Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Mind Maps – An Overview

What is Mind Map?

The wiki says “A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information”. This technique was developed by Tony Buzan in late 60’s. Mind Maps generally have a central node from which various branches radiate. It facilitates natural thinking in a powerful graphical way. Mind map uses lines symbols, words, colors and images to depict ideas.
Mind Map was developed, after so much of research done on the working of our brain and its ability to grasp things. It was basically developed from the concept of radiant thinking. After the origin of Mind Maps various scientific researches confirmed its validity as a brain compatible thinking method. Tony Buzan argues that 'traditional' outlines require that the reader scans the information from left to right and top to bottom, whilst the brain's natural preference is to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion.

How is it beneficial?

The great advantage of a Mind Map is that it literally "maps" the way your brain sees and creates connections. As Mind Maps are more visual and depicts associations with images and keywords they are much easier to recall and also understand. It helps us to see the whole picture – A bird’s eye view- thereby making it easier to understand the connections and links.
It works well during brainstorming, as it helps people associate the thoughts generated appropriately. Moreover using a Mind Map we can analyze these thoughts more effectively.

How to create Mind Map?

A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches. You can create Mind Map in plain white paper/whiteboard and some color pencils.
There are also many software tools available for creating Mind Maps. You can use those tools to create your Mind Map and share it with others as well as store it for future reference. Some tools available are blumind, FreeMind etc.

Some tips for creating Mind Maps

  • *      Use Images and symbols
  • *      Use Colors
  • *      Use single words instead of long sentences
  • *      Uses curved lines and make it colorful
  • *      Use Picture for the central node

In a Nutshell

As briefly overviewed Mind Maps are an excellent tool for learning and organizing ideas. They can be used for many activities like any design process, brainstorming, problem solving etc. The key point is that it is easy to learn new topics and easy to connect distant ideas using Mind maps.

In my next post I will share my thoughts on how we can make use of Mind Map for our test activities.
Meanwhile you can learn more about Mind Maps from the below links:

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