About Mind Mapping
Desktop Apps Training - Mind Maps

Lesson 1 / Lesson 3

Mind mapping can be traced back to the 3rd century when Porphyry of Tyre used this technique to visualize the concept categories of Aristotle graphically. Modern mind mapping is said to have been invented by Tony Buzan, a popular psychology author. Buzan brings up many advantages to using mind maps over traditional lists and lines of text methods including his points about associations.

  • Associations or connections between ideas in a mind map are important because according to Buzan "the brain thinks by association and imagination" allowing us to reflect our thoughts into a mind map and connect to new ideas.

Tony Buzan has his own mind mapping software, Imindmap.  Imindmap starts out at $99. This makes it tough for teaching larger groups but the software is available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Linux installation instructions available on their website.

Mind Mapping Tips

These are basic rules for creating mind maps by hand. This is important as most software applications have a tough time capturing the nature flow of mind maps taking away from their effectiveness. XMind should alllow you to follow these important mind mapping tips

One Word Per Branch

Mind Map Rule: One Word Per Branch

Having one word per branch lets you free up your ideas without limiting youself by partnering the words together. Even if your intent isn't to take such a broad approach at first, you may find that it allows you to expand when needed and only takes one extra node to split the words and keep your possibilities open.

Curved Lines

Mind Map Rule: Use Curved Lines

Mind map branches should be curved, organic and free-flowing smimilar to the way the brain thinks. Using straight lines will result in a rigid boring display. Mind mapping software applications have some straight line options that aren't suitable for the enlightening experience of mind mapping but most of the templates and options promote the flowing style of curved connections.

Keywords and Branches Same Length

Mind Map Rule Keep Words and Branches the Same Length

This helps keep similar keywords closer together inspiring related ideas and thoughts. This also helps keep an organize and effective mind map where topics and categories are easy to locate.
Images Included

Mind Map Rule: Add Keywords and Key Images To Mind Map Nodes

Including images in your mind map with your keywords provides a stronger description of the topic promotes creativity and the mind mappers imagination. Even if you use basic images, this can be useful. Just don't waste time searching for images during the mind mapping process. The whole idea is to save time and nothing eats away at your time like searching for images. I recommend downloading a free icon set and keeping it close at hand. This way they're fast to insert and look good because they match.