An Introduction to Mind Mapping

Princess Faye Tabios, Features Editor '24

Organizing your thoughts can be an excruciatingly tedious task for people who are trying to grasp larger, more complex topics. An individual could desire to ace a huge test or become the most talented gamer in the world, but have no idea where to start or where to go on from there. This is where mind mapping would come into play.

What is Mind Mapping?

Mind mapping is a technique that was invented by Tony Buzan in the 1950s and continuously developed over time. The only materials needed include a piece of paper and a pencil, but modern-day software allows mind mapping to be managed online. It involves one main idea that is branched out into seven corresponding components using keywords and phrases. The parts can continuously be branched out until you have all the information you need.

Here is an example of what a mind map would normally look like.

This unique procedure stemmed from the idea that your brain favors the most visible, simplest data. From this knowledge, educators from London began to look into styles that could encourage many to become more neurologically aware.

As soon as this study commenced, a surplus of information was able to replace all the unneeded words with an even less mass of detail. It became an excellent style of note-taking that can elevate your mind into thinking freely, as many students and adults today have notably struggled to contain all of their important ideas efficiently. The more they had to draft and redraft the inessential details, the more strained and foggy their head started to become. This discovery led to an increase in both creativity and mental endurance.

Arielle Tsai, or ‘ariellestudying’, an Instagram influencer who predominantly focuses on demonstrating her study ideas online describes how she uses mind maps. She explains, “It is said that mind maps should be succinct and simple with diagrams or pictures drawn, but my style is more inclined towards writing keywords and I hardly draw any diagrams”

Behind the Technique

When Buzan finally wanted to teach this technique, he taught it to students who had been labeled as ‘backward,’ ‘hopeless,’ or had a learning disability. From the Mind Map Book, he states, that these “so-called failures” immediately transitioned into becoming amazing students, and a handful of them achieved the top spot of their “respective classes”.

One student, in particular, Barbara, was sent to Buzan by her school who stated that she carried the lowest, registered IQ. He took her in, and within a month of being taught the basics of mind mapping, she retook that test and scored an IQ of 160. Barbara eventually completed college, surpassing all of her classmates.

When asked about the most interesting thing about mind mapping and its impact, Arielle immediately responds, “I love the visual representation of mind maps. I think for visual learners, mind maps have a huge advantage over linear notes.”

Another process of charting your thoughts can be found demonstrated by YouTuber, Peter Deligdisch, and better known as Peter Draws. 

His method of charting is similar, but establishes his design to mimic a route taken on a map; a better explanation being from ‘Point A to Point B’. He writes out every idea with one word that lists exactly how he will be able to get from Point A to point B, such as a node of the time he has the spend, the sacrifices he has to make, and the equipment he intends on purchasing.

“—there’s a lot of stuff going on out there in the world today, and the less inner turmoil we have going on in here, the better.” Deligdisch states in the introduction of his ‘Mind Map to Success: The Peter Draws Method’ video, as signaling the term ‘in here’ as in one’s conscience. His method makes it so your goals are simple enough to read through. 

A visual representation of “The Peter Draws Method”.

How to Communicate Your Thoughts On Paper

Any method that portrays the information your brain can keep for the long term is essential for keeping your brain refreshed and info-ready, but here is how to convey that information on paper. 

On average, the human brain can take in sentences for only a short period of time before it warps and changes its structure, but it’s much easier to translate it into one singular word or at least a set of keywords. Just like how a bike has its wheels and handlebar, the main concept has a spider of things that create it.

This was an introduction to the meaning, background, and fundamentals of mind mapping. The results from this technique are promising, and definitely pushed a parade of amazing minds to reach their full potential.