The Basics of Mindmapping

I discovered mindmapping in the mid-1970s, when a friend of mine (thank you, Nancy!) gave me the book, Use Both Sides of Your Brain, by Tony Buzan.  I used it during college at Berkeley and found it very helpful for studying and organizing papers.  For me, taking traditional outlined notes was too linear a process. Mindmapping allowed my work to go beyond the presented material and develop my own linkages and ideas.
Here is a link to Buzan's book on Amazon:  Use Both Sides of Your Brain 
For a brief run down on mindmapping (no need to re-invent the wheel, here), check out this Wiki.
And, a helpful video on YouTube from
Or, a "how to" video set to music:
The idea to is place a KEY WORD or central idea in the center of a piece of paper.  Then, allow branches to be drawn off of that key word.  You can use words and images in your mind map and you provide connections between them. Any outline can be easily transformed into a mindmap.
By using both sides of your brain (analytic and artistic) you are developing a pathway between the two hemispheres.  For some, like Einstein, DaVinci, and Hypatia, this pathway is more like a highway.  For others, it is the road less travelled.
At any rate, using both sides of the brain develops your full cognitive capacity in a way that includes fun, beauty, energy and creativity to better engage: 
  • Complex projects
  • Projects with no known solution
  • New paradigms
  • Self-reflection
  • Unusual perspectives
  • What really matters
 PS.  If you don't know about Hypatia.... do some googling.  Interesting gal!