Archive for April 7th, 2008

mind mapping

There’s this guy- an older English gentleman. Wears a bow tie, and navy blue blazer. The epitome of an English professor at a pub near Cambridge or Oxford. Well, he’s the epitome of what we Americans who have never been to a pub near Cambridge or Oxford think of when we think of an older Enlgish professor at the pub following a lecture. And he’s selling the crap out of this idea he has and probably making millions on it. I’m not entirely sure it’s a good idea but it’s definitely a fun idea and it sounds like it might work.

Here’s the gist of it- human minds are not linear so trying to force your mind to work in a linear way is counterproductive. If you’re working to remember something or to generate ideas, then you need to work in an organic way, more Tree-like (think Ent), so you’re not sabotaging yourself. Or, even closer to the mark might be a root system. There’s a tangled ball of roots in the center. More roots radiate out from there nad grow branches off each other. In Mind Mapping, the mapper starts in the center of a paper with an idea and the associations flow outward from that central point, branching off into sections of ideas. Then new association branches come from each prior set of associations.

The best part: it’s all done in color. You get to use Sharpies to draw this thing! Or there’s software, of course. (Yes, I have tried it- iMindMap.) A small group of my students have tried it on BIG sheets of paper and seemed to have some success with it. More of them will be experimenting with it next week.

I’m thinking seriously about using this mind map idea to help me make some progress on the Story project. I’m practicing on another, smaller project for work before I get consumed by fumes from the Sharpies.

And here’s Tony Buzan-the English guy- talking about his MInd Mapping technique:

thanks to Dave