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A Brief History of Mind Mapping: The Walt Disney Connection

Did you know that humans have been using visual diagrams to clarify and communicate concepts for over 2,000 years? In anticipation of the MindManager launch happening September 12th, we’re giving you a few lessons in mind mapping history.

Last time in our history of mind mapping series, we hinted at a mind mapping-Walt Disney connection (if you missed it, check it out here). That’s right, the Walt Disney.

Walt Disney the Mind Mapper

When he wasn’t drawing cartoons and inventing iconic characters, our man Walt was quite the mind mapper (even if he didn’t realize it himself). This probably comes as no surprise, given that he was generally such a visual fellow.

No doubt his approach to fresh visual thinking and communication served him well, given that he went on to build one of the largest, wealthiest, most beloved corporate empires in history.

Maps + Cartoons = Better Together

Here’s a map that Walt Disney drew in 1957 to help him think through the complexities of the Disney business empire, complete with cute drawings, of course. That’s not the only map he created – here’s another Disney-drawn map from even earlier – 1943! If you look closely, it bears a striking resemblance to a modern org chart:

hist of mm disney full

On a side note, hey product team — can we get some of these cartoon images added to the next MindManager release?

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