I’ve filled about one sketchbook each year with notes since I learned to mind map in the early 1990s. Several years before that I had simply stopped taking notes. In those pre-mind map days, I found myself looking at the yellow tablets I’d been writing in and making little sense of the scribbles. Then at a creativity workshop, Rhonda Wiley-Jones introduced me to mind mapping. This process of “visual note taking” has been an indispensable tool for me ever since! I’ve used mind maps for everything from planning major grants to strategic planning and to do lists.
Mind maps and similar concepts have been used for centuries for learning, brainstorming, enhancing memory, and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists…But Tony Buzan made them popular. They are used more in Europe than in the US, but I recommend them especially to kinesthetic and visual thinkers.
Mind mapping has many applications for personal and business use. Because ideas are added into the map radially around a central idea or theme without the implicit prioritization that comes from outlining–summarizing, revising and clarifying thoughts and ideas come naturally to the mind mapper.
Mind maps have been useful to me in a number of ways–
- working with groups to generate ideas
- taking notes during classes and workshops
- prioritizing to do lists
- planning workshops
The workshops I facilitate on mind mapping and other keys to creativity, are geared to your unique group, and provide background and rationale, group and individual practice time, ideas for tapping into your creativity and FUN!