Problem Solving,
Communication
& Innovation:
Mind Maps
Course Website: http://www.comp.dit.ie/bmacnamee
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Contents
Today we will have a look at mind-maps and
how they can be used in problem solving
– Tony Buzan
– Origins of mind maps
– How to use mind maps
– Popular uses of mind maps
– Examples of mind maps
– Thinkertoys - Da Vinci’s technique
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Tony Buzan
Tony Buzan is another thinking
guru
Buzan has written 82 books
available in 100 countries and
translated into 30 languages
Buzan is also a bit of a TV star and
has featured on the BBC series In
Search of Genius and on Blue Peter
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Origins Of Mind Maps
Buzan developed Mind Mapping while at
University
He was frustrated that traditional note-taking
took so much time
Realising that the brain responds extremely
well to key words, colours, and images
Buzan developed a simple set of rules for
capturing topics in a map
His brother, Barry Buzan, then realised that
the technique could also help in creative
thinking
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Origins Of Mind Maps (cont…)
“Use Your Head: Innovative Learning
and Thinking Techniques to Fulfil Your
Potential”, Tony Buzan, 1974
“The Mind Map Book”, Tony Buzan &
Barry Buzan, BBC Active, 1993
“The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps”,
Tony Buzan, Harper Thorsons, 2006
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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The key points of the book “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” by Gordon MacKenzie
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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The key points of the book “The Human Mind” by Robert Winston
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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“What is Happiness?” by the illustrator Paul Foreman
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Maps By Great Thinkers
There is evidence to suggest that many
great thinkers throughout history have used
mind-map type techniques
These include Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo
Picasso and Winston Churchill
Images of Da Vinci’s notebooks are available from: www.bl.uk
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How To Mind Map
Based on www.mind-mapping.co.uk/make-mind-map.htm
1. Take a blank piece of paper, A4 or larger
– Pre-drawn lines can restrict us!
2. Use the paper in landscape orientation
3. Start in the centre
4. Make a central image that represents the
topic about which you are writing/thinking
– Use at least three colours
– Keep the height and width of the central
image to about two inches
– Allow the image to create its own shape
Based on www.mind-mapping.co.uk/make-mind-map.htm
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How To Mind Map (cont…)
5. The main themes (Basic Ordering Ideas)
around the central image are like the
chapter headings of a book
– Print this word in CAPITALS or draw an
image
– Place on a line of the same length
connected to the central image
– The central lines are thick,
curved and organic - like the
trunk of a tree
– Usually about 3 – 7 themes
Based on www.mind-mapping.co.uk/make-mind-map.htm
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How To Mind Map (cont…)
6. Start to add a second level of thought
which are linked to the main branch that
triggered them
– Connecting lines are thinner
– Words are still printed but may be in lower
case
7. Add third, fourth, … levels of data as
thoughts come to you
– Use images as much as possible
– Jump around the map as different thoughts
come to you
Based on www.mind-mapping.co.uk/make-mind-map.htm
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How To Mind Map (cont…)
8. Add emphasis to important points on the
map
– Maybe put a box around a point
9. Outline whole branches of the map as
you see fit
– Try using colours here
– The colours can be used to show
connections between branches
10. Make your maps a little more beautiful,
artistic, colourful, or imaginative
11. Be humorous and have some fun!
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How To Mind Map
1.
2.
3.
4.
Take a blank piece of paper, A4 or larger
Use the paper in landscape orientation
Start in the centre
Make a central image that represents the topic about
which you are writing/thinking
5. The main themes (Basic Ordering Ideas) around the
central image are like the chapter headings of a book
6. Start to add a second level of thought which are linked
to the main branch that triggered them
7. Add third, fourth, … levels of data as thoughts come to
you
8. Add emphasis to important points on the map
9. Outline whole branches of the map as you see fit
10. Make your maps a little more beautiful, artistic,
colourful, or imaginative
11. Be humorous and have some fun!
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Mind Map Exercise
Create a mind map of the Google paper
we’ve just been discussing - mind map
either the paper or the discussion
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Mind Maps & Note Taking
Mind maps are a great tool for note taking
– Use them at meetings, lectures or when
reading papers/articles
Traditional linear notes are ineffective because:
– They obscure keywords
– They are naturally difficult remember
• Boring and monotonous
– They waste time
• You have to write them AND you have to read them!
– They fail to stimulate creativity
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Advantages Of Mind Maps
Advantages of mind-mapping over linear
note making/taking:
– Time saved
•
•
•
•
Noting only relevant words
Reading only relevant words
Reviewing mind map notes
Not having to search for keywords amongst
unnecessary verbiage
– Concentration on real issues enhanced
– Essential keywords juxtaposed in time and
space – improves creativity and recall
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Advantages Of Mind Maps (cont…)
– Clear associations made between key words
– The brain finds it easier to accept and
remember visually stimulating multi-coloured
mind maps
– Mind maps work in harmony with the brain’s
natural desire for completion or wholeness
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Uses For Mind Maps
Uses for mind maps:
– Note taking in lectures/meetings or from
books/papers
– Group mind mapping
– Mind mapping for creativity
Also try using mind-maps in conjunction with
other techniques we’ve studied
– Mind-map based S.W.O.T.
– Six hats using mind maps
– Mind-map based Consider All Factors
“No-one needs Mind Maps; they need what Mind Maps can do for them!”
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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A mind map of the book “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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The life and work of Marie Curie
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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The life and work of William Shakespeare
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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A summary of some of the many uses of Mind Maps
http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/
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The key principles of Mind Maps
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Mind Map Exercise
Create a mind map capturing the use of de
Bono’s six thinking hats
White is neutral and objective
Red suggests anger, rage and emotions
Black is sombre and serious
Yellow is sunny and positive
Green is grass, vegetation and abundant
fertile growth
Blue is cool and is the colour of the sky,
which is above all else
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Da Vinci’s Technique
Technique from Thinkertoys to
help with creative thinking
Apparently to generate ideas
da Vinci would close his eyes, relax totally
and cover a sheet of paper with random
scribbles
He would then open his eyes and look for
images, patterns, objects, faces or events in
the scribbles
We can use the same technique to generate
ideas
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How To Use Da Vinci’s Technique
Da Vinci’s technique is used as follows:
1. Review a challenge you are working on
2. Relax
3. Allow your intuition to offer scenes images
and symbols that represent your situation
4. Provide a format for the challenge by
drawing a boundary
5. Draw as your mind wants to draw
6. If one drawing does not seem enough take
another piece of paper and do another one
– up to as many as you need
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How To Use Da Vinci’s Technique
(cont…)
7. Examine your drawing
8. Write down the first word that comes to
mind for each image, symbol, scribble, line
or structure
9. Combine all the words and write a
paragraph
10. Consider how what you wrote relates to
your challenge
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Nature’s Handwriting
“I cannot forbear to mention…a new device for
study which although it may seem trivial and almost
ludicrous, is nevertheless extremely useful in
arousing the mind to various inventions. And that is,
when you look at a wall spotted with stains…you
may discover a resemblance to various landscapes,
beautiful with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees. Or
again you may see battles and figures in action, or
strange faces and costumes, and an endless variety
of objects which you could reduce to complete and
well drawn forms”
- Leonardo Da Vinci
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