About black belt

Black belt mind mapping: master mastermindmaps in 7 steps.

  1. A text is linear, a mind map radial.
  2. A text is a rectangular block of words, a mind map is a round, treelike, organic structure. The brain loves round, organics structures. The neurones in the brain form a mind map like structure.
  3. Use one word per branch. A lot of mind maps on the Internet use complete sentences on one branch. That takes you (and your brain) back to a ‘normal” text. Use smart words, that triggers your brain.
  4. Decide in what thinking mode you want to use the mind map, e.g. converging to a solution or diverging in as much possibilities as possible.
  5. Visualise. A picture tells more than a thousand words. This mind map contains eight pictures.
  6. Structure your mind map. By using smart colours (in this mind the branches are logically coloured according to the judo belt colours. In other cases you can try to colour the mind map in accordance with the six thinking hats of De Bono. Structuring is also done by using a clever ordering concept of the keywords. A useful concept for beginners is to think of the mind map as a book. The first (main) branches are the chapters of a book. Whatever you do take the logic of your brain as starting point.
  7. A black belt mind mapper integrates all previous six techniques to make mastermindmaps.

11 Responses to About black belt

  1. Susanne says:

    Great blog article.

    The use of the keyword seems to be over looked by many. Choose a trigger word, one that opens a flow of thought. Start with the major issue and work into detail. Eg. Year, month, date and time, each on their own branch time being the last and most detailed element of the time branch line.

    Mindmapping using keywords, shape and colour allows your brain to memorize and recall in an easy, and I have to say, very rewarding way.

  2. hans buskes says:

    Roy, I am mindmapping professionally now for almost 15 years. Haven’t come across one item/case I couldn’t do using organic mindmaps. Moreover I will publish on this blog examples you couldn’t do with “Mindmeister” looking mindmaps. Research (e.g. University Bamberg, Germany) shows that the brain loves curvy, organic, looking forms.

  3. Roy Grubb says:

    Hans, Did you read my post then? Because I gave an example there http://www.informationtamers.com/Editing-Wikipedia/Wikipedia-Editing-Essentials.mmap

    As for MindMeister I don’t like the way it spreads the map out. Too hard to get an overview.

  4. Have seen it, still digesting it (great mindmap). Shows the diversity of thinking on mindmaps. When I speak about “Mindmeister” mindmaps I mean all non-organic mindmaps. I agree by the way that real Mindmeister mindmaps lack overview. And that’s the heart of the matter. I really think organic mindmaps produce more (better) overview.

  5. Editor says:

    As you quite correctly state the brain loves curvilinear shapes, thats a fact! Thats why Buzan maps work so easily, like you I have never found (in 30+ years) any situation where an organic map did not work successfully. Many mindmapping programs only use linear links which are then extremely difficult to read.

  6. I couldn’t agree more.

  7. Editor says:

    Roy: sorry can’t open the link you have posted. FYI although yes I do train in Buzan Mindmapping I do also train in other techniques too.
    I agree with Hans simply because it is correct it has nothing to do with any particular style of map other than organic and curvilinear does work more effectively in the same way that landscape layout is much easier to read than portrait.

  8. I think it is wise to have discussions based on arguments (I know you agree to that Roy), so whether someone has a stake or not in Buzan iMindmap (I don’t!, see my critical remarks on the iMindmap app in my last blog Think twice) is not a valid argument. For my book I did research on various aspects of mind maps: like organic (yes/no), keywords (one/more), colour (full-colour, black & white), direction of branches. If you give a group of people an organic mind map and a control group an identical non-organic one, the first group scores better on all points (telling what the mind map is all about, giving details, remembrance and so on). These are valid arguments. Discuss them Roy. And if you give me a non-organic mindmap I make it organic for you and publish it on this blog.

  9. Roy Grubb says:

    The link is a MindManager map. If you don’t have MM, try this image:

    My position is set out in the post I linked to in my comment above of November 4, 2010. It’s also described throughout WikIT

    In summary, there are many types of maps and there are many purposes. Some types are good for one purpose, some for another. I don’t buy the Buzan “One type fits all” argument. I started mapping with Buzan’s book in 1974, and use and appreciate Buzan maps for certain creative task. But I use many other types, as WikIT shows.

    I happen to like somewhat curvilinear, organic maps, but that’s a matter of taste, not dogma. I don’t much like having to turn my head to read a map, so I prefer maps where the text runs horizontally. I have iMindMap, but rarely use it for that reason (and usability).

    And after 30 years of running a management consultancy, I find business people who are new to mapping are more comfortable looking at MindManager / Xmind / Mindomo style maps than curvaceous ones. Personally I dislike the MindMeister style, but its functional.


    • Roy Grubb says:

      @Hans, you say, “If you give a group of people an organic mind map and a control group an identical non-organic one, the first group scores better on all points”. Measuring the effectiveness of mind maps against groups “telling what the mind map is all about, giving details, remembrance and so on” tells us about their effectiveness in just one small area.

      The paucity of this argument is that it addresses using mind maps for memory. They are extensively used for planning projects; ideation; thinking something through; presenting; project management; organizing reference information; outlining books, articles, blog posts, consulting papers, technical documents and theses; time management and to-do lists; organizing events; organizing marketing campaigns; recording meeting outcomes; negotiation planning; Strategic planning; preparations for detailed business plans; goal setting; problem solving; prioritizing issues; contract management; organizing board, committee and working party roles; setting up management dashboards for quick access to vital information; writing and reviewing policies, values and procedures; undertaking ‘leasons learned’ exercises; acting as collaborative platforms; ….. and on and on.

  10. Roy, short remark. We mind mappers know and use all the applications you mention. And yes they are all different. But my point is: if the mindmap does not add extra dimensions to plain texts, you better stick to texts. The strength of mind maps is that they have more structure, are more communicative, better organised, easier to read and so on. The mind manager example you gave does not do that and comes close to lines in a traditional text.

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