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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mind Mapping - Valuable Tool or a Hoax?

 
    Mind Mapping is purported to be a powerful graphic technique which provides a key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, color and spatial awareness – in a uniquely powerful manner. This is supposed to give you the freedom to roam the expanses of your brain and its proponents claim it can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance performance. The idea is to get information in and out of your brain in a creative and logical way. It's a means of note-taking that maps out your ideas.
    All Mind Maps are organized in a way that starts at the center and use lines, symbols, words, color and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts. It converts a long list of monotonous information into a colorful and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain's natural way of doing things. Does it work? Maybe, maybe not. 5 Reasons To Stop Mind Mapping
     Mind mapping sparks creativity, aids learning, makes ideas concrete and boosts productivity by reproducing in visual form the way the brain functions and allows freelancers, entrepreneurs and other creative workers to take a peek inside their head and understand what’s on their minds.
     Advocates say it can be very beneficial, BUT...it might not work to help you learn something because the charts you create are unorganized, messy and they don’t follow any recognized learning methods and they do nothing for retention. That's because the technique is a visualization tool rather than a learning tool. Basically what it does is, it allows you to visualize information you already have in your head; creativity and productivity only happens after the map has been created.

Michael on Mind Mapping-Everything You Need To Know To Benefit The Most Out Of This Powerful Tool 
LifeHacker - How to Use Mind Maps to Unleash Your Brain's Creativity and Potential
Mind Mapping Didn't Work for Me-Part 1 
Mind Mapping Website 
Free Mind -free mind-mapping software written in Java 
Mind Mapping Software 
Mind Mapping: A great waste of time? 
Get Rich Quick and mind Mapping 
Pseudoscience and mind mapping

2 comments:

  1. Ummm...I don't think I get this article. Mind Mapping is a tool. It isn't meant to be a learning tool, and just like a screwdriver isn't meant to help you change a tire on your car, a mind map isn't meant to help you memorize names and dates for your history test. It may, however, help you write that 10 page paper that's hanging over your head like a stalker cloud of doom and acid rain.

    The point is that mind maps *do* allow you to get stuff from your brain onto paper, without being too constricting about it. Getting thoughts and ideas straight from your brain into a polished, finished, top-of-the-line product (whatever end result is desired) is not only daunting, but impossible. Even people who don't use mind maps make prototypes and drafts. But while people can get by without using mind maps to help, it can often be like blowing up an air mattress with a hand pump, and for some not having some way to pour out all the chaos in their head is like trying to blow the thing up with only the power of their lungs.

    The *problem* with mind maps is that they can be like the electric air pump. They're fun and easy to use, and if you aren't paying attention it's easy to overfill the mattress. Mind maps can become a way to feel productive without actually doing anything. You still have to pay attention to the larger scope when Mind Mapping. The point of that article, "5 Reasons To Stop Mind Mapping", is not to never mind map, it's to know when your mind map has accomplished it's job so you can stop blowing up the mattress.

    All that having been said, strict mind maps are actually too organized for my brain to use most of the time. The central theme with off-shoot children ideas sometimes works, but more often, I have to get everything out and then start linking items together and organizing it, and while that happens other ideas will pop up. Just because the stuff is already in your head, does not mean that mind maps don't allow for creativity. In fact, I would argue that every paper I ever wrote in college that I used a mind map for was both more creative and better written because of it. And most of the creativity and ideas were formed and put on to paper (or dry erase board) during the mind mapping/brainstorming process.

    The mind map does not create a finished product. It's not supposed to, but it can help you find all the pieces you need to create the product. It can help focus you in on what you need, help you formulate ideas and spark thoughts that you may otherwise not have had (this is especially true in a group setting). Does the same stuff happen inside people's heads without mind maps? Certainly. Does that fact make mind maps a hoax? No, it simply provides a conducive environment to increase the likelihood of such occurrences happening.

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  2. very insightful...

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