Mind Mapping VideosThere are lots of things changing on this site at the moment and one of those is a series of Mind Mapping Videos I have put together as part of a free introductory video course.

This course is designed to get you started with understanding how you can benefit from the Mind Map and start introducing it into the way you organise your thoughts and ideas.

It covers the following areas:

  • The Benefits of Mind Mapping
  • What a Mind Map is
  • How to Mind Map
  • It shares examples of Mind Maps
  • Looks at the importance of Mindmapping software
  • It shows you how to apply Mind Mapping
  • And it gives you a very powerful personal experience of why it is such an effective boost to your thinking powers
  • All of this can be found in the Free 7 part introductory course.  The sign up box can be found at the top right hand side of any page of the site and you will get your first video instantly.

    You might want to watch the short video on the right hand side of this page to give you a better overview of what is in this course before you commit and sign up.

    I have found the inclusion of the Mind Map into my thinking toolset has been one of the most significant advances I have personally made in my own growth and so I can highly recommend it.

    Of course it is always important to remember that the Mind Map and the Mindmapping process is just a tool that you can apply to just about any thought process.

    The reason why so many people rave about it is because of the apparent supercharging effect it has on your mental performance because there are areas where it can provide astonishing improvements.

    In particular these are:

    • Greater levels of concentration and focus
    • Improved memory and recall
    • Increased levels of personal effectiveness and productivity

    I think to sum it up in a single sentence I would say that using Mind Maps has made thinking far easier and much more productive for me as I know it has done and continues to do for hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions of people from around the world.

    So let’s give you a free introduction to Mind Mapping with this video course.

    Watch the short video at the top right hand side of the site and let’s get you started on boosting your thinking powers and improving your productivity.

    When you have started watching the videos, do come back and let me know what you think in the comments section

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    Mind Mapping Examples and Resources

    Just a quick note for you.  I have started adding some new resources to this Mind Mapping Blog.

    1.  Mind Mapping Resources

    I am scouring the web and gathering together all of the great resources (web pages, videos, free guides etc) related to the Mind Map and am going to put them on one easy to access page.  So if you know of any that are worthy of entry into such an esteemed directory, then do let me know via the comments section below.

    Mind Mapping Examples

    Perhaps one of the best ways to become acquainted with the Mind Map is to see other people’s examples and on this new page of the site I shall be gathering as many as I can to share with you and help you understand the sheer versatility of this amazing tool.  I have put the first couple up already so go take a look.

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    7 Reasons to Add Colour to Your Mind Maps

    Mind Maps and ColourAdding colour to your mind map is like “adding wings to a tiger” (it’s an actual Chinese phrase, by the way). It makes the mind map work better for you.

    Here are seven things you can use colour for, in your mind maps.

    Use colour in your mind maps to:

    1. Make the information “stick” better in your mind. After all, pretty things are retained better.
    2. Distinguish between the different branches of your mind maps.
    3. Clarify the association between different concepts, and club together similar ones in different branches.
    4. Indicate meaning through colour coding—red for negatives, green for positives, and yellow for “not sure”.
    5. Brand your product or company. You can use your company’s house colours in your mind maps to build team spirit and branding.
    6. Make mind mapping interesting by waking up the sleeping child in you.
    7. Get an excuse to finally request those markers you have been eyeing in the stationery department.

    As you can see, colours add more than prettiness to your mind map.

    What are some of the other reasons you use colour in your mind maps? Use the Comments section to let the world know!

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    There are rules in everything—yes, even in mind mapping, which some would say is supposed to be a free-thinking concept!

    However, Tony Buzan’s rules for mind maps are interpreted as guidelines by some (no prizes for guessing whether they followed the rules in their mind maps), and with good reason.

    Does it really matter that your mind maps do not have a picture for their main ideas, or that you are unable to locate that darn option for changing colours in your mind mapping software?

    Rules are meant to be broken. What they don’t say though is that you need to know the rules to break them. So, let’s look at the mind mapping “rules” so that we can know which ones to break!

    Rule no. 1 states that you must start at the center of a blank sheet of landscape-oriented paper. This seems more intuitive and convenient, so I wonder why you might want to violate this.This is a good idea, if not a rule.

