To all those Mind Mappers, from the present to the future, who produce “the flowers of intelligence” – Mind Maps.
A Mind Map captures and helps us record, memorise, connect and output information in a visually expressive way. The graphic emphasis of a Mind Map works in a way which the brain finds captivating and easy to process. If you want to see the cool, contemporary and creative world of Mind Maps at-a-glance, google the word and some 250,000,000 images will show up with 330,000,000 hits as well! You can create a Mind Map on paper using key, or trigger, words and images, each of which will ‘snap on’ specific memories and encourage new thoughts and ideas.
Each of the memory triggers in a Mind Map is a key to unlocking facts, ideas and information and, also, to releasing the true potential of your amazing mind.
The Mind Map radiates out from a central idea or topic via a series of connecting branches. This Mind Mapping process is totally natural because it mimics the way the brain’s neurons (brain cells) fire off connections when we are thinking. If you were to look through the latest nanotechnology scanners or cameras you would see this amazing process in action.
Look around you too and you’ll see Mind Maps in nature: think of the veins of a leaf, or the branches of an oak tree throughout the seasons. Like us, the natural world is forever changing and regenerating. A Mind Map is a natural thinking tool that draws upon the inspiration and effectiveness of these natural structures.
Mind Maps in nature
It offers you a vibrant, colourful and organic process designed to encourage your brain to work in a way that is fast, efficient, and in the style that it does naturally. A Mind Map gives your brain another way – simple, effective and enjoyable – of accessing, processing and expressing the information you take in.
So, you might ask, if it’s that great why aren’t we all doing it?
Well, firstly a lot of us are; I mean literally millions, especially in the new Tiger economies of the East (China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and of course Japan) where I lecture constantly and where creativity is key to public education. Back home we are more straight-jacketed by the traditional academic approach to education that arguably benefits only the academics. We go through a series of mind-numbing exams that are geared to university entrance and that we are taught to prepare for by swatting tons of information rote-style and then regurgitating it parrot-fashion to impress our teachers and examiners.
Tony Buzan and friends at TecMilenio University
How do we record and express this information? In the time honoured tradition of linear learning. That is, reading and writing across and down lines in a rigid series of zig zags. It’s the norm: but is it natural? And who said that is how our brains work? On the body of evidence from scientific studies of the brain, linear learning is not brain friendly.
The Mind Map taps in to the amazing natural capacity of your brain to make connections and then to store the information. In the process it boosts your memory and, knowing you can tap into your memory effectively, your confidence. It also fosters creativity, makes learning easier, makes teaching more effective, and improves writing and organisation of thoughts.