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Mind Mapping, learn better and be more creative with Mind Mapping, a small introduction to Mind Mapping

Again, I guess you noticed that we entered in the knowledge ages and not just because of the lockdown. In this new economy, you have to be « creative », « to unbound your limits » and « reveal your potential ». What a program! It is not even more an option! Moreover, you owe to be productive in creativity. Meaning that even though you do not really feel yourself as a creative person, you need sometimes to pretend to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes and it requires method. I do not say that lying must your full-time job, I’d rather say that you need self-confidence and to gain it, you need to master some tools and vocabularies and that is the real work. Just think a minute about Trump and you’ll get the point.

So, in this creative inflation demand, recently, I was asked by a very close friend to explain what was Mind Mapping? I hope you heard of Mind Mapping? No?! It is one of the accessories of the creative guy’s panoply. I must admit I had a very fuzzy idea of what it is was and I dug recently to understand deeper some key elements behind MM. Here are the few ideas gathered during this shoveling experience.
Since, I am applying MM to almost everything, especially to my kids learning process as they have a fresh and unadulterated brains and as they are forced to stay around! That is a perfect transition because it reaveals both the MM promises and experiences.

1. What are the Mind Mapping (MM) promises and experiences?

Mind Mapping (MM) has a double objectives:

  • It help your brain working instead of gets in the way.
  • It increases the efficiency with which you learn.

Instead of spending time in lectures, awkwardly transcribing, your brain does not learn chapters anyway 🙂 You have to think about it through a visual form and with a personal storytelling. If you don’t « think » about what you read or write, you will have a hard time « learning ». Your brain needs to organize it to learn it. MM is a turn-to-key solution offered to you to learn, store & retrieve.

2. Mind Mapping, first practice, first observation

2 first striking facts to take-away when you practise for the first time Mind Mapping.

  1. It is like for theater, playing on stage, think practice no theory, think embodiment. MM is based on action, on doing something visual, using kinesthetic (in clear motion), use your hands, think and act at the same time, while you are doing. Do not think about tool in first place, think about practice. Like said Aristotle « the hand of man is the instrument of the instruments » period.
  2. Apparently, the MM’s strengh rely on the way brain works with association and imagination, at least if you have a brain! It plugs to the genesis of human intelligence and language based on imagination & association, the genesis of creativity of all thinking. That is the main routine, the second routine is named verbal language such as Khmer, Chinese, Hausa, Portuguese, Kiswahili and French.

Cool, I got the essentials, let’s practice.

3. Mind Mapping, how-to. The Mind Mapping practice

Here is the 3 basic advices to get the MM done.

  1. In the center of the MM, put the subject
  2. In the center is the subject, it could be anything: the name of the person you are listening to, the title of a book, the question you are trying to think about…

  3. Write down keywords
  4. Do not use too long sentences but rather meaningful words or very short sentences.

  5. Build connections these keywords
  6. It is very important to build connections between these keywords and that you do it radially.

What could be better than Mind Mapping to answer the question « What is Mind Mapping? ».

No Mind Mapping inside, ugly even though it is a readme! You should know by now how I am a big fan of readme in markdown.
Using Pandoc to generate documentation, manuals in
pdf, docx, html from markdown documents

Mind Mapping inside, much more appealing. Made with a tool called Brainio https://brainio.com/.
Using Pandoc to generate documentation, manuals in
pdf, docx, html from markdown documents

What does these pictures teach us… Except that it is in French? Well, 2 things to take away.

  1. Mind Mapping is based on how the brain works? Right.
    Remember the question at the beginning : « Do you think you store in your brain paragraphs or sentences? ». The anwser is no. You (your brain) store images, key ideas. You (your brain) make connections between things. You (your brain) try to learn new things by connecting them to things that we already know.
  2. 2. The rendering of the MM: it is personal but free and somehow similar in form. The rendering of the MM, on the same subject, can therefore be very different depending on the person. It is personal, free but you may obtain a similar rendering. That is somehow an illustration of the talmudic release constraint in a sense. So, it is both very personal and very free in its « ramifications » but not in its rendering. Anyone will get a central point with ramifications around it. However, these ramifications will be different because what is important to you is not important to your neighbor and because you want to remember different things on the same subject.

4. Mind Mapping, a Swiss army knife for thinking, learning and explaining

Mind Mapping is a flexible and compact tool based on association.

  • Mind Mapping is flexible. It helps your brain working instead of gets in the way. You already know that part.
  • Mind Mapping is compact. You only write KWs or short sentences. These KWs or short sentences are your « triggers » to get to the bigger idea.
  • So, in many situations, Mind Mapping can help you out.

    • Mind Mapping is a multi-function tool that speed up the process: recovery, situation, explanation.
    • Mind Mapping is a way to easily « retrieve » what you want to talk about. MM is a fantastic way to take notes on any occasion (business meeting …)
    • Mind Mapping is a great way to explain something to someone else. During the lockdown, my kids are the unfortunate victims of my MM’s fury.

    5. Mind Mapping, how-to practice

    Practically, this is what you need to do.

  • Keep horizontal your writing paper
    Take a white A4 sheet horizontally. Why horizontally? The reason is simple, you are writing and you reading at the same time. Words are facing the way we are usually reading.
  • Write YOUR keywords
    Write only extremely short keywords or phrases.
  • Make YOUR connections or launch « YOUR tentacles »
    Most importantly, make connections / connectors between the elements. You build radially like the path of a thought.
  • You are thinking! You are not blindly documenting, transcribing. You broke away with the paralyzing ideas such as « How will I remember it » or « How will I explain to others ». So, let’s start developing something that start in the center and builds out radially.

    So far, you got a very simple tool to avoid shackling your creativity and with a mix graphic facilitation, you’ll soon be sitting on top of the world of creativity 🙂

    Mind Mapping with a pinch of graphic facilitation. Nice. © mindmapsunleashed.com
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    All the files are on github at https://github.com/bflaven/BlogArticlesExamples/tree/master/mind_mapping_usage

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