What is Mind Mapping?

When you have lots of ideas but you are not sure how to organise them there is a technique called mind mapping which can help to structure ideas and to assist in getting the most out of the creative thought process.

The first step is to write down the central idea, e.g. buy a car.  You write this idea in the centre of the page and draw a circle around it.  You may have other ideas that quickly come to mind and you then write these ideas around the page and also put circles around them.  Composite image of thoughtful asian businessman pointingThen draw lines from these extra ideas back to the main idea of buying a car.  So, for example for a car, some of the other ideas that may come to mind are is the car new or old, what’s it cost, what colour, how many seats, is it automatic or manual, how many miles has it been driven and what types of ground will it be driven over.

Once these second ideas have been written around the main idea of the car then you can start to brain storm on each of these ideas individually.  For example, for the colour, you could write down all the colours of the car that you would like to have and those colours that you definitely don’t want to have.  And also list out the advantages and disadvantages for each of the colours that you like.  This is all written in circles around the idea of the colour of the car.  You can then move on to the other ideas like old or new car, cost, automatic or manual etc. and repeat the process for these as well.

Once you have written out all of your ideas around these other ideas to do with the car it is useful to stop and then look at the overall page of what you have written.  You can see then that in terms of buying a car and writing down all of your ideas about it, that it is clearer what you are looking for, what is important to you about buying a car and all of the things that support and don’t support what you want.

This example of mind mapping for buying a car can be applied to anything or any subject that you want.  By both collecting your ideas in one spot, prioritising what is important to you and why it is important you are creatively looking at the idea.  You can use this technique of mind mapping to make clearer and more successful decisions.