Unleashing the Creative Genius through Mind Maps
Using mind-mapping techniques to organize ideas, resolve problems and more
The curvy lines filled with colorful images and texts that make up mind maps is more than just an attractive display of what looks like random words and pictures. Bernard Marquez, a Buzan-licensed instructor, shares his learnings about the benefits of mind mapping to an organization.
Tony Buzan, inventor of the mind mapping technique, says that it helps people to organize thoughts, improve memory and be able to see connection between ideas. “Buzan likens it with a Swiss army knife. It has a lot of uses that makes a mind mapper a creative genius,” adds Marquez.
The design of a mind map is radial such that one idea radiates from the center and outwards using branches to be filled with texts or images. These should be arranged in landscape format and not portrait. Remember to inject colors as the brain is engaged when it sees one. Colors stimulate the eyes, which bring ideas to your memory. It should also be structured such that it could be seen either clockwise or counterclockwise.
A lot of imagination is involved when doing a mind map. Begin by writing down your thoughts. Find associations among the images and texts that you have drawn. “When a mind map branches out, you see one idea connect to another and an insight comes in. Those who do it linear would not see the creative side of either the solution or would not remember as much,” explains Marquez.
Many corporate executives, says Marquez, are drawn to mind mapping because of its potential in problem solving and communication. “The mental literacy of people at work they say is very low. That’s why executives want to get us because we introduce brain-based learning, not just drawing. You are teaching a person to unlock genius by deciphering how the brain works,” he adds.
While mind mapping is not necessarily the answer to the problem, it helps you arrive at possible solutions. The map allows you to see problems and possible solutions as the thought branches out. “In a single page, you can have a very quick presentation of your problem,” says Marquez.
Perhaps the most popular application of mind mapping is brainstorming for ideas.
Too often, only the “most vocal” person in the group threshes out his or her ideas. And on the few occasions the “silent” member of the group would talk, the idea would be considered “weird” and outright dismissed.
“Sorting of ideas is prevalent when brainstorming. With mind mapping, any member of the team can express their ideas freely without fear of being put aside,” he says.
The result “is an in-depth brainstorm rather than a shallow exchange of ideas among group members.”
One of the beauties of mind mapping is that it helps you remember things simply because ideas are written down.
The diagrams you create allows you to visualize beginnings, middles and endings, thus making mind maps helpful in presentations, speeches and even schedules. “The imagination and stimulation involved in mind mapping is a brain exercise which will improve recall and communication,” says Marquez.
Thanks to technology, mind mapping can now be done digitally with the help of softwares and applications. Marquez recommends iMindMap 9, which has a 30 day trial for those who want to test it out. Other softwares such as Novamind and Mindmeister are also good options for those who want to have a go at mind mapping.
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