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Mind Mapping Basics

By  Jan 27, 2009

Topics: Certification

I am a huge fan of mind mapping. For my money, whenever I brainstorm an idea, I strongly prefer to see how my thoughts relate to one another in a visual way. Number one, capturing this intellectual web in a permanent form prevents my ideas from escaping my memory; number two, seeing “the big picture” allows me to observe logic flaws more easily and to develop a clearer picture of the notions I am attempting to develop in the first place.

What is mind mapping, you ask? Let’s turn to good ol’ Wikipedia:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

Mind mapping has a rich history. Check out this extremely succinct nutshell origin, again from Wikipedia:

Some of the earliest examples of mind maps were developed by Porphyry of Tyros (c. A.D. 233 – 309), a noted thinker of the 3rd century, as he graphically visualized the concept categories of Aristotle. Philosopher Ramon Llull (1235 - 1315) also used mind maps.

British popular psychology author Tony Buzan (1942 -)claims to have invented modern mind mapping. He claimed the idea was inspired by Alfred Korzybski's general semantics as popularized in science fiction novels, such as those of Robert A. Heinlein and A. E. van Vogt.

Okay…so you know what a mind map is, and perhaps a little bit about its history. Big deal, right? You might want to ask me, “What does the mind map have to do with my IT certification study, Tim?”

I’m so glad you asked!

How could you employ a mind map to the end of furthering your IT certification success? Well, let us count the ways:

  1. To map out different certification tracks
  2. To evaluate different online training programs
  3. To evaluate different instructor-led training programs
  4. To make sense of the ITIL V3 certification program
  5. To create a mid- to long-range planning forecast for your career
  6. To make a short-term planning forecast for your career
  7. To make any kind of planning forecast for your IT department
  8. To brainstorm any sort of IT process
  9. To analyze a cost/benefit situation with regard to two IT certification programs
  10. To compare and contrast multiple IT certification programs in a clear, visual manner

I  generated the preceding list of 10 uses of mind mapping in two minutes. How many more applications of mind mapping do you think you could add? Let me know in the comments.

Next post: How to get started with mind mapping.