Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping

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Term2.png MIND MAPPING
A learning methodology that consists of drawing diagrams to represent words, ideas, tasks, processes or other issues. It is a non-linear way of organizing information and a technique that allows to capture the natural flow of ideas about a central topic. Each idea or fact is written down and then linked by lines or curves to its major or minor (following or previous) idea or fact, thus creating a web of relationships. Its purpose is to focus attention, capturing and framing knowledge to facilitate the sharing of ideas and concepts.

Mind maps can be used to:

  • Summarize information and focus on the main idea(s)
  • Convey information from different sources
  • Think throught complex problems
  • Present information in a format that shows the overall structure of a subject. [1]

Originally mind maps were created on paper, normally spread over a wall where people could freely write down their ideas.

Today there are several tools that allow the creation of electronic mind maps. They can be very helpful when one wants to modify an idea previously inserted or organize all the ideas in a different way or order. These electronic tools also allow that a group of people, working in different locations, contribute to the creation of mind map to address an issue of their interest.

See also: Data Visualization


Toolkit.png Creating a Mind Map

Step by Step

  • Determine the topic that will be the focus of your thinking. The topic should be no more then a few words.
  • Take a blank paper - if you are using a software, open a new document - and write down the topic, wherever you want. It may be a good idea to start in the center of the paper, so as you have 360 degrees of freedom to continue your drawing.
  • To better identify and visualize the starting idea you can draw an image, using different colours.
  • Be open and have a creative attitude, trying to let ideas flow and writing all of them.
  • Free associate without limitating your ideas; you can always add new branches and add more information later on.
  • Try to capture all your thoughts as rapidly as possible.
  • Don't make any judgements; write everything you are thinking of.
  • Allow organization. Once all the ideas have been added you can create links with the ones you left apart, and change the structure of your map.
  • Experiment with different ways of linking and emphasising different aspects, e.g., using colours and highlighters.

Practical Tips

  • Use single words or simple phrases; they can convey the same meaning of a long sentence but are more efficient.
  • Use colours to separate different concepts; this will make the map easy to remember and will help showing the organization of the subject.
  • Use symbols and images; they are easier to remember than words.
  • Use cross linkages, since information in one part of the drawing may relate with other on the other side of it. [2]

Job Aid

Pdf.png Creating a Mind Map


Link icon.png Web Resources
Below you have a selected compilation of electronic tools that allow the creation of mind maps. All the tools listed are free, available on the Internet. For each tool listed some general information is provided : on-line or desktop use; special features available; and degree of flexibility when constructing the map. Click on the image on last column (visualization) to see a sample of the type of map each tool allows you to create.


UNITAR is using VUE on a process mapping exercise.
Tools Type of Application Special Features Structure Visualization
Freemind To download

(1,51 KB)

Link to files and web-sites Ramification only horizontal. No freedom to change the structure; information always presented on left and right hand.
Freemind.jpeg
CMAP Tools To download

(1,62 KB)

Link to files and web-sites Free structure; but every arrow connecting two nodes must contain a label
Cmap Tools.jpg
Mindmeister On-line. Two versions: Basic for free,

Premium to pay (4$ per month)

Link to files and web-sites Ramification only horizontal. No freedom to change the structure; information always presented on left and right hand.
Mindmeister.jpg
Bubbl.us On-line Link to web-sites Free structure
Bubble.us.jpg
VUE To download

(1,51 KB)

Link to files and web-sites Free structure. Possibility two add a label on the connection between two nodes.
VUE.jpeg
Compendium To download

(1,58 KB)

Link to files and web-sites Free structure; but every node has to belong to a category (question, decision, argument, idea, etc.)
Compendium.jpg
Wisemapping On-line Link to web-sites Ramification only horizontal. No freedom to change the structure; information always presented on left and right hand.
Wisemapping.jpg
Mind42 On-line Link to web-sites Ramification only horizontal. No freedom to change the structure; information always presented on left and right hand.
Mind42.png
Freeplane To download

(22,7 MB)

Link to files and web-sites Free structure; a growing set of node extensions provide for details, metadata, images, hyperlinks.
FreeplaneFunctions.jpg


Link icon.png Web Resources
Below is an additional resource for mind map templates and e-books:
Link Content
Mind Map Inspiration This resource provides access to a number of mind map templates. Additionally, links are available to some free e-books on using mind maps and a gallery of mind maps to browse through.
Mind mapping for instructional design This article highlights the importance of Mind Mapping tools in playing an increasingly role in the design, planning and implementation of learning experiences.
Brainstorm/Mind Maps This entry of the Data Visualisation Catalogue explains what are mindmaps and how to create one.
Pinterest Board on Mind Mapping

(Infographics)

Check out Click4it's Pinterest Board on Mind Mapping and visualize it!

References

  1. astd-cac.net (08 July 2008) Wikipedia(08 July 2008) www.mind-mapping.co.uk (08 July 2008), www.illumine.co.uk (08 July 2008), www.mindtools.com (08 July 2008), www.thinksmart.com (8 October 2008), www.businessdictionary.com (8 October 2008)
  2. www.wikihow.com (10 October 2008), www.thinkingbusiness.co.uk (10 October 2008), www.mindtool.com (10 October 2008), Tools for Knowledge and Learning, odi, 2006