These tips from across the web come from experts and enthusiasts alike, and will help you take your mind mapping escapades to entirely new levels.
1. Use an Iterative Process
From Chuck Frey: “The best mind maps are usually created using an iterative process. In other words, do a brain dump, organize your ideas and then walk away from your mind map for a few hours or a few days. Do something else. Don’t think about it consciously. But the whole time, your subconscious mind will still be playing around with the ideas from your mind map, deep in the recesses of your mind.”
2. Start With an Image
From Tony Buzan: “[Using a central image] helps you use your imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focussed, helps you concentrate, and gives your brain more of a buzz!”
3. Do it Every Day
From Jane Genovese: “Mind mapping is like any skill, the more you do it the quicker you’ll master it and the faster you’ll get at it. When I first started mind mapping I was quite slow in creating my mind maps. “Am I doing this right?” and “My pictures look silly. I better start this mind map again” I would say as I crumpled up the paper and grabbed a fresh blank sheet. But now, mind mapping is second nature to me.If you mind map on a daily basis, you will be surprised at how fast you can get at mind mapping out new ideas.”
4. Keep it (Sort of) Simple
From Roger C. Parker: “Mind maps can become substantially difficult to work with when the number of topics exceeds 60.” He suggests limiting notes to 50 words or less, adding high-level topics, and for especially large amounts of information, linking maps together rather than attempting to stuff everything into a single map.
5. Be Yourself
From Michael Deutch: “Ultimately, how you map is personal reflecting your individual style or your team’s collective approach to mapping. There is no right or wrong way to mind map as the maps created are reflections of your thoughts. A great start is to familiarize yourself with the concepts of mind mapping, then forget the rules and develop the style that best works for you.”
6. Tap Into Your Resources
There are tons of articles, blogs, and examples of mind maps floating around on the internet. If you’re after some inspiration, check out our Maps for That gallery, the Biggerplate Mind Map Library, or Jamie Nast’s Idea Mapping Success Blog.