Mind maps are visual expressions of your ideas that help you record, memorise, and connect the dots. Designed to be non-linear to mirror your natural thinking patterns, mind maps harmonise with our cognitive functions.
Creativity, recall, learning, analysis and more can all be improved thanks to their distinct combination of colour, imagery and visual-spatial arrangement working together to enhance the brain’s output.
Representing the topic you intended to explore, the central idea is the starting point of your mind map. Its image or style should represent the topic in order to keep you focused on your subject and trigger associations – our brains respond better to visual stimuli.
The main branches which flow from the central idea will carry key themes. Explore each theme or main branch in greater depth by adding child branches for extra detail. With a mind map, you can continually add new branches so your ideas will never be restricted.
Each branch should include a key idea represented with one word – keeping to one word only sparks off a greater number of associations as opposed to using multiple words or phrases.
Mind mapping encourages the overlap of a range of cortical skills such as logical, numerical and creative. For instance, colour coding within your mind map spurs whole brain thinking; it links the visual with the logical, helping your brain to make mental shortcuts. It also allows you to categorise, highlight, analyse information and identify even more connections.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And this is definitely the case when it comes to mind mapping. Images have the power to convey much more information than words as they are processed instantly by the brain, acting as visual stimuli to recall information. Before children learn a language, they visualise pictures in their minds which are linked to concepts: mind mapping maximises the powerful potential of imagery.
Looking for some more creative rocket power before you set off in making your own mind map?
Fuel your mind with these great examples from our gallery.