brain is.
The easiest way to investigate this is simply to start adding keywords and branching out without too much contemplation or the mind starts to think in a linear fashion.
The beauty and diversity of using Mind Maps is that it encourages radial thinking which uncovers wider and more interesting ideas.
From the starting point of “invent” I travel quickly to other words (it is best to use single words as a phrase can stop the train of thought)

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I add the word “think” as another main branch and then progress again by adding more main keywords

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“Look” comes to mind, so I then add that keyword and branch out further

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Same again for the word “write”

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And “positive”

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Followed by “experience”
I could have added more main branches and even more words to each branch, as the system of Mind Mapping creates infinite possibilities, yet I decide I have enough branches for this particular Mind Map.
I have covered “Curious Brain” in my own unique way – if anyone else had Mind Mapped this subject they may well have formed an entirely different set of keywords and that is another fantastic element of Mind Mapping.

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To make the Mind Map more memorable and exciting to look at I add sketches and illustrations, concentrating on simplicity. I always have in mind when adding pictures – what is the best or easiest way to represent the words and concepts. It is not necessary to illustrate every word and in fact, it is just as likely that the images get created when adding the keywords. I have split the tasks here for demonstration purposes only. Because Mind Maps use a combination of words and images they are far more brain-friendly than a list of text; brilliant for memorising information and fun to create.
Here is the Mind Map with sketches added.

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It is preferable to colour each branch differently. In this case, I used a very thick pen to create the branches and that helped when it came to filling the colour by computer. Normally the main branches from the central image would be thicker working out to thinner branches as you add new words so that it is easy to see the main points.

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I then add colour to the rest of the images to highlight the Mind Map.
Two brilliant tips here are to use light colours and spread the colours fairly evenly throughout the Mind Map so that there is a good balance overall.

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Here are some basic Mind Mapping rules (in the Tony Buzan style)
Details extracted from WikIT – the Wiki for Mind Maps
(Visit http://www.informationtamers.com/WikIT)

  1. Start in the center of a landscape sheet of blank paper.
  2. Use a picture for your central idea.
  3. Use colors throughout.
  4. Connect your main branches to the central image and connect your second-level branches to the first and so on.
  5. Make your branches curved rather than straight-lined, the central lines being thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate from the center.
  6. Use one keyword per line.
  7. Use images throughout.
  8. Develop your own personal style of mind maps.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mindmap.
  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radiant hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.

Mindmaps ® were invented by Tony Buzan

They help us progress from “linear” (one-dimensional) through “lateral” (two-dimensional) to “radiant” (multi-dimensional) thinking. For more information see his books and visit the following website:

http://www.thinkbuzan.com/uk/

Update (07.02.09):

Roy’s Blog has a post about a page at WikIT “How to make a Mind Map” – it is one of the best explanations on the internet – take a look!

To learn more about drawing and idea creation see my E-Books

Comments

2 Responses to “Drawing a Mind Map from Start to Finish”
  1. Dee1010 says:

    After a quarter of a century I ‘am returning back to college. I have heard about mind mapping but the concept never caught on with me. However I’m open-minded and want to give it try as I find that studying can be a challenge. Any suggestions for a newbie to mind mapping? 8-)

  2. Paul says:

    I would suggest simply try mindmapping – see if it works for you. Here are some handy links to help get you started:

    A comprehensive introduction to mindmapping:

    How to Mind Map – A Beginner’s Guide at the IQ Matrix Blog – http://blog.iqmatrix.com/mind-map/how-to-mind-map-a-beginners-guide

    Books about mind maps:

    List of Mind Mapping Books – http://www.mindmapinspiration.com/mind-map-books/

    Bigger list of Books about mind maps at WikIT (the mindmapping Wiki) – http://www.informationtamers.com/WikIT/index.php?title=Books_about_mind_maps

    Tips for how to summarise text with mind maps:

    How to convert text to Mind Map – http://www.mindmapinspiration.com/how-to-convert-text-to-mind-map-paul-foreman/

    Collections of Mind Maps to inspire you:

    Mind Map Examples to view in the online Mind Map Libraries: http://www.mind-mapping.org/mind-map-libraries.html

    If you fancy trying mind map software:

    List of free mind mapping (and related types) software at WikIT – http://www.informationtamers.com/WikIT/index.php?title=Free_mind_mapping_(and_related_types)_software

    Hope that helps – good luck with your studying and mind mapping :)

    Paul

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