Drawing Basic Mind MapsTo draw a Mind Map, follow these steps:1. Write the title of the subject youre exploring in the center of thepage, and draw a circle around it. This is shown by the circlemarked in figure 1, below. (Our simple example shows someonebrainstorming actions needed to deliver a successful presentation.)Figure 12. As you come across major subdivisions or subheadings of thetopic (or important facts that relate to the subject) draw lines outfrom this circle. Label these lines with these subdivisions orsubheadings. (See figure 2, below.)Figure 23. As you "burrow" into the subject and uncover another level ofinformation (further subheadings, or individual facts) belonging to thesubheadings above, draw these as lines linked to the subheadinglines. These are shown in figure 3.
Figure 34. Then, for individual facts or ideas, draw lines out from the appropriateheading line and label them. These are shown in Figure 4.Figure 45. As you come across new information, link it in to the Mind Mapappropriately.A complete Mind Map may have main topic lines radiating in all directionsfrom the center. Sub-topics and facts will branch off these, like branches andtwigs from the trunk of a tree. You dont need to worry about the structureyou produce, as this will evolve of its own accord.
Using Mind Maps EffectivelyOnce you understand how to take notes in Mind Map format, you can developyour own conventions for taking them further. The following suggestions canhelp you draw impactful Mind Maps:Use Single Words or Simple PhrasesMany words in normal writing are padding, as they ensure that facts areconveyed in the correct context, and in a format that is pleasant to read.In Mind Maps, single strong words and short, meaningful phrases can conveythe same meaning more potently. Excess words just clutter the Mind Map.Print WordsJoined up or indistinct writing is more difficult to read.Use Color to Separate Different IdeasThis will help you to separate ideas where necessary. It also helps you tovisualize the Mind Map for recall. Color can help to show the organization ofthe subject.Use Symbols and ImagesPictures can help you to remember information more effectively than words,so, where a symbol or picture means something to you, use it. (You can usephoto libraries like iStockPhoto to source images inexpensively.)Using Cross-LinkagesInformation in one part of a Mind Map may relate to another part. Here youcan draw lines to show the cross-linkages. This helps you to see how onepart of the subject affects another.
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