Mind mapping is an effective creative thinking tool and it’s something that most of us are familiar with. Certainly, you’ve used mind maps throughout your education to brainstorm ideas for a presentation, structure an essay or report, or even revise for an important exam.
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1. Radiant thinking
Mind map is a collection of ideas/knowledge that have been put into a visual diagram. Starting with a central or main topic in the middle of the map, branches from the center containing further elaborations and concepts to be explored – typically in the form of words, short phrases, and images. This gives mind maps a natural organizational structure.
In a mind map, information is structured in a way that mirrors exactly how the brain functions – in a radiant rather than linear manner. It literally ‘maps’ out your thoughts, using associations, connections, and triggers to stimulate further ideas. They make it easier to extract your ideas from your head into something visible and structured.
Mind maps involve a combination of imagery, color and visual-spatial arrangement which is proven to significantly improve memory when compared to conventional methods of note-taking and learning by rote. Mind maps can have beneficial features, giving you the option to create quick box-style or highly creative maps with adjustable curvilinear branches, as well as add images and emojis, and change the color of your branches and text.
Mind maps really come into their own when it comes to encouraging creativity and enabling you to come out with new ideas. This is because the spatial layout of a mind map helps you gain a better overview, making new connections more visible so you can create an infinite number of thoughts, ideas, links, and associations on any topic. Adding images to a map can also aid in this process by acting as visual stimuli. Images are processed instantly by the brain, enabling us to quickly make associations and recall information.
Mind maps are a great aid in learning for numerous reasons. Because they encourage the brain to make associations between different keywords, phrases and images, they can be used by students to brainstorm ideas for creative school projects (either alone or within a group), as well as help them to plan and structure work such as essays, reports and presentations. Mind maps are also a great revision aid due to the fact that they can be used to break down complex information and improve memorization and recall.