questions and answers about mind maps
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
22 Questions and Answers about Mind Maps®
1. What supplies do I need for Mind Mapping?
2. Is there any Mind Mapping software available?
3. I've only got one pen and lined paper - what do I do?
4. Where do I start?
5. I've started taking/making a note linearly; what do I do now?
6. Must I use colours?
7. How do I use colours?
8. Why use symbols and images?
9. How do I select main branch themes?
10. What makes a good key recall word?
11. What if a word is repeated on my Mind Map?
12. Why only one word per line?
13. Which is first, the word or the line?
14. Why are the lines connected?
15. What do I do when I get stuck?
16. What do I do with my ‘stupid' thoughts?
17. How can a Mind Map help me to concentrate?
18. I get good ideas at inconvenient times - what should I do?
19. I can't get to sleep. How do I clear my thoughts?
20. People ask me what I'm doing?
21. Why would I use a Mind Map?
22. When does a Mind Map end?
Mind Mapping Trouble Shooter
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|1. What supplies do I need for Mind Mapping?||Good quality blank paper that takes colour well. A variety of coloured pens, pencils and highlighters, correcting (white out) tape.|
|2. Is there any Mind Mapping software available?||Yes, lots! Click here to see a comprehensive review of all the major Mind Mapping software packages.|
|3. I've only got one pen and lined paper - what do I do?
||Turn the pad sideways and Mind Map over the lines in a single colour. Afterwards you can highlight or colour the branches (if necessary for the Mind Map). Alternatively you could take linear notes and convert to a Mind Map later.|
|4. Where do I start?
||Anywhere! Some people start at 1:00 o'clock and work clockwise or 11:00 o'clock and work anticlockwise. Use random placement to stimulate creative problem solving thoughts. Number branches if necessary after completion.|
|5. I've started taking/making a note linearly; what do I do now?||As soon as you remember, take a fresh page and start to Mind Map. Go back over your linear notes, extract the key words and add to your Mind Map.|
|6. Must I use colours?
||It depends on why you are doing the Mind Map. A quick mini-Mind Map in one colour clears and facilitates the thinking process. Often, one colour i.e. black, is best for faxes and copies. However, if the information is to be remembered, considered over time, looked at and enjoyed - then colour (one of your cortical skills) GREATLY enhances its effectiveness.|
|7. How do I use colours?
You can use them to:
|8. Why use symbols and images?||
Symbols are often very personal. Start creating and playing with your own symbols for common objects, people, projects and concepts. Here are some ideas for you to copy, adapt and add to:
9. How do I select main branch themes?
|These are your Basic Ordering Ideas (BOI's). Think of the Mind Map as a general outline for a book on that topic. Your BOIs will always be equivalent to chapter headings; they are the words/images that encompass a number of other ideas within them. BOI's are the key concepts that gather the greatest number of associations to themselves.|
|10. What makes a good key recall word?
||In standard notes, a very small percentage of words are really important. These are called key works. They are usually nouns or very strong action words that bring back the precise images and events that you want to remember. Practice selecting them and see if they are the best ones for recall for you.|
|11. What if a word is repeated on my Mind Map?
||This is good because it may indicate a new direction in your Mind Map. Each occurrence of the word/image represents another hook or connection and may create a new frame of reference or centre for your Mind Map. If you are using the Mind Map to explore a problem, you may have found a new angle on the problem or the cause.|
|12. Why only one word per line?
||Because each word and image has millions of possible associations. Therefore if you give it its own freedom you will get more ideas from it and be able to remember it more clearly. This is particularly important when trying to take information from your head for essays, reports etc.|
|13. Which is first, the word or the line?
On the right side of the Mind Map, you can do about ¾ of the line length you think you'll need. Then write the word on adding any length if necessary.
On the left side you need to plan ahead a bit more! If you find you are running out of space you can drop the vowels and the word is usually still clear.
|14. Why are the lines connected?||Start with the organic main branch lines almost ‘growing out' of the central image. Show the connection and importance of every branch to another giving an overall structure. It also tells the mind/eye "this is connected".|
15. What do I do when I get stuck?
|Your brain naturally loves to complete things, so add some blank lines at the ends of your branches - it will want to fill them in. Also, remind yourself that every word could be the centre of a Mind Map. You have infinite possibilities of associating. This is a good time to doodle, colour and take a break - your brain keeps working.|
|16. What do I do with my ‘stupid' thoughts?
||Allow all thoughts, words, images or feelings that come to mind to be attached to the word or image which ‘triggered' them. So called ‘stupid' thoughts produce some of the most insightful, original and creative ideas. The more you add to your Mind Map (especially in the initial creative stage) the more sense things that seemed stupid will make. Stupid ideas are often your guides to innovative thinking. Wait for a later stage in your Mind Map before considering what editing, refinement or changes you may want to make.|
|17. How can a Mind Map help me to concentrate?||By using more of the range of your right and left cortical skills the brain is kept in balance and busy; the colours and images incorporated into logic and lines focuses thought in a relaxed concentrated manner.|
|18. I get good ideas at inconvenient times - what should I do?
||If you have any paper, a ‘post-it' or index card, capture that idea right away on a mini -Mind Map. Put it in the "great thoughts" section of your planner. If you do not have paper either make a Mind Map in your mind or use a peg memory system.|
|19. I can't get to sleep. How do I clear my thoughts?||If thoughts are filling your head, take a pad and pen (keep them by your bed) and quickly Mind Map them out - a brain purge. Then go to sleep. If some other thought comes, capture it too. It is as though, as soon as the thoughts have been recognised, the brain can rest - and so can you!|
|20. People ask me what I'm doing?||
Tell them it is a note taking/making system:
|21. Why would I use a Mind Map?
||Any time you need to clarify your thoughts, organise information, communicate clearly or take in information a Mind Map can assist. The Mind Map does not take away from any good processes you already use; it can add to their greater effectiveness.|
|22. When does a Mind Map end?||
In one sense, never! (or when you choose to stop!)
What a contrast to what is often generated in linear form!
The Mind Map gives a more accurate reflection of your infinite intelligence!
Illumine has worked closely with the Buzan organisation throughout its existence. We are an independent training company and are committed to promoting Buzan's work and ideas. We use many highly experienced Buzan licensed instructors as well as our own Illumine licensed Mind Mapping experts.
Mind Map® and Mind Maps® are registered trademarks of The Buzan Organisation