Part I – Mind-Mapping: A creative outlet

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“Creativity involves breaking out from established patterns in order to look at things from a new perspective” quoted by Edward de Bono. It is an undeniable fact that creativity is creating something out of the ordinary that connects and stimulates the human brain to new aspects. The human race evolved from various stages that represent the fact the creativity was persistent from the very beginning. It was either in the form of drawings and texts that helped us in understanding to what extent our capabilities have expanded.

Each time the human race evolved new tools were used and new art forms were created. From stones to charcoal, from charcoal to carvings, from carvings to sculptures and so on…… each of these art forms is significant to us. These creativity and art forms have led us to new discoveries and information about our mankind. We grew from handy resources to man-made tools like pens, pencils, paintbrushes and paper which were used to create art that represented ideas and concepts. Then came the easy-to-draw tools like slates, chalkboards, etc.

The more we developed, the more we created tools and through those, different art forms. That added simplicity and creativity to our lives. We were then blessed with the gift of technology and science that let us create, learn and grasp things easier. The computer was the first device to bring in that change – from there on it was the cell phone, and so forth…It is this technology that led us to a new concept called mind-mapping.

What is Mind-Mapping?

Mind map or mind-mapping is a tool used for simple graphical or visual representation of ideas and concepts. It aims to create, organize, plan and structure ideas and concepts for better understanding. It helps in analyzing, comprehending and generating new ideas and thoughts. A mind-map is used to visualize and graphically represent concepts that need to be understood well. Mind-mapping is analytical and artistic at the same time that never fails to engage the audience or draw them towards the idea or concept.

Mind-mapping varies from person to person – it could be professional with a bit of creativity or it could be completely creative. Having to represent your idea or strategy through a mind map could be useful while presenting your idea. Mind maps were first drawn manually on paper but now there are thousands of software that lets you create mind maps easily. There is no need for charts and written texts or hand drawn visuals that consume time and energy. The clear cut visuals that are created with the help of these softwares are clearly planned and pre-determined and represent it in a step by step process.

Who brought on the concept of mind-mapping?

Mind-mapping was a concept that Tony Buzan, a famous British psychology author and television personality had popularized after he had used the concept himself. Tony Buzan used to always represent mind-mapping by providing a tree-like structure. The tree-like structure was used to create a pattern for his thoughts and ideas. He went on to develop his own mind-mapping software called imindmap that is the best software for creating mind maps. He emphasized the idea of mind-mapping for various benefits and purposes. Few of the purposes being:

  • Brainstorming (individually or in groups)
  • Providing Solutions
  • Studying and memorising
  • Planning / organizing
  • Researching and gathering information from multiple sources
  • Presenting information

He went on to develop his own mind-mapping software called imindmap that is the best software for creating mind maps. According to Tony Buzan, there are certain and few simple steps that need to be followed in order to create a Mind Map.

How to Draw a Mind Map

Drawing a mind map is simple. The following are the guidelines to creating one:

  • Start in the middle of a blank page, writing or drawing the idea you intend to develop. Develop the related subtopics around this central topic, connecting each of them to the centre with a line.
  • Repeat the same process for the subtopics, generating lower-level subtopics as you see fit, connecting each of those to the corresponding subtopic.
  • Adding colours, drawings and symbols will enhance the visual or graphic giving it that certain element of attractiveness and neatness.
  • Keeping the title or subtopics short will make it easy to grasp and easy on the eyes of the reader.

Watch out for the next half of this article that talks about how mind-mapping can be used as a tool in creating powerful social media strategy plans…

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