A mind map refers to a special technique of visualization. It is suitable to open up any topic, to structure it and to present it pictorially.


What is a mindmap?

Mindmapping is the name of the process in which a mind map is developed. Behind mindmapping is a cognitive-associative memory model. The mindmap combines different memory skills: Pictorial, logical and linguistic thought processes are brought together. This facilitates understanding and memorizing.

Where does the mind map come from?

The English psychologist and mental coach, Tony Buzan, developed the mind map in the 70s. The starting point was his own poor grades as a student. He was looking for a technique to use his memory effectively. When he couldn’t find anything suitable, he developed the method of mindmapping himself over time. Tony Buzan compares mindmapping to a windshield wiper that cleans the windshield and clears the view to the essentials.

Why Mindmapping?

When we deal with content or topics, they are usually complex and multi-layered. They contain different sub-areas and are linked to other topics. This complexity often makes it difficult to grasp a topic in its entirety and to consider all associated aspects. The mindmap helps to structure topics and present them in a clear way . It is therefore also very suitable for opening up and organizing learning material. A basic question of learning is often: "How should I remember all this??" All the sub-points, references, bullet points and details! Simply learning everything by heart does not promote the understanding of the material and often exceeds the ability to remember. The mind map helps to concentrate on the essentials. It does so via keywords. The the most important aspects of the subject matter are identified with concise key words and written down. This is the first step in learning, coming to terms with the material and the Separating the important from the unimportant already happened. The identified keywords are finally arranged and visualized according to a hierarchical method following the logic of the topic. By means of this memorable pictorial representation, it is easier for the memory to memorize and reproduce what has been learned.

What is the mind map suitable for?

A mind map can be used in many ways:

There are rules for using the mind map?

The starting point of a mind map is always the topic at hand. This is the focus, also figuratively. The topic is written in the middle of a blank sheet of paper, which should be as large as possible and sensibly placed crosswise. You can highlight the topic in color or graphically or provide it with a suitable picture.

Starting from the topic, different branches are now drawn on the sheet. Each branch represents a subarea of the topic. The individual branches should be arranged in such a way that there is as much space as possible around them on the paper. These main branches are now labeled with concise keywords. They represent the various sub-aspects of the main topic and are, as it were, its second hierarchical level. Each aspect is represented with its own branch and each branch is labeled.

From each individual branch emanating from the main topic, go further smaller branches from. These can be drawn with less thickness than the main branches. They represent the next level and visualize further partial aspects. They are also labeled with keywords. From the smaller branches, thinner branches can be used to sketch further aspects or questions.

In this way, a mind map is created, starting from the main topic to individual small sub-items in a clear "thought map.

The hierarchical tree structure of the mind map is graphically illustrated with the decreasing line thickness of the individual branches. Main branches are thick, the further the structure branches out, the thinner the connections become. There are many other possibilities to structure the mind map even further. All graphical elements should serve for clarity and memorability.

Textually, it is recommended to work with single keywords when mindmapping. Sentences or long texts are not purposeful in the mind map. Upper and lower case of the keywords document the hierarchical structuring.

Mindmap software and mindmap freeware

Mindmaps can be created not only on paper, but also on the computer. There are programs that must first be installed on the computer, as well as those that allow users to create mind maps online. Different providers offer free and paid programs. Common is for example the free software "Freemind" or "MindManager".

Media – tutoria recommends

Mindmap example:

Example mindmap.mm (9.1 KB)

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