Jen Buchanan (Banned)
By Jen Buchanan 1168 days ago




Mind mapping is a visual form of note taking that offers an overview of a topic and its complex information, allowing the viewer to comprehend, create new ideas, and build connections. Through the use of colors, images and words, mind mapping encourages creators to begin with a central idea and expand outward to more in-depth sub-topics. (Inspiration Sofware, 2013)

If you'd like to hear from the inventor of the mind map, listen to Tony Buzan here!

But what is a graphic mind map? It's a bit of a combination between a graphic organizer and a mind map, and it allows for more creativity and thoughtful engagement in the content as one must translate from word and concept to visual.

The humanities often beg for this form of thought organization, which is why we will be looking at a recent concept or focus from your social sciences class to be the core of your graphic mind map. You will be spend this week working on your own visualization of a concept, of your choice starting with sketching thumbnails to decide on your layout and aesthetic, leading to the use of any means of creating visuals and their compilation (you can do this by hand or use a vector based program such as illustrator). 

The point of this unit is:

  • to help solidify your own understanding of your chosen mind map content.
  • to facilitate the viewer's understanding of your chosen mind map content.
  • to familiarize yourself with Illustrator and vectors as a language of visualization.
  • to enable you with these skills for future classes, concepts, and assessments.

Before you begin sketching your thumbnails, take a look at these examples of mind maps, many of which explain how they are conceptualized and why they are visualized in such a way. Be creative and make something that helps you learn your chosen focus!

Enjoy these examples of mind maps at mindunleashed



Here are 7 steps to making a mind map, from the mind of Tony Buzan, the inventor of mind maps (courtesy of Tessa Siebrits)

  1. Start in the CENTRE of a blank page turned sideways. Why? Because starting in the centre gives your Brain freedom to spread out in all directions and to express itself more freely and naturally.
  2. Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea. Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focussed, helps you concentrate, and gives your Brain more of a buzz!
  3. Use COLOURS throughout. Why? Because colours are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Colour adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, adds tremendous energy to your Creative Thinking, and is fun!
  4. CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc. Why? Because your Brain works by association. It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.
  5. Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined. Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.
  6. Use ONE KEY WORD PER LINE. Why Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.
  7. Use IMAGES throughout. Why Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words. So if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 words of notes!