Mind Mapping

I'm not sure I would have ever discovered Mind MappingĀ® if not for my kids.

You see, both of my kids are visual learners and extremely creative. Me? well not so much. I can be creative, but in a more logical way, not in a free-spirited way like they are.

Anyway, what does this have to do with Mind Mapping?

I was looking for a way to help my older daughter with:
note taking
retaining information, etc.

She has always had a hard time studying and retaining information. The odd thing about this is she can memorize hundreds of lines for a theatre play. In fact, she's done that several times, so I knew her memorization skills were top notch.

I was on a mission to find ways to help her when mapping, along with several other ideas came across my path.

Now I use mapping for my younger daughter and I use it myself for many different things.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself because you may be wondering, what in the world is it??

Mind mapping, what's that??

My definition of Mind Mapping is taking boring or an overwhelming amount of information, about any subject, and putting it into a visual, easy-to-understand format.

Here is an example of a map on the Nile

The main components are:

1. Central or main theme must be in the center

2. Main ideas from the central theme are connected with a branch and one keyword

3. Each idea is represented with a different color

4. Sub topics of main themes branch off from the them

If you have never seen anything like this before it may be a little overwhelming


You could be saying, "That is exactly how my mind works!!" A lot of people get really excited when they first see this because it is how they see things, but it's never been shown to them before.

how can you use mind maps?

There are many different ways you can do maps and this is just one example. Many people like to add picures. Below is a map I did for a book, "Little House In The Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

O.K., so I'm not an artist. But, as artistically challenged as this map is, you can start to understand what it is all about.

Notice that the center circle is the "hub." This "hub" gives the name of the book.

Each spoke off the hub gives more detail. So you can see from top left, clockwise:
The type of house they lived in
The animals in the woods
Who the characters are
What the characters wore
The pets of the family
What they ate

I've seen maps Online that are really works of art. It's incredible what some people can do with them. Use maps to help you organize information in a way that makes sense to you.

I like to use mapping to for work. Here is an example of how I laid out a 2008 advertising/public relations campaign for a client of mine.

You will notice that this is a map that was done using computer software. My kids like to draw their maps, but I like the software because it is nice and crisp and clean and that is important to me. For others that's not so important so you should do whatever works for you.

Speaking of mapping software, there is a ton out there. I've written an article on Mind Mapping Software, check it out here if you want.

Mapping can help you at work, school and home. Feel free to look around the site for more help with mapping, including Mind Mapping Tips, Templates and Techniques.

Mind Mapping Tips

If you are a visual person and want some mind mapping tips, this video is for you. You will see up close how to do a mind map and get some tips on successful mind mapping that will help you or your child remember information. This is a great way to study for tests and improve grades.

Mind Mapping in Business

Mind Mapping is a great way to get your thoughts organized. I don't know anyone who does not have to organize something, if not multiple things. Especially in business. I use mapping all the time to organize projects, meetings, etc. Once you start, you can't stop!

Mind Mapping in School

Study skills is the perfect place to implement mapping. I can think of six ways to use mapping as I am sitting here writing this, here you go:

  • outlining
  • to study battles in a war
  • map out topics such as energy force and matter
  • schedule all class syllabi so you don't miss any assignments
  • map out a story line
  • use a map as a review tool for exams.

There you go and that's just the tip of the iceberg as far as mapping goes.

Mind Mapping at Home

I often use mapping for home projects. Using maps to plan our family get aways helps me remember all those pesky little details. Things like medicines we may need, maps, flashlights, etc. Try using a map for your next trip. You will be sure to find it handy and helpful. 


For some great examples of online mind mapping visit Mindomo.

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