    Rule no. 2 advises us to use a picture for the central idea of our mind maps. Here’s a rule many people are not too crazy about. While it might make mind mapping more interesting, and the mind maps more attractive, many percieve it is not always possible—for example, using a picture for abstract themes is tough for many. There is also the age old excuse “I can’t draw”

    Rule no. 3 talks about using colours throughout the mind map. There is always the danger of a rainbow gone weird look with taking this rule too seriously. I’d just say—consider your purpose—is it a note-taking mind map, or a mind map meant to teach others something? You might want to tone down the neon green if it’s to be presented at an academic conference (unless it’s a mind mapping conference).

    Rule no. 4 advises mind mappers to connect the main branches to the central image and branch out from that. Sound advice, and this seems to be one of the central distinguishing features of a mind map. If you’re going to call your creation a mind map, you’ve got to follow this one.

    Rule no. 5 simply says, “Make your branches curved, organic and flowing, tapering outward.” Why will my mind maps be better if you followed this one? It’s simply because this design gently leads the eye to the branches from the central idea and other branches. This is important—remember those psychedelic colours? It also distinguishes your mind maps from flowcharts, especially with mind mapping software.

    Rule no. 6 is a hotly debated one. It says, “Use one keyword per line.” Following this is getting more and more difficult, as mind mapping gets serious about its new avatar as a visual knowledge management and representation system. (Did I actually type out that phrase?).  Here is not the time and place to debate the benefits of doing this, suffice to say that when doing hand drawn maps for taking notes it is VITAL to focuse on one word per line.

    Rule no. 7 asks mindmappers to use images throughout their mind maps. This is great advice, but not for all. If you’ve got to take down notes at a great speed, don’t try drawing images and expect them to be works of art – stick figures will suffice.  If you can, try adding images later.

    Rule no. 8 is the one I like best: Develop your own personal style of mind maps. Mind maps are, in the end, about you. If lists work best for you, go for one with lists. If you can only work with green and red (each of us has his/her quirks), go ahead. Creating your personal style using mind mapping software may be a challenge—but not impossible.

    Rule no. 9 states: Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map. Great idea—emphasis helps suggest a hierarchy in concepts, which is often of importance. Rarely, as we know so well, is everything equal in life!

    Rule no 10, the last one, says, “Use ‘radiant’ hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.” Embracing the branches is not just something environmentalists do, apparently! Let’s say your mind map has two branches that are somehow related. Bracketing them together by either shading them a different colour, or by enclosing them in an outline, is a great way to show the relationship between the two. Clearly, a practical guideline.

    So, there you have it: The ten rules of mind mapping, and here’s one that really should be on the list: Have fun mind mapping. If you’re not having fun doing it, don’t!

    PS – Make sure you download your free copy of “Get Started With Mind Mapping” that you will find at the top right hand side of this page.  It contains everything you need to know for you to get started using Tony Buzan’s creation – including the rules and example mind maps.

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    Mind Mapping Video for HomeBusinessBrains.com.

    In an earlier post I told you about a trip to New York where I was invited to be the Mind Mapping Expert for a new Home Business Building advice and support site.

    At the time I thought it might be a bit of a punt because it was early days for these people but now having seen who else is on the faculty, I realise what a huge venture it actually is.

    People like Michael Gerber (author of the “E-Myth”), Michael Tipper (oops, that’s me!) and many other leading experts have contributed to providing advice for home based business owners.

    I was invited to contribute because Mind Mapping is seen by the founders of the site to be a fundamental tool that anyone in business MUST have if they want to keep ahead of the competition – and they wanted someone credible, professional and vastly experienced in the technique – and fortunately my name came up :-)

    That was at the beginning of the year and after months of hard work by the owners of that site, it is about to be launched.

    In fact tomorrow is the big day but as of today I and the other experts can release one or two of our videos to you to whet your appetite.

    The site is based in the US and so it is being launched on their time so when the link for the site becomes live I will let you know.

    In the meantime, here is just one of the many videos I have on the site that explains what Mind Mapping is all about, how it relates to business and how Tony Buzan made his great discovery.

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    Get Your Mind Maps Created For You

    In my post on Mind Mapping Examples – Showing Mind Maps as an Art Form I shared with you the really cool site from Paul Foreman and Admam Sicinski where you can see over 170 unique and individual example maps created by these two wizards of the art form and some of their equally talented buddies.

