The Power of Mindmaps!



Mind maps are a great visual and tactile way of getting your thoughts down and your message across.Whether it’s about global warming, sanitation, health care, business or school, you can make a mind map of it.

Here’s a cut & paste from Wiki.

“A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches.[1] Categories can represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.”

 a guide to making mind maps

This picture was made available under The Creative Commons License

I’ve used them several times in the classroom and students (mostly) really enjoy doing them. We get the idea down in the classroom, then they finish off the ‘artwork’ at home. Some come back as works of art, some do not. It’s a personal thing.

Mind maps are generally used to express sequential concepts: hot pan – no glove – burn hand – pain – hospital -etc- or a series of transcending thoughts – buy car – save money – get job – study for degree etc – in the latter you would have the dream car in the centre surrounded by the ways and means to achieve it.

In the sample below I created mine more as a grouping of ideas to express positive and negative aspects of how we live, with alternatives. The primary focus was on advertising the kabook-i idea in Google images and showing my concepts visually.

I produced mine using a mix of word doc and freehand. I did a rough draft layout, a failed attempt in freehand, then this.

kabook-i mindmap

Click on the picture to enlarge

If you want to see a much better version or versions though, go to Jane Genovese’s site. Here’s a sample courtesy of Jane.

mindmaps popultaion

What I really like about Jane’s work, beside the sequential layout, is the fact that she deals with current issues such as population and the planet, mind sets, behavior, organisation and more. And on her site she’ll even show you how to mind map. How cool is that!

If you look at either mind map you will see  that they are a great platform for discussion. Instead of having your 10 page power point presentation you could have a one page mind map and talk all day long.

They are also a great way of expressing your ideas across cultures and without language barriers.  Whether you are trying to teach a village in Bangladesh or Timor Leste about sustainable sanitation, it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language, or if they are illiterate. If you have a decent, colourful, expressive mind map, that expresses your concepts, they will get the picture, literally.

Some time in the future (soon) I will do one on sustainable sanitation and kabook-i

okay – got it – here’s one on (UN) SUSTAINABLE SANITATION: I have software called Print Shop, which allows me to draw – cut and paste – which means I can move them around in the picture where I want

mind map on sustainable sanitaiton


Please feel free to leave a comment and share your mind maps