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. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.
The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.
By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks. Though the branches of a mindmap represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework.
The mind map can be contrasted with the similar idea of concept mapping. The former is based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept, whereas concept maps are based on connections between concepts in more diverse patterns.Originator of Mind-mapping - Tony Buzan
Buzan is the name behind Mind Mapping. Since he wrote his first books in the late 1960's and early 1970's, Buzan's name has been synonymous with Mind Mapping. There is no doubt that his books and lecture tours have popularised the technique to the extent that Mind Maps® are now used throughout the world for a wide variety of purposes.
Although it was Buzan who first used the term and set out his 'Laws of Mind Mapping', he himself was building on a lineage of using patterns, pictures, colour and association, that stretches back thousands of years. Those ideas are universal but in many cultures not all people were benefiting from them and when Buzan introduced the codified technique of Mind Mapping it struck a chord with many.
Buzan has written and co-written many books about the brain and how to use it more effectively. Most notable in this regard are 'Use Your Head', 'Make the Most of Your Mind' (currently out of print) and 'The Mind Map Book' - and whilst many of his books repeat the messages about how to Mind Map and how to use Mind Mapping, his tireless efforts to promote 'Buzan's Mind Mapping' have led to millions of people using and benefiting from the technique throughout the world.
Here are some examples of mind-maps: