A mind map is a diagrammatic way to visually represent information. In a mind map, the information is usually presented in a hierarchical manner. There are several nodes that are generated from a central idea, each of which is directly or indirectly related to the central idea. Each sub-idea in a node is further subdivided to place ideas related to a subidea.
In order to understand a mental map better, you can take the example of a marketing campaign in summer as the central idea. The next set of ideas in the hierarchy would be weather, resorts, and BBQs, each of which could be subdivided further. Now mental maps or mind maps are typically hand-drawn sketches, but today there is mind mapping software that is available in the market, and they have several useful features.
4 Useful Tips To EnhanceYour Mental Mapping Skills
Mental mapping is an accretive way of brainstorming ideas. It also improves memory as visual cues like keywords and sketches improve memory retention. Drawing a mind map helps people link different concepts and visualizes key relations between two or more ideas or concepts.
In this blog post, you will get an idea of the ways to enhance mind-mapping skills and how modern software can be a great tool to enhance those skills.
1. Use A Huge Canvas
Despite the existence of modern software, many people enjoy mind mapping by drawing rough sketches with their own hands. However, the problem with drawing a mind map with your hand is you often run out of space.
One of the key purposes of a mental map is to allow the free flow of ideas, so when your canvas falls short and you have to crunch in your ideas in a limited space; it defeats the whole purpose of a mind map. So if you are drawing a map using a pen and paper, select a large piece of paper to accommodate all your ideas.
However, this space limitation of using a pen and paper can be overcome by using software that essentially has unlimited space and memory for storage. The latest software stores the ideas on the cloud and can let your ideas flow freely, as storage space is not limited.
2. Use Keywords And Images
A keyword is a word you can easily recollect or think of when you deliberate on a central idea or theme. So keywords help to convey many ideas and that too easily. Using keywords in a mental map has several advantages such as using a single word in place of multiple words, saves space. It also helps in the easy recollection of ideas if the mind map is to be used for improving memory retention.
Like keywords, images are also great resources that must always be included in mind maps. Many experts believe that the human encodes an image twice: once as a picture and then as a word. Also, ninety percent of the information that is transported to the brain is in the form of visual cues, so including images in a map benefits enormously. Moreover, visual cues are processed almost 60000 times faster than a piece of text.
When you are using a pen and paper to create a mind map, you have to draw rough sketches, but using software allows you to doodle and attach images from the internet. When you work with software, you can freely attach documents, videos, images, and web pages to a mind map, and all these greatly improve the utility of the mind mapping exercise.
3. Making Use Of AI-Powered Software
For a long time, mental maps and the details they included depended on your ability to jog your brain. But now, the times have changed, and there are a plethora of artificial intelligence-based tools that can help improve the quality of your map. AI tools give useful suggestions that can be included at the nodes and subnodes of an existing mind map.
Artificial intelligence-based tools take hints from the key ideas and concepts that you have used in the construction of a mind map to suggest useful additions. AI prompts can be very useful if you are facing a mental block. They help you to ideate faster and complete mind maps quicker than you would otherwise.
Although using AI to create a brainstorming device seems like a great idea, it has several disadvantages as well. Its use can improve your mind-mapping skills, but being heavily dependent on AI can also hamper your skills. So AI tools should be used in moderation. If you feel that the suggestion from an AI tool is hindering or clouding your ideas, you must immediately stop using AI-powered tools.
4. Collaborate When Creating Mental Maps
Some people like to think or ideate in solitude, but in many instances, it is true that two brains think better than one. Collaborating with others opens up your worldview, and you can create better mind maps. When you use a pen and notepad to ideate, you may find it difficult to collaborate with another person in real time, but if you use software, collaborating in real time becomes easier.
Software that allows real-time syncing in the cloud allows for easy collaboration. So if you have a team with whom you want to share your ideas, you only have to ask them to log on to the app and access the mind map.
There are several tools in the market, like Mindomo, XMind, MindNote, Coggle, etc, that are available in the market. Most of these tools allow easy import and attachment of files, and they allow storage on the cloud, and some of them even provide AI-powered suggestions.
Generating a mind map with a pen and paper or using a tool is a matter of personal choice. However, in any case, using a large canvas, including images, and sharing ideas do help ideate better and improve the utility of the mind map. And in this era of technology, using software not only saves time but also provides more information to mull over.