Start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colours.
The ideas are documented in a mind map radiate from the centre of diagram, similar the branches or root system of a tree. The colours are important because they provide an extra dimension of information to help your brain interpret the data more effectively.
Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your Mind Map. Words are important, but pictures make it easier and faster to communicate information visually. Similarly, symbols, codes and dimensions provide a mental shorth and to speed up the communication process.
Select key words and print using upper or lower-case letters.
Key words work well with images to convey information, like the way slides work in presentations. Printing makes them legible.
Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
This is to make the mind map easy to interpret. Too many uncoordinated lines make mind map look confusing.
The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate out from the centre.
The idea here is to give the reader a visual guide as to the level of detail they’re at within a mind map. Obviously, if you follow the lines through the map, you’ll see how everything is connected. Varying thicknesses will make the mind map look like a system of branches or roots.
Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
Again, readability is the key.
Use multiple colours throughout the Mind Map, for visual stimulation and also to encode or group.
Much like bus routes and subway maps use colour to distinguish between routes, use of colour in a mind map will make it easier to follow the information.
Develop your own personal style of Mind Mapping.
Personal style allows you to create mind maps more efficiently and effectively.
Use emphasis and show associations in your Mind Map.
This allows you to focus attention on key topics in the mind map.
Mind mapping can be used for:
- problem solving
- outline/framework design
- structure/relationship representations
- anonymous collaboration
- marriage of words and visuals
- individual expression of creativity
- condensing material into a concise and memorable format
- team building or synergy creating activity
- enhancing work morale
Mind Mapping - Basic Rules
The rules for producing Mind Maps are very simple and can be adapted to suit your personal preference.
- Take a piece of paper and draw a rectangle in the centre of the page.
- Inside the rectangle write the name of the topic that you want to mind map.
- As each major idea or theme emerges from your brain draw a line radiating from the rectangle.
- Write the name of the major idea above each line.
- Don’t spend too much time writing neatly or drawing nice straight lines- go for SPEED not NEATNESS.
- As each idea materializes, quickly check whether the idea is an extension of an existing idea.
- If the idea is something totally new, then draw a brand new line from the rectangle in the center of the page.
- Within a short space of time out Mind Map will begin to take shape.Don’t be too alarmed if it looks as if a spider, with ink on its feet has crawled across the page. Mind Maps are personal records of thought processes and are normally PRIVATE.
- Once you have finished generating ideas and constructing the Mind Map you can start analysing the information shown on the mind map.
Mind Mapping Technique in Project Management
Defining Project Objectives
A project manager can use a mind map to draw a list of the strategic goals associated with the effort.
Scheduling Project Tasks
Using the mind mapping technique for project scheduling involves writing down each project task and estimating how long each activity takes to complete. By breaking each task into subtasks, a project manager can more accurately draw a picture that reflects the precise actions and how long each task actually takes. Project managers can use mind maps to schedule tasks and allow for contingencies.
Project managers and teams frequently encounter complex problems. Team building exercises involving generating mind maps can help generate troubleshooting procedures make decisions based on available data or determine the root cause of a production issue. For example, a project team faced with the challenge of budget reductions can list the remaining activities and propose less expensive alternatives.
Project managers acting as meeting facilitators can draw a mind map to document all topics discussed in team meetings. The resulting visual image often triggers creative thinking. For example, listing questions about the scope of the project, unresolved problems or expertise lacking to complete a project task can serve as an effective visual status report.
Structuring Project Archives
Faced with information overload, many project managers lose track of project documents, such as functional requirements, project plans and risk registers.