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Mind Maps

Set a course for some new ideas.

There's a character in the Netflix series Sex Education called Aimee who loves mind maps. Like, REALLY loves Mind Maps. In fact, Aimee uses them at every turn, for pretty much any life decision.

Here's Aimee (which is also the name of the actor who plays her, conveniently) to explain...

Now, you probably don't need to mind map your life quite as obsessively as Aimee.

But mind maps are an amazing way to help our brains make complex connections and pathways as we try to solve problems and find ideas. Fast.

The popularity of mind maps took off in the 1970s, thanks to the author and educator Tony Buzan. But some of those techniques had, in fact, already been used by Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and more recently Cornell Professor Joseph D. Novak - who first coined the term "concept mapping."

Think of a mind map as exactly what it says - a map of your mind. A type of spider diagram that helps you map out complex ideas in a non-linear way, just like the human brain does.

At the centre of it all is your main problem, issue or subject. From there you draw lines to form branches which connect to similar ideas and thoughts. And this continues in all kinds of directions until you've explored all corners of your mind and have taken all possible paths it can think of.

Mind maps work because our brains don't work by thinking in horizontal rows of data - or vertically come to that. Our minds are a messy interconnected stream of memories, facts, emotions, senses - which all connect to become the things we remember, know or understand.

So mind maps are a great way to have faster ideas, as they are much more aligned with the natural way our grey matter works. They help us reach into those recesses of the mind that don't always feel readily accessible.

We all need a map to find our way sometimes. Use one for your mind and you just might find a road to an idea you never thought existed.

We'll have more on mind maps this Friday, with Tony Buzan and his amazing 1974 BBC Series 'Use Your Head' - showing on our curated FFWDtv strand (now moving permanently to Fridays folks!).

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