Why Mind Mapping?

Have you ever asked yourself why mind mapping is becoming ever more popular among professionals and students alike? What is it that makes this technique so special and what are its benefits? In this article we’ve put together the main reasons why mind mapping is increasingly replacing other note taking formats in business and educational contexts. 

Hand-drawn mind map

What Are Mind Maps?

Mind maps are graphical representations of information. In contrast to the traditional, linear notes you make in a text document, mind maps let you capture thoughts, ideas and keywords on a blank canvas where you can organize them in a two-dimensional structure. The title/main idea is always located in the center of the map and thus always clearly visible. Related ideas branch off from the center in all directions, creating a radiant structure.

Mind Mapping on Whiteboarc

Why Should I Mind Map?

“The soul never thinks without a mental image.”

There are many reasons why mind mapping is used by millions of professionals, creatives and students all over the world. Here are the top 4:

Mind maps structure information.

Mind maps can store and structure vast amounts of information. They display hierarchy, show relationships between individual ideas and enable you to see the “big picture” at a glance. These features also make mind maps an ideal tool to present information to others, create knowledge pools and solve complex problems.

Mind maps enhance productivity.

Mind mapping enables you to learn faster, communicate more efficiently and brainstorm more effectively. Whether you’re planning a project at work or writing a scientific paper—mind mapping will help you save tremendous amounts of time. According to a survey by the Mind Mapping Software Blog, mind mapping software can increase productivity by an average of 23%.

Mind maps foster creativity.

There are two things that make mind maps the best brainstorming tool out there. One: The act of developing a mind map stimulates our brain like no other technique and fosters a creative flow of ideas. Two: Mind maps allow you to transcribe those ideas with incredible speed, making for a virtually frictionless thought organization.

During a study1 done in 2004 about the effectiveness of mind mapping for students’ writing assignments, 10 out of 12 people found that mind mapping improved their writing. Not only is it a great technique for students to prepare their essays and papers, it’s also a fantastic method for bloggers to outline articles and for authors to overcome writer’s block.

See also: 6 Tips to Improve Your Creativity

Mind maps improve memory and recall.

Mind maps present information visually. They feature a number of powerful mental triggers such as images, colors, shapes and connections which help our brain process and memorize large amounts of information. Studies have found that mind maps can improve memory by 10-15%, others go even higher and estimate improvements of up to 32%.2 Especially students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia or high-functioning autism have reported that they find mind maps to be invaluable study aids.

Ready to give the mind map technique a go?

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Still not convinced? Maybe you’re right to be cautious. Check out the Top 7 Reasons NOT to Mind Map

1 Wai Ling, C. (2004), ‘The Effectiveness of Using Mind Mapping Skills in Enhancing Secondary One and Secondary Four Students’ Writing in a CMI School’. University of Hong Kong, Masters dissertation.
2 Toi, H (2009), ‘Research on how Mind Map improves Memory’. Paper presented at the International Conference on Thinking, Kuala Lumpur, 22nd to 26th June 2009.