Mind Mapping Technique

November 6, 2016

1Here is an idea that has been useful to me.  I would like to share with you about mind mapping, what problem it solves, its origin, how it can be used and its benefits.  Now, mind mapping taken in its literal sense, you may think science, medical imaging, or fiction, Transcendence anyone? Yes, but not today and not yet. Mind mapping is a technique of note-taking and note-making. As writers, speakers, readers and audience, we are faced with increasing volume of information.  Without evolving our techniques, we risk diminishing returns, the more we speak, read, and listen to.

In the 1970s, overwhelmed by his studies, a young Tony Buzan purposefully walked into the university library and asked to find a book on the brain. The librarian would direct him to the medical book aisle.  He did not wish to operate on a brain, he explained, but to use it. Well, no such book existed and there, was a niche territory with staggering potential.  Barry Buzan, his brother joined in on the project and there, was born the mind map technique.

Mind mapping allows main ideas to be sketched out, to quickly and clearly see how they relate.  We realise soon that we need a clear mind, between the thinking process and committing words to paper for example. A sketch starts with a keyword that branches out into increasingly specific keywords that one has picked up while reading, studying or listening. That is the depth of knowledge. Things become faster, easier and enjoyable when the re-vision of the sketch occurs.  First re-vision, keywords are ornamented with memorable pictures and moments.  That, is a good score for creativity.  Second re-vision, keywords are categorised and grouped by colour that the optical nerves delight on.  That is how one can take an aerial snap shot of the breadth of knowledge.  Third re-vision, the keywords are linked across categories.  Now, we have multiple paths to a knowledge piece.  In a sense, all roads lead to Rome.  After such a work, one can commit their words.  About the same material, everyday sheds a new light, growth takes place and a little bit more happiness ensues.

In 2011, through an academic writing course at university, I was introduced to mind maps and I thought little of the technique at first, as it seems time consuming, I did not draw and where do I get large enough pages, alluding to Boeing’s 25ft long mind map, the trainer showed the class.  In 2015, to not buckle under volumes of academic work, I tried mind mapping and until now I carry my coloured pens to my meetings.  Above is a mind map of my recruitment morning joining JCI, June 18.  Can you visually spot the following keywords “impact”, “framework”, “Curepipe 1984”?


Guiovanni Jules