THEY come to you in the most inopportune moments. They attack when you least expect them. They wake you up in the middle of the night, and with heart beating so loudly, it is impossible to get back to sleep.
Hundreds, thousands, and millions of ideas.
So many light bulb moments that seem to disappear the moment you step out of the shower. So many brilliant solutions that seem to go up in smoke the moment you go to work. You force yourself to sleep minutes after waking up, hoping in vain to remember something so good that now evades your mind.
With countless neurons running through our brain, bombarded by multiple images, sounds, and smell and influenced by hormones and emotions in our bodies, it is a wonder how we get anything done.
Getting it all there inside our heads can make us go nuts. We know there is a solution to our problems. But with all the clutter and the noise, it’s hard to extract those significant points that matter most. Great if you can always have someone trustworthy and patient enough to be your sounding board and help you sift through your ramblings.
But even your best friend or closest person may not be able to decide for you which parts are impactful. Only you can be truly capable of delving deep into your thoughts and choosing what you think is the best path.
One effective way to do this is through mind mapping.
“Mind map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, color and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In doing so, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The mind map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance. Originated in the late 1960s by Tony Buzan, mind maps are now used by millions of people around the world – from the very young to the very old – whenever they wish to use their minds more effectively,” according to the website of Tony Buzan, English author and educational consultant.
Mind mapping may be likened to an image of a tree wherein there is a central subject branching out to all related information and subject. More details can be connected to the main branches and linkages can be fused depending on the relationship of ideas. It can be used for the most intense of brainstorming sessions to the creation of sales presentations or even book summaries.
In her article for lifehacker.com entitled “How to Use Mind Maps to Unleash Your Brain's Creativity and Potential,” writer Melanie Pinola enumerated the following advantages of mind mapping over other brainstorming and linear note-taking methods:
1. It's a graphical tool that can incorporate words, images, numbers, and color, so it can be more memorable and enjoyable to create and review. The combination of words and pictures is six times better for remembering information than words alone.
2. Mind maps link and group concepts together through natural associations. This helps generate more ideas, find deeper meaning in your subject, and also prompt you to fill in more or find what you're missing.
3. A mind map can at once give you an overview of a large subject while also holding large amounts of information.
4. It's also a very intuitive way to organize your thoughts, since mind maps mimic the way our brains think—bouncing ideas off of each other, rather than thinking linearly.
5. You can generate ideas very quickly with this technique and are encouraged to explore different creative pathways.
From its name, mind mapping can give us a visual representation of our thought process. As we consciously put data into categories and find connections, we get to reach a more educated decision.