"How to Mind Map"
by Tony Buzan
Published 2002 by Thorsons
Before I get into the review for this book, need to explain how I found out about the concept in the first place. I'm a frequent visitor to the website giveawayoftheday.com, on this site each day they offer different software downloads free. These are full versions of the software and you get to keep forever. The makers of the software get reviews of the software and word of mouth advertising. One of the downloads offered was a program by the company Concept Draw. The program was Concept Draw Mind Map. At first glance it looked like a flow chart layout program, like (I thought) Microsoft's Visio. But the layout and tools were more "organic" in nature and the software was intended to be used as a computer assistant for Mind Mapping.
The software sat on my computer for a while and finally I decided to see what this Mind Mapping was all about. Tony Buzan has created or rather put to use the system that allows you to make the most of your brain and mind and to oranize, create and plan how the brain wants to do these things. Basically with pictures and colors and flow chart type of layouts that evolve from a central Idea or spoke. The sub-points then branch off in curvy colorful lines with pictures drawn to assist memory and learning. The first mind map you creat in the book is based on fruit. This is used to prove a point that the brain doesn't think in words or in straight lines but rather in abstracts and colors. In other words, in the book you are told to think of the word fruit and then close your eyes. What your mind's eye then sees is not the letters F-R-U-I-T, but maybe a basket of fruit, bananas, apples, oranges, you know actual pictures. From there you draw a mind map that branches out into several ideas for fruit in a way that your brain can read and interpret.
Below is a sample from the book of a mind map on fruit. This is from the Japanese printing of the book, and for those that speak english may not know what words written are, but the images allow your brain to translate and maybe get a good idea of what is written. If you were to draw this yourself using your own symbols it would then make even more sense
Now, take this concept further and with mind mapping you are able to make notes and lists and keep them in a way that your brain can interpret. Imagine, and yes it is possible, to have a lecture or presentation drawn out on one sheet of paper rather than on a stack of 3x5 cards. That is just one of the many uses of mind mapping. Maybe you are a student and with your notes you have to sift through pages of lined out notes. With Mind Mapping you can find your central concepts easy enough and make studying easier.
If you are interested in making your life easier and learn how to better create, organize and plan check out this cool book...I'm still learning how to do this right, but it is a fun process.
As for the computer software, I like using the software because my writing is atrocious and I've never been much of an artist. So I let the software do the pictures for me on some occasions. As an example, below is an incomplete Mind Map on the review of this book from that software. (I had to limit to just a little info so i can include it all in a small graphic)