Mind maps were developed in the late 60s by Tony Buzan as a way of helping students make notes that used only key words and images. They are much quicker to make, and because of their visual quality, it is much easier to remember and review. The non-linear nature of mind maps makes it easy to link and cross-reference different elements of the map. The introduction of the usage of colors greatly enhanced the effectiveness of this technology.
Peter Russell joined with Tony Buzan in the mid-70s and together they taught mind-mapping skills in a variety of international corporations and educational institutions.
There are many different levels of mind-map usage. For the benefits of students, the usage of pictures will enable them to retain the work longer as this is a much preferred form of the usage of mindmap technique.
Advantages of Picture maps
Picture map works the way the brain works — which is not in nice neat lines, but in random pictures, colors and grahics.
Memory is naturally associative, not linear. Any idea probably has thousands of links in your mind. Picture maps allow associations and links to be recorded and reinforced.
The mind remembers key words and images, not sentences — try recalling just one sentence from memory! Picture maps use just key words and key images, allowing a lot more information to be put on a page.
Because picture maps are more visual and depict associations between key words, they are much easier to recall than linear notes. Starting from the center of the page rather than top-left corner allows you to work out in all directions, covering the whole sheet of paper.
The organization of a picture map reflects the way your own brain organizes ideas.
Picture maps are easy to review. Regular review reinforces memory. Best is to try reviewing in your imagination first, then go back and check on those areas that were hazy.
We remember what stands out. Visual quality of picture maps allows us to make key points to stand out easily, making remembering so much easier.
Uses of Picture maps
Notes. Whenever information is being taken in, picture maps help organize it into a form that is easily assimilated by the brain and easily remembered. They can be used for noting anything — books, lectures, meetings, interviews, phone conversations.
Recall. Whenever information is being retrieved from memory, picture maps allow ideas to be quickly noted as they occur, in an organized manner. There’s no need to form sentences and write them out in full. They serve as quick and efficient means of review and so keep recall at a high level.
Creativity. Whenever you want to encourage creativity, picture maps liberate the mind from linear thinking, allowing new ideas to flow more rapidly. Think of every item in a picture map as the center of another picture map.
Problem solving. Whenever you are confronted by a problem — professional or personal — picture maps help you see all the issues and how they relate to each other. They also help others quickly get an overview of how you see different aspects of the situation, and their relative importance.
Planning. Whenever you are planning something, picture maps help you get all the relevant information down in one place and organize it easily. They can be used for planning any piece of writing from a letter to a screenplay to a book or for planning a meeting, a day or a vacation.
Presentations. Before presenting, prepare a mind map for the topic and its flow. This not only helps to organize the ideas coherently; the visual nature of the map means that we can read the whole thing in our head as we talk, without ever having to look at a sheet of paper.