Too much information to take in and don’t know how to start? Mind mapping might help.
Why should I be interested in mind maps?
Mind maps are a creative, visually appealing and fun way to:
- research: break up and clarify complex ideas and topics
- revise: take notes and study for exams
- combat information overload
- brainstorm: as a group or individually
- renew: take a step back and restore your sense of purpose
- define: personal and professional goals
- problem solve
- plan: presentations and teaching sessions
Okay, you’ve caught my attention. What are mind maps?
You may already know, but just in case you haven’t learnt about them already: mind maps are diagrams to visually represent ideas and organise information. They are what you make of them, but they usually incorporate lots of colour and pictures.
You take a (literally) central topic and surround it with sub-topics, dividing it up into categories and connecting ideas when they are associated. Mind maps can be in the form of a spider diagram, sun burst or even be created out of post-it notes.
How can I create mind maps then?
You could go for the traditional pen and paper method. There is something about writing and drawing that helps you think and concentrate, more so than using a computer. The Guardian has covered this recently. Whatever plays to your skills or takes your fancy really. Be creative!
Alternatively, for the more technologically savvy, you could create mind maps electronically; there is online software, such as Mindmeister, which not only allows you to create mind maps, but also collaborate with others on them, present them and embed them into your website; electronic mind maps are easily shareable, especially through social media. You can make them more interactive adding videos, links and files as well.
Or you can use Prezi presentation software, which could have been made for mind mapping. Obviously it allows you to present your mind map, but also share it and embed it. You can zoom in on specifics and customise the layout so it can look how you want it to look. Prezi provides mind map templates, ready-made for you:
Go forth and map your mind!