I first learned about mind mapping in 1983. I was at a seminar and was introduced to an author named Tony Buzan who wrote the book Using Both Sides of Your Brain. In his book Tony introduced the concept of mind mapping.
I loved the concept from the beginning and started mind mapping right after I learned what the technique was. It has always been a great way of capturing complicated ideas and pages of notes on one page.
Mind mapping is the process of taking ideas and representing them in a visual manner that looks like a web using color and pictures. Back in 1983 mind mapping was done with colored pencils or pens and a piece of paper.
This was a problem for me: My handwriting was and still is illegible and I have no artistic ability. So my mind maps often looked like a ten year old did them. I was embarrassed by how amateurish they looked and rarely shared them with others. That sort of defeated the purpose of doing a mind map in the first place.
Fast-forward to the mid 90’s and the first graphical computers came out with software that would do mind mapping. Early mind mapping programs only did a web, had few pictures, and had no color. I was able to start using these tools to mind map and actually share the information with others. It was an improvement, but still not exactly what I wanted.
Today mind-mapping software has become very sophisticated. It not only has graphical ability, but has great color and the ability to import pictures to emphasize points you want to make.
I’m finding that about the only time I actually write things in standard text formats is for blog entries I write and emails I answer. Other than that everything else I do for myself or for my clients is done in the form of a mind map.
I’m being told that my mind maps are very impactful when it comes to communicating ideas as well as taking notes on conversations that I’ve had. If you haven’t taken the time to check out mind mapping I suggest you do a search on the topic and take a few minutes to see what its all about.
If you decide to try mind mapping remember purposeful practice is how you’ll get good at it. You likely will find it a little difficult at first, but if you decide to stay with it I’ll bet you find it as useful a tool as I do.
We’ve put together a resource center that has lots of examples of how we use mind maps at Stage 2. Click on the button below and you’ll be taken to our mind map resource center where you can choose maps that fit your needs.