Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping is used by over 250 Million people (ThinkBuzan estimate) around the world in their daily lives within leading organizations such as Apple, NASA, USAF, United Nations and Disney. In addition Universities, Business schools and research establishments the world over have adopted Mind Mapping for planning and problem solving as well as training and education.

Isn't it time you took a look to see how it could help you in your work and daily life?

For thousands of years we have used images to tell stories and convey ideas.
From cave paintings to the ancient Egyptians, images have been a prime method of communication. Chinese pictographs maturing into Shufa and Japanese Kanji still are better at communicating spiritual concepts and emotions that modern alphabetical script. Mind Mapping takes these advantages forward into a method of conceptualizing ideas in a graphical manner which our brains can process and organize in a natural way.

Following Mind Mapping rules and methods in place of linear notes at a lecture or in a meeting means less writing and more creative participation. The resulting Mind Map comprising of keywords, color and other key principles means that the brain is aided in recall of the full content of the lecture or meeting.

How I got to be a Mind Mapper!

In 1987 I attended a management course by the Danish training company, Time Manager International, that included 2 days by Tony Buzan’s trainers, the originator of Mind Mapping. It was so beneficial that I took another 5 day course on Mind Mapping with TMI 6 months later. In those days we used Post-It notes on a convenient wall and flip-charts to tackle problems, plan projects and develop processes. Now we use computers, overhead projection, electronic whiteboards and international collaboration via the internet. However learning the technique first and foremost, and the tools second, reaps rewards! There are numerous Mind Mapping computer products on the market such as:
  • Mindjet’s Mind-Manager for Windows, iPad & OSX – Mindjet is used by 83% of the Fortune 100™ There are over 2 Million users. Notable users are as diverse as US Coastguard, Hospitals, UK National Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Hewlett Packard, IBM, & Walt Disney. NB The Mac version does not support many of the features of the Windows product
  • Mindgenius for Windows only from Gael Group is also used by them for clients in process improvement and Quality Management. The product has been taken up by numerous universities. Mindgenius is less strong on the fancy graphics but excellent on Project planning and management switching between Gantt and Mindmap
  • iMindmap for Windows, iPad & OSX – founded by Tony Buzan himself in 2006 originally aimed at the media and creative markets is now being taken up by business users. Beautiful graphics and follows the principles of Mind Mapping the strongest.
  • A Flip Chart and coloured pens works pretty good too!
There are many more products on the market, too many to list here so check Wikipedia for a comprehensive list.
Although Tony Buzan now has iMindmap as a product his advice holds good for any product out there, and of course mapping onto paper! All the Mind Mapping tools above integrate with Microsoft Office so a concept created in a Mind Map can easily be turned into a PowerPoint presentation or a Word Document.

How will Mind Mapping benefit me?

Using your BRain
(you need Adobe Flash for this link to load as an active map)
The flexibility of Mind Maps to help us think divergently and convergently AND visualize our thinking means that they are, when used properly, an essential part of our intellectual armory.

Change & complexity
Mind Maps are an ideal tool for understanding inter-relationships between different aspects of a situation. By focusing on meaning rather than worrying about grammar and semantics, the Mind Map helps people to rapidly build up an enhanced understanding of any problem, challenge or situation.

Volumes of Information
Mind Maps allow us to summarize information efficiently and in such a way as to make it usable and accessible.

The key is to think effectively at the beginning of a project or the preparation of a presentation. Suspending the process of structuring an output (project plan, presentation) allows maximum value to be gained from the divergent and associative thinking that Mind Maps support so well.

Changing ways of working
A great deal of stress is caused by not being able to see clearly a way forward. Many people use Mind Maps to help them make sense of the different aspects of their lives and prioritize their goals going forward.

Process improvement
Mind Mapping helps in the breaking down of processes into elements and in identifying processes and parts of processes that exist only for historical reasons
Creativity and Innovation
Either on their own or with other creativity techniques, Mind Maps facilitate the generation of fresh perspectives and new ideas provide a great way of capturing that thinking.

Significant users
Leading Business Schools such as Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Cranfield
Large corporations – IBM, HP, Siemens
Major consulting companies – Accenture, McKinsey, PA Consulting Group.
Leading Universities in Europe and the USA

Healthcare application
Patient care plans
Process development and improvement
Disease management
Child welfare
http://medicalmindmaps.com/ provides a service based on Mindjet’s online interactive service. This is a CPD for UK medical professionals but is also fairly universal in its content.

Testimonials for Mind Mapping
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust "Mind mapping and Mindjet has genuinely revolutionized the way I work. In addition to Outlook, it’s the first application I open in the morning." Dominic McKenny, Director of Informatics.
MINDJET HELPS TRIAGE EMERGENCY PLAN TO SAVE SPOKANE-AREA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL, Washington State - Mindjet MindManager Instrumental in Hospital Board's Completion of Rigorous Capital Assessment and Hospital Conversion for Empire Health Systems

Lifelong learning
Schools, Universities and Business Schools are amongst the many organizations that have recognized that, when used properly, Mind Maps are an incredibly useful tool for both formal and informal learning. Indeed the comment we hear most often when we show people how Mind Maps enhance memory and recall, is ‘why didn't they teach me this in school?’
More on Mind Mapping courses...............

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