When note taking, the most important factors from the point of view of the author are convenience and efficiency. To include as much content as possible using the fewest words. The mind map method is unparalleled in this regard.
The mind map works perfectly for business situations as a simple and handy tool for the presentation of topics or when conducting creative workshops. We’ve written about it before, e.g. here: Mind map – part 1. You will find a few pointers below that will make your use of this method even more effective.
Writing down words in a legible manner is the chief condition determining the efficiency of every note taking method. However, it’s especially important when using the mind map. According to Tony Buzan, one of the fundamental principles of this method is the use of keywords. Clear ones, practically conspicuous. Only when written in this way can words affect us directly and require no interpretation, because their meaning is obvious and legible. They make up the points of orientation for the map because they organise our train of thought. The direction in which you write down the keywords should reflect your way of thinking – from the general idea to the details (although this isn’t always possible or desirable). This lets you recognise the structure of the problem and the links between individual elements. Ultimately, you will obtain a full picture that allows you to understand the nature of the issue.
Use your imagination
Symbols and drawings play an equally important role on the map. They add variety and allow you to picture the things important for both the author and the prospective reader of the notes. Sticky notes of various sizes as well as coloured felt-tips are useful for making them. While at that, it’s worth it to use creative solutions and utilise both the available colours and formats in such a way, so that certain elements of the map may gain additional qualities (surprising the reader, invoking associations, adding a punchline to the entire line of reasoning). Frankly, there are no limits to creativity when it comes to using additional elements.
A lesson in cartography
Creating a mind map is a process. You return to it, apply corrections and add new content. Keywords and symbols can be tied in any way using lines or vectors; they can be arranged into groups or lists. Although when working on your notes, it’s good to be consistent. For example: write down keywords on paper of the same colour, e.g. blue, but put down questions or doubts on yellow pieces of paper and post them up in relevant places. In this way, you can make your work easier as it goes on.
It’s worth noting that we’ve designed a product that will let you free your creative thoughts and easily draw your own mind maps:
Thanks to the versatility and efficiency of the mind map method, we’re able to present and describe any subject! Get to work then 🙂