Push Yourself To Think Divergently & Creatively | Mindmaps*
*aka: Concept Mapping, Spray Diagrams, and Spider Diagrams
Mindmaps are good at facilitating divergent or unconventional thinking. Mindmaps help to generate ideas. They are particularly useful early in the creative process. When you are trying to create something new, use mindmaps to generate ideas. A Mind Map is a highly effective way of getting information in and out of your brain - it is a creative and logical means of note-taking and note-making that literally "maps out" your ideas. All Mind Maps have some things in common. They have a natural organizational structure that radiates from the center and use lines, symbols, words, color and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts. A Mind Map converts a long list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain's natural way of doing things.
One simple way to understand a Mind Map is comparing it to a map of a city. The city center represents the main idea; the main roads leading from the center represent the key thoughts in your thinking process; the secondary roads or branches represent your secondary thoughts, and so on. Special images or shapes can represent landmarks of interest or particularly relevant ideas.
The Mind Map is the external mirror of your own radiant or natural thinking facilitated by a powerful graphic process, which provides the universal key to unlock the dynamic potential of the brain.
The five essential characteristics of a Mind Map:
The main idea, subject or focus is crystallized in a central image.
The main themes radiate from the central image as 'branches'.
The branches comprise a key image or key word drawn or printed on its associated line.
Topics of lesser importance are represented as 'twigs' of the relevant branch.
The branches form a connected nodal structure.
Mindmapping U Exercise
1. On a blank sheet of paper, write your central topic or challenge in the middle. 2, Make some connections to that main topic and write them down, branching out from the center as you go. Ask yourself, "What else can I add to the map that is related to this theme? If you think one of your ideas will lead to a whole new cluster, draw a quick rectangle or oval around it to emphasize that it's a hub. 3. Use each connection to spur new ideas. 4. Keep going. You are done when the page fills or the ideas dwindle. If you are feeling warmed up but not finished, try to reframe the central topic and do another mindmap to get a fresh perspective. TIPS FROM THE FIELD Generally the first set of ideas that branch from the center will feel cliched or obvious. That happens to everyone. Those concepts were already in your head and were just waiting to be captured on paper. As the map progresses, however, your mind will open up, and you'll likely discover some wild, unpredictable, disassociative ideas.
As you experiment with mindmapping, you may find it valuable in all sorts of creative endeavors.
Get you started and help you overcome your fear of the blank page.
Help you look for patterns.
Reveal the structure of a subject.
Map your thought process and record the evolution of an idea.
Communicate both the ideas and the process to others, so that you can guide them on the same mental journey.