"A key focus in mind maps is that they represent an individual's personal style and can therefore be unique."
Mind maps are diagrams used to visually organise information hierarchically. Mind maps are created around a single concept or image at the centre of a blank page or canvas. Major ideas directly branch from this central point with further ideas and detail branching off from those levels. Mind maps are purposefully colourful and work well when combined with imagery to represent ideas, concepts or information. The non-linear but hierarchical approach of mind maps makes them an excellent way to organise your ideas, plan an essay, make notes for a lecture or revise content.
As you can see from the summary image here, it is possible to use software to make mind maps. University of Hull computers have Inspiration and MindView installed so you can make digital patterned notes on campus computers. Inspiration and MindView are not available for your own computer without purchase.
If you're looking for a free tool for your own computer, check out FreeMind for PC or Mac. Web-based tools like WiseMapping are also available. Another inexpensive (though not free) alternative would be Open Mind.
The Skills Team do not support these mind map software packages directly, but the videos below, along with our information on creating a mind map, will help you get started:
Mind maps can be drawn by hand on paper or using specialist software described here. The photograph here shows a hand-drawn map within an A4 notebook but you can also make much larger hand-drawn maps on flip chart paper or wallpaper to tackle more complicated ideas. With mind-mapping software, your maps can grow as big as you need them.
Tony Buzan, an educational consultant, first popularised mind mapping as part of his work on mental literacies. He has published many books focusing on mind mapping, suggesting a few rules to ensure it is effective:
In addition to these principles you should consider:
If you want more information about mind mapping from Tony Buzan visit his www.thinkbuzan.com page for more information.
Buzan, T. (2014) Mind Maps for Business, Using the ultimate thinking tool to revolutionise how you work, 2nd Edition. Harlow: Pearson.
(1) Mindmap by Nicoguaro (CC BY-SA 3.0) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MindMapGuidlines.svg
(2) Mindmap by Graham Burnett (CC BY-SA 3.0) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map#/media/File:Mindmap.gif