23 Research Things – 8: Brainstorming and Mind Mapping

I think brainstorming and mind maps are a great way of organising your thoughts and exploring new ideas.

I did a graphic design course last year and I needed to produce a lot of mind maps to show my creative process for the assignment tasks. I had a go at using some mind-mapping software, and can I say I’m not usually a pen-and-paper advocate (I prefer typing to hand writing most of the time), but for mind mapping I really prefer the good old pen (and coloured pencils!) and paper method. Software-based mind maps get too fiddly and make me feel disconnected from the mental process of brainstorming. I get bogged down needing to use controls to create new branches, and manually change the shape, font size, colour, position. etc. and it takes me right out of the zone. I like the physical act of drawing out the connections – I find it makes the mind mapping process a lot more fruitful. Maybe I’m a kinetic learner. To each their own!

I guess the benefits of the online version is you can share them with others and you can also add to them as much as you want and you won’t run out of paper. (Still, that’s not enough to make me put down the coloured pencils!)

I had a go at making a mind map with Coggle, but it’s definitely not for me. One feature I do like is inserting links into the mind map, which can be useful, especially for collaboration. I tried to make links between different branches, but apparently it’s a paid feature so I came up with a kinda ugly work-around, creating off-shoot branches and trying to make them meet in the middle.

Essay

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One Comment

  1. I think that is OK- I am with you and Tatum on this one…I prefer to just draw it out myself…find the apps detract for me?? Helena mentioned Tony Buzan’s videos on mind-mapping..and I think the principles apply regardless of whether you use and app or your coloured pencils. I was interested in how others in this group loved Coggle (so each to his/er won…always good to know about the options!)

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