    One of the things I stressed in that article was that I felt these super examples of artistic genius may actually put people off from trying this amazing thinking tool out themselves.

    However what I neglected to add was that even though the examples from this site may not be generated by you, there is still some value in studying these great mind maps.

    Whilst there are still keywords and images, the selection of which will be unique and personal to the author/artist, a skilled practitioner in the technique (of the quality of Foreman and Sicinski) will generate a map that will as close as possible be self-explanatory.

    Whilst I would always recommend you use Mind Mapping yourself to get maximum benefit, using others’ maps can help too.

    So what if you don’t want to go to the trouble of learning this valuable skill yourself, but you would really like to have a Mind Map generated for you?

    Well on the Mind Map Art Website Creation Services Page the site owners offer a service where they will create one for you.

    All you have to do is choose the style from Paul’s hand drawn variety to Adam’s “graphically generated” variety, choose your size (A3 or A4 which is 2xletter size or letter size) and then e mail them for a quote.

    I have no idea what you will be charged but I do know that if you decide to try this service out, you will get a quality mind map that is a true work of art.

    If you try them out, do let me know how you get on.

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    As an avid hand drawn mind mapper for nearly 15 years now, I have become accustomed to casual observers of my technique describing the paper based version of my mental musings as art.

    Sure they have colour and pictures too but I wouldn’t go as far to say they are works of art even though I will admit that to the uninitiated, they do look rather striking.

    Now whilst a powerful component of their success the fact that you have to "draw" a Mind Map is one of the very things that puts many people off trying them out.

    I find myself continually stressing to people that you do not need to be Michelangelo to be able to use Mind Mapping because simple stick figures and thumbnail sketches are absolutely perfect.

    However as I find many people need to find a valid excuse to hide behind their own feelings of (unfounded) inadequacy then when it comes to mind mapping the "Well I can’t draw" excuse is the one they jump on straight away as the reason they won’t try them out.

    But what of the other end of the spectrum where truly gifted artists apply their talents to creating mind maps that are indeed a work of art?

    Well there are mind mappers just like, and what I want to do is review a site where you can go and see some incredible  examples where the maps are truly beautiful and inspiring.

    example mind maps - mind mapping as artYou will find some amazing examples of Mind Maps as art at http://www.mindmapart.com/, a site run by Paul Foreman and Adam Sicinski and contributed to by some of the world’s leading Mind Mapping experts/artists (two of whom are contemporaries of mine).

    The site has over 170 Mind Maps filed under the categories of Arts, Business, Education, Lifestyle, Offbeat, Science, Sports and Technology.

    You can also search the maps by topic and across the 170 maps you will find topics as diverse as Adjusting to Eye Loss, Graphic Recording, How to Make a Pancake, Richard Branson and Weight Management.

    There is a definite personal development slant to the topics here with some natural bias towards the site owners personal interests (9 separate maps from Adam Sicinski on Basketball alone implies more of an obsession than a mere interest!).

    However given the number of maps here there is a really nice balance of topics.

    Each map has a description, details of the artist and you can rate the map on a scale of 1-10.

    Not all of the maps are from Adam and Paul as there are also contributions from some other serious online Mind Mappers too.

    When you go through the site you will start to see the different styles of the individual contributors.

    Adam Sincinski’s style is unique and very easy to spot once you have looked at a couple of his maps and one of my favourites is the mind map on How to Twitter which is very topical map at the moment.

    Paul Foreman is no slouch either when it comes to his mind mapping skills and I think if more of us studied his mind map on peace, then I think the world will be a much better place.

    So in my humble opinion, this site is an excellent resource if you want to see some fine mind mapping examples from a range of different artists.

    However always remember that what you will see on the Mind Map Art website is at the very extreme end of the Mind Mapping spectrum and you don’t need anywhere near the level of artisitic talent to be able to benefit from this marvellous tool.

    In fact if there was to be any criticism of this site at all then it would be that potentially it might turn people off from using Buzan’s invention.

    But to be honest I am clutching at straws here in an attempt to give you a balanced review because I actually find the examples Adam and Paul have shared with us to be utterly inspiring.

    So go have a look at this site, make sure you let them know what you think of your favourite map and vote on a couple too.

    Maybe one day you might even see one of mine on there.

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