Monday, February 8, 2010

What is Mind Mapping and Why We Should Know How to Do It

Mind mapping for success is a key to getting ahead in your productivity and planning.

We're all overwhelmed with information every day. Some is new information that we're expected to learn and remember; some is information regarding a problem for which we're expected to find a solution.

Most of us don't have the time to spend agonizing over this information long enough to memorize it with conventional methods, or to fully understand and incorporate all of the facets of a problem that we have to solve.

So, how do we make sense of that never-ending flood of material?

Quite simply: with a little technique called "Mind Mapping."

Mind Maps have become popular because they help us to organize the data that overwhelms us each day, and turn that data into actionable knowledge.

Keen Mind Mappers can be found everywhere:

You'll find students Mind Mapping their notes, business people Mind Mapping projects and meetings, and Web developers Mind Mapping development projects and Web sites.

If you're aware of Mind Maps, but don't yet use them, chances are that it's because you think they're complex to learn, and you're too busy to bother investing the time.

Whatever system you're using now to get your work done works (although it could be more effective) - what will Mind Mapping do for you to repay the time you invested in learning?

Mind Mapping can assist you in every area of your life and work. It can make you more efficient, by helping you to get work done more quickly; it can help you to problem-solve, and overcome challenges; it can help you to find solutions, because the answer is always in the problem; and it can help you to learn new information, and improve your memory.

Essentially, a Mind Map is a diagram, which helps you to think.

It displays your ideas in a visual form, usually around a central word, phrase or image.

Although used for centuries, Mind Maps were popularized by authors like Tony Buzan around 30 years ago, and are now widely used in business and in education. When you use a Mind Map, it's not only easier to remember information, but it's also easier to make connections between disparate ideas and develop fresh concepts.

Mind Maps work because they involve both sides of your brain in the thought process.

The left side of your brain is the logical, rational side, and the right side is the side that works with creativity and artistry.

While the left side of your brain is working to solve a problem with rationality and logic, the images and symbolism of the Mind Map help to involve the right side of your brain in the problem-solving process, for superior results.

Mind Maps help you to avoid linear thinking; lists are too orderly, and are therefore unrealistic, since problems are disorganized and multi-faceted.

When people make lists, they often pause constantly to make sure that they're not missing anything, and that everything is in the right sequence; this leads to analysis-paralysis, where you are so busy analyzing what you have written that you don't get anything done.

They also help you to see the big picture, and understand how all parts of a problem are interrelated.