April 29, 2012

Mind mapping and your to-do list:

Here we are again, presenting another fun and creative way to arrange our tasks to help us get things done.

Today, I want to introduce to you - The Mind Map.

Googling 'mind map' shows you dozens of images and techniques of mind mapping.

I’ve even published an article about mind mapping the software testing exploratory technique myself.

Mind mapping is one of the most powerful visualization tools for ideas, flows, goals - whatever we want to achieve. It works wonders with kids, as they visualize their way through the things they want to do.

Why use it at home?

Because it is another way that helps us get things done. Because it works for so many people. Because It is so simple and effective, that I just had to talk about it.

As usual, I want to keep things simple. I prefer to use mind mapping as an initial tool to initiate our wish list, to get our to-do list in order.

But first, what exactly is mind mapping?

"A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea… Mind maps have many applications in personal, family, educational, and business situations, including notetaking, brainstorming (wherein ideas are inserted into the map radically around the center node, without the implicit prioritization that comes from hierarchy or sequential arrangements, and wherein grouping and organizing is reserved for later stages), summarizing, as a mnemonic technique, or to sort out a complicated idea. Mind maps are also promoted as a way to collaborate in color pen creativity sessions.

Mind maps 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”

Kids are doing it all over the world any way. So how do we do it?

Lets say we have this three week vacation coming up, and we want to plan what we want to do. As a regular reader of my blog you already know, that the best thing to do is build a mind map as a family, together. Visualize it, talk it over, and have fun with it!

1. So the first step of mind mapping will be to visualize a central word, topic, idea, subject, or concept.

Say - Holidays family activities.

2. Now, we add three or four ideas that are linked to the main idea.

Think , for example , what would we like to do in that period of time ?:

‘Have fun’
‘Do homework’
‘Paint the house’

Write those down on the board, or add sticky notes.

3. Now continue to add even more ideas under those ideas. Use bright colors! Arrows! Colored lines! Anything that makes the mind map easy and fun to follow.

4. Now, can we actually do everything we set down in the mind map? Well, luckily, you used sticky notes. Move them around, see what’s really important, and add them to a board. Call this your ‘To do’ column.

5. Now add two more columns - ‘In progress’ and ‘Done’.


Mind maps are used all over, for all sorts of things. Education, life skills, chores, and so on. For us, it's just another fun way to help us get things done.

     http://www.thinkbuzan.com/uk - official website of Tony Buzan
     Mind map pattern from : Tony Buzan © 2004 "Mind Maps for Kids : Rev up for Revision"


  1. And if you've read this post and you want to look at a cool mind mapping tool, check out mindmeister - http://www.mindmeister.com/.

  2. Something that does similar things (I have used it with my Deaf, autistic daughter) but is completely open source (and thus free) is

  3. Thanks for your input. cool tool!

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  5. I have used mind mapping as a tool for darn near every assignment since I learned the technique. I also use Freemind on the laptop and IThoughts on the IPad. Great overview of the material. I highly recommend Tony Buzon's book.

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