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Are you looking for better ways to structure, organize, and learn new information?

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Do you have ideas in your head that you would like to expound on and are looking for a creative way to do so?

Allow us to introduce you to mind mapping.

This tool is used around the world by professionals and individuals alike. It’s a game-changer for your productivity.  

It can help keep you organized, productive, and focused. Whether you’re brainstorming new ideas or projects, mind mapping might be just what you need.  

Not only will we teach you how to create mind maps, but we will also show you concrete and effective examples.

What Is Mind Mapping?

Mind Maps
Source: thunderheadworks.com

Mind mapping was developed by Tony Buzan in the 1970s as a visual information management tool. It’s a way to store, organize, learn, and review information.

People around the world use it daily in the following ways:

  • Students preparing for examinations, writing essays, and memorizing subject notes and materials. 
  • Regular folks setting goals, keeping track of important information and dates, and financial planning.
  • Professionals planning marketing strategies, organizing and managing meetings, and preparing for interviews.

The structure of a mind map allows you to grasp the big picture of what you’re delving into. This helps stimulate your imagination. 

You can unlock creative insights and ideas by making the process of mind mapping fun. There are different ways to do this, such as using:

  • Different colors.
  • Different fonts.
  • Images that excite you.
  • Short phrases that inspire you.  

It sounds a bit complicated, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you. By the end of this guide, you will be well on your way to creating your first mind map. 

Creating a Mind Map

A mind map is structured in a way that helps you break down information into chunks that are easy to remember. This format also makes it easy for your mind to recall things and is quick to review. Plus, it can strengthen your interest in the issue you are exploring.

How to create a simple mind map:

  1. Take out a blank piece of paper and place it horizontally in front of you.
  2. Draw a circle in the middle of the page and write or draw your main topic/idea inside the circle.
  3. Draw four branches that “come out” of your main circle.
  4. Write keywords in the circles attached to your four branches.
  5. From each circle, draw additional sub-branches and write keywords/short phrases on them.
  6. You can keep adding sub-branches as more ideas come to mind.

To reflect your personal identity and individuality, you can enrich your mind map by using different codes, images, dimensions, arrows, and a wide variety of colors.

Source from: Mumbi Gichuri

The Benefits of Mind Mapping

Retaining Information

Mind Mapping
Source: mindgenius.com

You can manage a significant amount of information using mind maps. 

The association between different ideas is a big reason mind mapping is so effective. The branches stemming from your main idea are similar to how the brain works. This linking of concepts and ideas means you are more likely to recall them. 

Mind mapping helps declutter the brain. It works in sort of the same way decluttering your house does. Tidying up and decluttering your house is freeing and feels very satisfying. Getting the ideas and thoughts you have in your head out into the world frees up space in your head. As a result, you can think more clearly. 

Seeing the Bigger Picture

When you want to generate new and creative ideas, mind mapping is the way to go. With your mind map on one page or screen in front of you, you get a bird’s eye view of all your thoughts and ideas. 

Because you engaged your brain in creating a mind map, you get to see your ideas and thoughts. You get a clear picture of how they connect to each other. This amplifies the visualization of relationships and links between concepts.  

The free form of a mind map allows you to keep adding branches. As you do this,  you are able to quickly review your work so far and see what you’ve already come up with. There will be no repetition and you can add fresh new insights. This process can significantly enhance your creativity.

Academic Skills Centre mind mapping
Source: sheffield.ac.uk

Increasing Your Focus and Productivity

The process of connecting ideas to your main topic keeps you focused on that topic. Its central position keeps it front and center in your mind. This can help keep you from straying off-topic. 

The visual representation in front of you increases your productivity

According to research, mind mapping can boost your productivity by 20-30%. Imagine what such a significant difference can do for your outcomes!

Whether you are working on a personal or professional project, this technique can increase the quality of your work. And being productive not only helps you grow, but it also feels good. It makes you want to challenge yourself to do more.

Pinfographics
Image courtesy

Overcoming Blocks

How many times have you sat to write or create and gotten stuck? You start to feel like you are fresh out of ideas and have no clue how to proceed. Mind maps can help you push past these brain blocks. 

All you need to do is start with one keyword and expound on that. Even if you think the ideas you have are not related, write them down. This process will help you feel a lot less overwhelmed. It can also work to clarify your thought process and keep you moving forward.  

Once you start moving from one keyword to the next, you will slowly get into the rhythm of writing. Your creative juices are likely to kick in. 

The number of ideas that can come out of this are limitless. You may even find yourself considering different angles and gaining new perspectives. 

Don’t limit yourself to using just words. Draw out your thoughts. You may be surprised at where they lead you. You will overcome your blocks and possibly discover new material.

Mind mapping blocks
Source: steemit.com

Problem Solving

When trying to solve problems, sometimes you can feel overwhelmed by the size and complexity of the problem. You may have some solutions in your head but you’re not quite clear on how they can solve the problem. When you use a mind map, having your potential solutions on one page gives you clarity. 

Because of the structure of a mind map, the answers you brainstorm will all be laid out in front of you. Your brain will be better able to generate more ideas and associations.

Start with the problem in the middle of your blank page then map out different aspects of it. An example of how mind maps can be used to solve problems is through the 5W1H method.

A mind map illustrating a use for the 5W1H method
Source: themetalearners.com

Boost Your Productivity With Mind Mapping

Mind mapping can significantly improve how you approach your projects – both personal and professional. 

Think of those goals that you have been wanting to achieve and those creative ideas that bring you joy. Try mind-mapping them and see what comes out of it. 

The more mind maps you create, the better you will get. Plus, it can spark new ideas as you go about creating them. The possibilities are endless. Get out that piece of paper and start working on your first mind map. 

Small Revolution is an online learning platform with a wide variety of courses and expert articles that can help you develop the skills you need to start or grow your career. 

Put your new mind mapping skills to use by taking a course on Successful Behaviours & Habits that can help you achieve online employment success. Or improve on your resume and use it to apply for your dream job. 

Whether you want to earn more money at home or you want to build up the skills you already have, Small Revolution will help you succeed.

Photo by diana.grytsku / CC BY

Katrina
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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