If you’ve been looking for a new way to brainstorm and have been struggling to cement information into your memory, mind maps are the perfect tool for you. Mind maps create an easy way to comprehend relationships and help increase your ability to retain information. Memorization and retention are only two of the many mind map advantages, and there are many more that are worthy of discussing in detail.
In this article, we will briefly discuss what mind maps are and follow with the important mind map advantages Here is a brief summary of our 8 key mind map advantages:
- Improves Your Creative Output: By increasing your perspective you can have more creative interactions with the mind map.
- Helps Retain Information: The sequential structure of mind maps help your brain retain information and memorize it quickly.
- Breaks Down Complex Relationships: Mind maps organize ideas into an easy-to-follow structure that allows you to see complex relationships in order.
- Helps Digest New Information: Mind maps create a structure that makes taking notes and digesting new information easier than ever.
- Enables Collaborative Learning: The dynamic interactions presented by mind maps make collaboration very easy, and with this collaboration comes the influx of new perspectives and ideas.
- Adds Unique Design Elements: Mind maps can be customized to your liking which caters the diagram to your liking.
- Increases Productivity: Mind maps aren’t just pretty; they’re effective too. These diagrams improve your efficiency by speeding up comprehension and allowing you to jump to the different applications quickly.
- Has Many Flexible Applications: Mind maps have no designated application and can be used in a ton of different ways.
Mind maps are defined on Fresco as “A mind map is a simple visual tool that helps organize ideas in an easily understandable, sequential structure. It can be used to capture different ideas and display their relationship while organizing them in a way that doesn’t clutter and disorient the brain.”
Mind maps have a fairly simple structure that organizes ideas in a way that is extremely familiar to how the brain learns.
The first part of a mind map is the central idea. This can represent a concept, a problem, or any idea that you want to explore further. Following this idea are branches of first-level associations. These associations are a tier below the central idea and could represent the various applications of that idea or some specific differences that exist within it.
As you create more first-level associations, you begin to create branches, or nodes, that split further into second-level and third-level associations. As you proceed down the branch, the associations will get increasingly specific and will focus on distinct solutions or ideas that relate to the central idea.
Now that we have a general understanding of what a mind map is, let’s look at some key mind map advantages.
Improves Your Creative Output
One of the biggest mind map advantages is their ability to improve your creative output. When brainstorming traditionally, the most efficient part is being able to put notes on the board and get your thoughts down quickly.
What this strategy often misses, however, is the ability to put these notes in a highly structured format.
Mind maps create an organization that, by increasing your ability to understand information, helps boost your ability to think creatively and document innovative ideas.
Mind maps also provide a structure that is more engaging for the human brain, and this allows people to make creative associations that might not have been initially present. This type of organized thinking is super helpful to creativity and allows people to jump around through the mind map and quickly transition between ideas.
Helps Retain Information
Mind maps are helpful not only for thinking creatively, but they’re also great at improving your ability to retain information.
One of the most helpful applications of mind mapping is taking notes. This could be for a lecture, a meeting, or a virtual workshop. Whichever way you use them, mind maps create a very digestible structure to aid in your note-taking process.
Creating diagrams has always been an important part of note-taking because they provide an avenue of memorization that is much easier to comprehend than your traditional outline.
Mind maps grant this advantage but they also create a diagram that is interactive, where you can quickly add and delete information with ease.
Given application to taking notes, it’s easy to see how mind maps are super helpful for retaining information. Their navigable structure and dynamic interactions greatly improve your ability to memorize and retain information, something that traditional note-taking strategies struggle to accomplish.
Breaks Down Complex Relationships
One of the biggest mind map advantages is the ability to understand the intertwined web of relationships that connects complex ideas.
Mind maps create a sequential structure of understanding, allowing you to pose a central idea and follow it down multiple different branches without losing the overall context of your concept.
This allows you to not only see how your concept applies as your focus narrows, but also to see how different layers of associations relate to the overall concept and to each other.
Mind maps are very popular when teams are looking to break down a complicated project or theory because they effectively diagram relationships and help break free from linear thinking. This allows you to see the bigger picture when working together and helps create solutions that are accurately informed.
The connected web of ideas means you will be able to access a much larger perspective during any section of your brainstorming process, something that is borderline impossible to achieve without a mind map.
Helps Digest New Information
There are a few different types of learning, and mind maps help digest new information in the most integrative and retentive way. This is called meaningful learning.
Meaningful learning is when you learn something new, and in the process of learning it, you also understand how it connects to the other knowledge you already possess.
When using mind maps, because of their inherent structure and ability to connect to other elements, they promote meaningful learning with new information. This means that through mind maps you will learn new information faster and more in-depth.
Enables Collaborative Learning
One of the biggest things that usually helps people learn is collaboration. Mind maps, through visual collaboration, are easy to collaborate on and help bring unique perspectives into the brainstorming session.
When using an online whiteboard, you can easily gather people and have them collaborate on a mind map so they can share their different perspectives and flesh out the main concept together.
When you have multiple people working on this easy-to-use diagram they’re able to quickly implement their thoughts and perspective and help create unique solutions that can be shared with the entire team. For this reason, utilizing collaboration is a huge mind map advantage.
Adds Unique Elements to Your Design
Another reason mind maps are so helpful is they enable the incorporation of unique design elements to highlight different sections of thought.
Mind maps can implement colors, unique branches, and overall personal style to your diagram to both increase the visual attractiveness of the map and also denote different personal details that help increase memory retention.
This makes mind maps much more attractive for learning and can help highlight important elements within your notes.
Mind maps aren’t just more attractive than other diagrams; they’re more productive as well.
Because of how mind maps are laid out, they allow people to brainstorm faster and more effectively, and they enable people to learn information at a much quicker rate.
As we discussed earlier, they are built with the human brain in mind. This means that no matter what you’re diagramming, using a mind map will always help break down information in different ways and will surely help you remember the relationships between each set of details.
Being able to fuel productivity is yet another of the many mind map advantages.
Has Many Flexible Applications
Mind maps are great tools not only because they help memory retention and productivity, but they can be widely applicable to a ton of different scenarios.
Some of the places mind maps are best utilized are:
- Virtual workshops
- Problem solving
- Breaking down a sales pitch
- Diagramming lecture notes
- Creating multiple different outreach strategies
All of these are important options for mind mapping and these areas can have huge success when utilizing this simple structure.
Mind maps are critical if you’re looking to increase your ability to memorize and comprehend complex relationships, and regardless of what field you work in, they will always be applicable. If you like this guide make sure to check out our other guides on cascading goals and the scrum board.