Mind Maps were devised by Tony Buzan in the late 60s They concentrate on key words and visual images, making them quick to produce and very brain-friendly. They are good for all sorts of purposes, including revision, planning, brainstorming. Being non-linear, they make it easy to link and cross-reference different aspects of the map. I produced the map below to help me get to grips with the fascinating aspects of Our Brain. The Site Map page is an interactive example of a mind map, produced using MindManager Smart software. Such software can be very useful, but one should recognise the advantages of hand-producing a map, which gives full reign to the individual's mind. There is much to be said for a plain sheet of A3 or A4 and a set of brightly coloured gel pens.

The advice below on how to mind map is adapted from Peter Russell's web site

How to Mind Map

  • Use the paper in Landscape format
  • Use just key words, and wherever possible images.
  • Start from the centre of the page and work out.
  • Make the centre a clear and strong visual image that depicts the general theme of the map.
  • Create sub-centers for sub-themes.
  • Put key words on lines. This reinforces structure of notes.
  • Print rather than write in script. It makes them more readable and memorable. Lower case is more visually distinctive (and better remembered) than upper case.
  • Use color to depict themes, associations and to make things stand out.
  • Anything that stands out on the page will stand out in your mind.
  • Think three-dimensionally.
  • Use arrows, icons or other visual aids to show links between different elements.
  • Don't get stuck in one area. If you dry up in one area go to another branch.
  • Put ideas down as they occur, wherever they fit. Don't judge or hold back.
  • Break boundaries. If you run out of space, don't start a new sheet; paste more paper onto the map. (Break the 8x11 mentality.)
  • Be creative. Creativity aids memory.
  • Get involved. Have fun.


You may also find it useful to visit Tony Buzan's site. He gives good advice on Mind Mapping, and has written numerous excellent books on getting the best from Our Brain.

Mind Maps

Our Brain
Triune Brain
Learning types
Learning Cycle
Tips & Tools
Site Map

Our Brain - promoting brain-friendly learning

Bryn Evans 2003