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Mind Maps help build ideas and concepts

by Tim Rimington | May 20, 2011

Anyone who’s studied has more than likely been exposed to Mind Maps to help build their ideas and concepts. Whenever we deal with clients embarking upon a new project we encourage them to spend a week or more drawing out a mind map to help get their ideas and concepts on paper. From creating brands or logos to choosing colours and web layouts, a mind map is a smart way to approach any important decision or project.

So what exactly is a mind map? Drawing from the Wikipedia definition of a mind map, a mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to, and arranged around, a central key word or idea. You create Mind Maps to visualise those ideas and concepts, drawing from the ideas you commit to paper to help formulate an end result whether that’s a collection of ideas to form the basis of a new logo or new website (in this instance, using a design context). Mind maps are also used to solve problems, to aid study or to make decisions.

A common approach to mind maps is to draw within the centre of a large sheet of paper or cardboard (to hang on a wall for others to see and contribute to), a starting point or central idea. The process from here is both fun and simple. Branching outwards from your central idea are ideas or tasks directly associated with your initial, central thought. From each branch grows more branches, each associated with its predecessor until you end up with an enormous diagram of collected ideas. It’s then a process of identifying the best ideas, the “pick of the crop” that will work towards the formation of the final result or concept.

If you’re approaching a new project with trepidation, a mind map is able to encourage fresh channels of thought and, as you add to the expanding branches of keywords, each new idea fuels the next. The perfect tonic of encouragement!

There are many ways that you can approach mind maps and the process best suited to you will become a personal choice. There are plenty of websites dedicated to Mind maps and as many software applications across every platform to choose from. If you enjoy pen on paper, great, if you prefer digital diagram versions, that’s okay too. But what is constant, is that after you complete a mind map (and some argue that mind maps need never be complete) you’ll be making an informed, carefully deliberated decision on that next concept or idea.

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