Mind Maps

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Mind Maps

Intro:I learnt a powerful technique to enhance my studies, my thinking and performance (in academics, and in life). This technique is called MIND-MAP. My notes (mostly in MindMap form) are here (will be updated soon!)

> Article for Samvaad (Hostel Magazine)

When I was in tenth std., our science teacher told us : “You all have immense potential, Explore it and Exploit it”. Five years later I came across one such tool (called ‘Mind Map’) which can help to EXPLORE the (Full) potential of our brain. It is said there is no complex machine built by human as complex as our brain… far from this, we have not even ‘understood’ the full structure and working of this bio-supercomputer yet!!

Why Mind Map??

Our brain thinks in a non-linear manner ((i.e. not in a sequential manner). Proof? Here it is: all of us have experienced especially during English language exams (prominently while writing an essay) Different points used to come in our mind – in an unorderly manner. Some should have been in introduction part, some as conclusion but by mistake we wrote it as the body of essay. This is not “mistake”. The natural thinking of our brain is in non-linear fashion. This ‘tool’ helps it to think in its ‘natural’ way. Thus, by giving this freedom, it helps to exploit the full potential of our bio-supercomputer.

One may say that “while thinking, I can think as well as remember all everything”. Let me tell you this is our gross misconception. Example: All of us have experienced that while reading a text, we understand many a points—but if we try to recall the same after a day (or many a times, even few hours later) we recall very few points. Isn’t it? I see you nodding you head! This is because our brain can do one task (efficiently) at a time; whatever we’ve understood while reading, it has not yet gone fully in memory. MM comes to our rescue here.

Other Important merits of Mind-Map (MM):

  • Helps to express our thoughts, ideas, imagination power. This expression increases as we use MM more and more.

  • Capabilities of our brain (memorizing, recalling, identifying a person, imagination, etc) are enhanced a lot.

  • Freedom to think in multiple dimensions, viz., Colors, Pictures, Movement, Association, Exaggeration, Sequence, Humor, Awkwardness, Sexuality!!, etc., etc.

One can find literature on net, but here I have expressed my understanding and experience of using MM, which has evolved over a period of 3-and-a-half-years. With more usage, I keep learning more about it.

Regarding my personal experience, it has been super positive. It has helped me in taking crucial decisions; and also during my exams’ preparation. Generally, for preparation, not only we need to understand and practice most of the syllabi, but also be able to REVISE it before exams. This is not an easy task (few will be exceptions to this.) At this crucial stage, my hand-made MM notes helped me revise most of the syllabus without opening any book!! Imagine the power of this tool.

Now I cannot stay away from it—be it in class or reading a book, or even while writing the draft for this article :-)

Applications of Mind-Map:

  • Notes; this includes ‘note-making’ (during self-study) and ‘note-taking’(during lecture/seminar)

  • Thinking … comprehensively (and hence better decision-making… because all aspects are right in front of us)

  • Reviewing … testing oneself (by recalling points and writing them in MM form)

  • Presentation

  • Planning (about project, our personal goals, negotiations, etc.)

Now let us see how to make a Mind Map:

Exercise 1:

  1. Start with a blank page (of register or the one used for xerox)

  2. Keep it in portrait manner.

  3. Draw an ellipse at the centre.

  4. Write HAPPINESS (in capitals) inside it. Preferrably use color / sketch pen.

  5. Draw out 10 ‘branches’ from it (you may refer the example given here)

  6. Now, fill in quickly, with single words on these branches, and without pausing to choose, the first 10 associations that radiate from the centre when you think of the concept ‘happiness’. It is important to pt down the first words that come into your mind, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. This exercise is not a test and should take you no more than 1 minute.

your first mind-map is ready!

Exercise 2 (MM using Images. This will astonish you more than anything about your hidden qualities)

In this exercise, it is essential for you to overcome your inhibitions about drawing ‘bad’ images. No matter how ‘bad’ the initial images may seem, because of the trial and success (not error) nature of human brain they will simply form the first experimental stage from which there will be continued and inevitable improvement.

Steps 1 and 2 are same as above.

3. Draw a picture (preferably colored) of home; because it provides plenty of opportunities for easy associative image development.

4. Same as step 5 above.

5. Now draw images, on these branches, of the associations that first come to your mind when you think of ‘home’.

your first mind-map with images is ready :-)

The first person to develop this technique formally and to propagate it worldwide is Mr. Tony Buzan (www.buzan.com.au). You will find many examples (colored) on this site. Also I’ll be uploading some of my MM’s on my webpage.

This article gives a very brief idea about Mind-Map. In order to know about it better and clearly, I would suggest a first reading to be : Use Your Head, by Tony Buzan. (There are number of other books by the same author, to explain more about specific purposes)

# Examples 

> IITb.jpg.mm (I've made this MM using a freeware, FREEMIND) (to view this file you need to install this software and save the file, and then open it!! too much a work?!.. it's worth it. You can made MM's easily using this software)

> MindMap on: Introduction to Enterprise Network

> Mindmap on:  Trends in Computing and Communications  



> Niketan (my friend) .. his CV 

> MindMap on YOGA 

# Links 

- Tony Buzan 

- Samvaad (Tansa Hostel's Magazine) 

- Free Software to make MM's directly on computer 


- On Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concept_map

 - Software :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IHMC_CmapTools_%28computer_program%29