Just looking at this Mind Mapping Example might have you think that what is going on here is really basic, however don’t be fooled by what you see here.
If you had the misfortune to find yourself cornered at a party by a Mind Mapping Zealot and Purist they would give you these reasons why this was a really bad example of a Mind Map:
1. It is not drawn in colour
2. There are no pictures
3. It looks more like a bubble diagram than a true example of Mind Mapping
4. The key words that are there don’t sit on the line
5. The person has committed the cardinal sin of (heaven forbid!) writing in sentences
They would also tell you (if you hadn’t managed to escape by either feigning illness or declaring that you need to get home to the kids (whether you are a parent or not)) that it was probably the worst example of this thinking tool they had ever seen… well if you will insist talking to these people…!
One of the rarely understood aspects of using Mind Mapping is that the end result is not where the value actually lies. Sure if you do a search in Google Images for Mind Mapping Examples, you will find the results will reveal some splendid works of art that appear to be drawn by those anointed with a divine gift.
However what you need to understand is that the process of Mind Mapping is where the power of this tremendous tool resides. It is a thinking tool and not a “how good can I be at drawing” tool and so all it needs to do is capture (and stimulate) your thought processes.
What you will see above is evidence of deep and complex thinking that categorises, summarises, synthesises, organises and connects a train of thought to produce a remarkable result (in this case overcoming a bout of writer’s block).
Sure it isn’t as pretty as many of the Mind Maps out there but it isn’t there to win an art contest, it is there to do a job. And so what you need to understand is that in order to be able to think with this device you DON’T have to be able to draw.
The example you see above is one provided by Daphne Grey-Grant when we interviewed her for the Mind Mapping Show (in Episode 001 – How To Overcome Writer’s Block Using Mind Mapping). She is quite forcefully adamant that she can’t draw to save her life and is equally convinced you don’t need to in order to create useful Mind Maps – and she is a HUGE advocate of the process.
This particular example was used to help gather her thoughts together in preparation for writing an article for her website.