|How the brain works
Rules for making mind maps
Using Mind Maps
How the brain works
Normally, the usual tasks are been solved with logically and analytically thinking. Modern
science has found, that both halves of the brain are performing different tasks..
Tasks performed by the left side of the brain are things like: Tasks performed by the
right side of
the brain are things like:
While the left brain is involved in linear tasks, the right side is often not involved in
the process of problem solving. So you can say, most people just work with only half of
At this point, Mind Mapping comes into operation and bring in some aspects through a
special technique in note taking. Those aspects are interesting for the right brain:
First, there will be a spatial experience because of refraining from using linear notes.
Assigning the keywords to a selected place on the paper, a learning experience will be
started. Responsible for this learning experience is the right side of the brain.
Because there is no linear structure, keywords can be added at any place. This encourages
the brain to build associations to the already written keywords.
Now you can add supplements and crosslinks to your keywords. Colors and sketches will help
to make the overall view more convenient and graphically structured. This increases the
recognition and learning-effect of your mind map.
So you can say, mind mapping helps us to use our brain more completely than before.
Rules for making Mind Maps
You should use a large sheet of paper without lines. The paper should be used in landscape
format. Try to write your keywords that you can read them without rotating the paper.
Otherwise, you may end up wasting much time to bring your paper into the right position.
As starting point, the center of the page should be used. Describe the topic of your mind
map in an eye-catching way. You can use a 3D-style drawing or a colored painting. From
this starting point, several main branches will be drawn. The order of these branches is
not important. If you need a special order for understanding the topics, like with
schedule plans, you can number each branch or order them clockwise.
Image 1: Mind Map with main branches
Write keywords directly on the lines. Use printed letters.
Not more than one word by line should be written. If you use long phrases, it will cancel
the positive effects of Mind Mapping. Be sure to separate words into several lines.
Using a few meaningful keywords gives a higher advantage over long phrases. One of the
positive effects of Mind Mapping is memory training, so that those few words will be
sufficient for you to remember the whole thing.
Image 2: Separate long sentences into some keywords
To emphasize keywords or groups of words, use different colors for the lines according to
importance or belonging to themes.
If possible, use pictures signs and symbols. These will be processed by the right side of
the brain and will improve the positive effect of the Mind Map.
There is nothing like right" or wrong" Mind Maps. Everybody will
develop his or her own personal style for Mind Mapping.
Normally, Mind Maps are used for holding short term information, that will be restructured
into a normal" linear document.
Example: minutes of a meeting
On the other hand, Mind Maps can be used as memory aid for long living information.
Because of the involvement of the right brain, the recognition effect is much higher as it
can be with linear notes. So you can get the sought information out of your Mind Map much
faster than from a list of notes.
Using Mind Maps
Two Types of Mind Mapping
During the phase of idea finding, Mind Maps can be used for brainstorming. As in an actual
brainstorming, anything should be avoided slowing down the flow of ideas. Therefore, any
effort in trying to put your ideas into a structure, will interfere in your flow of ideas.
Just write every Idea that came to mind on a separate line as a new keyword. Your goal
should be to find as many words as possible. After that first phase, you can add more sub
branches for as many keywords you like. This will help you to find associations to the
keywords already written.
Image 3: Unstructured Mind Map on the topic "Bus"
If a structure is already present, for example as an agenda, you can use the main topics
as the main branches of your Mind Map. Subtopics will build the sub branches. Unstructured
Mind Maps can be structured afterwards if you draw a new Map while grouping the topics
into main and sub branches.
Image 4: Structured Mind Map on the topic "Bus"
Mind Maps can be used for scheduling your planning for a day, a week, a year or even an
entire life. For the daily planning it might be a good idea to arrange the appointments
clockwise around the center where they will be placed on your watch (if you dont
already use a digital watch).
Image 5: Example for a schedule Mind Map
For finding Ideas, an unstructured Mind Map will be good for a first brainstorming
session. After that, you should group these ideas into a new, structured Mind Map. If you
want to avoid forgetting something, you can cross out the keywords on the old Map as
you go along inserting them on the new one.
For this task, a pre-structured layout by merchant will be effective. So you can add all
items for the bakery to one main branch, other items from the pharmacy to another branch.
So you will be able to assign each item to the right place and you
wont forget a thing.
During a meeting, you will be much faster in writing keywords within a Mind Map than
formulating entire sentences. While
you write down keywords, you have to assign each keyword to the appropriate main branch or
sub branch. So you will
structure your notes while you are writing them down. If you are not certain, which branch
a keyword belongs to, this is an
indication that you have not fully understood that fact. If that happens, you can ask and
solve that problem immediately. After
the meeting, you can convert your Mind Map into a linear Document.
To make a draft for a lesson, you just need to place the keywords on a little card. Use
these cards during your presentation.
Books and Articles to read
Papers like articles or reports that you have to read and understand, can be re-structured
easily if you create a Mind Map while reading them. In most cases, the information will be
much clearer if you transform the read information into your own Mind Map structure. This
can be compared to creating an excerpt from that material, but Mind Mapping is much faster
than that because you do not need to formulate complete sentences.
If you use your Mind Map later, the information from the read documents will be remembered
much easier than with scanning the original document again.
Books and Articles to write
After you found ideas with an unstructured Mind Map, use your main branches as the main
topics of your article or chapter headings of your book to write. Sub branches will build
sub chapters of a book or sections within an article.
You can use Mind Maps for each sort of planning
Image 6: Example for planning a holiday