For the past few years I’ve been using the technique of “Mind Mapping” to help me think through many different situations. What’s that? You don’t know what a Mind Map is? Mind Mapping is another twist on brainstorming that has become popularized through a British man by the name of Tony Buzan. If you search YouTube for his name, you’ll find a number of videos that give a basic breakdown on the technique and how you can use it. There’s even Mind Map computer software available, some for free, others for a fee that will help you bring mind maps to life on your computer screen.
If you’re interested in learning more though, I would highly recommend Buzan’s brief but well written introduction to the process called “How to Mind Map”. How to Mind Map is a small, pocket sized book that breaks down the basics of how to get started with this “radiant thinking” technique as Buzan calls it. He starts with a basic rundown of the process, helps you design your first mind map, and then spends the rest of the book highlighting various ways you can use mind maps to work through problems, outline a book, plan your week, and even plan your future. That’s just the start of what this little guide will do for you. There are a number of books on mind mapping available but most are filled with a lot of clutter designed to sell the book and not the process. How to Mind Map is all application and very little filler. It’s the finest one volume guide to the process of mind mapping that I’ve read and the only one I’d recommend to someone getting started with the process of mind mapping.
In the beginning, I started mind mapping quite simply with just a pen/pencil and paper. But as time has gone on, I’ve seen the benefit of color and have changed to a dedicated notebook and a collection of colored pencils that help me visualize the process. I use mind maps to takes notes at college, outline my sermons, plan special events, and to outline books for reports or reviews. I’ve used them in other areas as well but this gives you an idea of the versatility of a mind map.
For me, linear note taking is a bore. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t help me. If I’m making note of one thing, I can get by with it but if I’m planning a multi task project, taking notes in a class, or even laying out my week, I like sitting down with a blank sheet of paper, my colored pencils, and just get to it. My mind feels refreshed, and I have a visual picture that helps me see logical connections with concepts and that’s the key with mind maps. Your brain thinks this way so it’s natural for you to draw it out.
Give mind maps a try. Order this book and see if it doesn’t help you think clearer and better than you have ever thought before.