How to Develop Ideas Through Mind Mapping

by John Burke

2 min read

Your involvement in marketing strategy and planning meetings requires you to develop ideas on a tight schedule. Having the right information management tools can help you meet those demands. Mind mapping’s use of visual imagery can shorten the time necessary to record and develop those ideas, compared to the time needed when using a written or verbal explanation.

The Mind Mapping Concept

You might find mind mapping to be useful as a visual information management tool. Using language to convey ideas tends to impose structures that can create barriers to creative thinking. Combining words with images and lines can provide a faster, more effective way of developing and communicating ideas. Most people can write by hand at speeds between 22 and 31 words per minute. The brain processes those words more quickly, at 200 to 300 words per minute. Mind mapping advocates can help you develop your visual thinking capacity by invoking the pattern recognition process for understanding situations. Tony Bouzan, creator of mind mapping, provides an abundance of information on the topic, ranging from a simple explanation of the process to extensive instructional materials.

How to Use Mind Mapping for Brainstorming

Utilize mind mapping for your next brainstorming session; it’s a simple process to understand. You begin the process by writing your topic in the centre of a piece of paper. One way to construct a mind map diagram could involve drawing a five-pointed star around the topic. The star’s points would concern branches of the central topic, with the subject written on each point. You can use different colours for each star point. At the tip of each star point, you could draw sets of prongs resembling pitchforks. Each prong would represent a subtopic. Becoming familiar with the rules or guidelines for creating mind maps can lead to easier use of the process. With your central topic in focus, the map can help you imagine where you’d like each area to lead. The star is just one example of a diagram you could follow; other examples might remind you of the shapes of a spider or an octopus.

Tools for Making a Mind Map

A pen and paper are all you need to make a mind map. You can use crayons or multiple pens with different ink colours. Writing on a whiteboard allows for easy erasure when you’re making changes. With your computer, you can take advantage of software applications for specific subjects and mind-mapping websites, which offer free trial periods. Paul Foreman offers a number of e-books on mind mapping, some of which are free.

How Mind Mapping Works

Mind mapping can help enhance your creativity by engaging both hemispheres of your brain. The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for communicating by language, because logical thinking occurs there. Viewing and drawing images and shapes involves the right hemisphere, which is responsible for intuition and creativity. Mind mapping involves both hemispheres – you explore new ideas with your right hemisphere and organize them in a logical manner with your left hemisphere. This whole-brain involvement spurs frictionless thought organization, which accelerates mental processes. According to a survey by the Mind Mapping Software Blog mind mapping software can increase productivity by an average of 23%. Mind mapping’s ability to increase your innovation and expedite communication of ideas to your team could make it a useful tool for accomplishing your goals.

References & Resources

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