Mind Mapping. An Adventure in Note Taking.


The meeting room is so hot and stuffy the walls are sweating. (S)he who can’t be named is droning on and on about net new social resonant convergence and whether it demands a comma or a colon. Your left brain falls into a coma and your right brain picks up the pen.“What are you doodling?” someone asks. And you realize everyone’s looking at you.

“I’m not doodling,” you say. “I’m mind mapping!”

“What the heck is that?” they ask.

You say, “Let me draw you a picture…”

And that, in fact, is what mid mapping is all about. Many of us don’t like taking notes, aren’t good at it, and don’t find them useful anyway. Mind mapping is an alternate—and more creative—form of note taking that works better for a lot of people. It combines words and images in a nonlinear fashion, so your notes correlate more closely with the way your brain actually works.

Here are the basics:

1. Start in the middle of a blank page and write or draw the single idea you’re going to map.

2. Add related subtopics around this central topic, connecting them to the main topic with a line.

3. Repeat the process, adding as many rings of subtopics as you need.

4. Be creative! Use pictures and colors to make your mind map as interesting, memorable, and fun as possible.

Learn more about mind mapping at Litemind, Wikipedia, and ThinkBuzan. And check out the amazing mind map gallery at the Axelrod Group.

Have you created a must-see mind map you’d like to share? Just post your link in the comments.

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