Human brain’s thinking pattern can be seen as a gigantic branching association machine (BAM)—a super bio-computer with lines of thought radiating from a virtually infinite number of data nodes. The more you learn/gather new data in an integrated, radiating, organized manner, the easier it is to learn more. From this gigantic information processing ability and learning capacity of human mind derive the concept of radiant thinking of which Mind Map is a manifestation.
Radiant Thinking (from ‘to radiate’ meaning ‘to spread or move in directions from a given center’) refers to associative thought processes that proceed from or connect to a central point. The other meaning of radiant are also relevant—‘shining brightly’ , ‘the look of bright eyes beaming with joy and hope’ and ‘the focal point of a meteoric shower’ (similar to the ‘burst of thought).
How do we gain access to this exciting way of thinking? With the mind map, which is the external expression of radiant thinking, we achieve this feat. A mind map always radiates from a central image or topic. Every word and image becomes in itself a sub-center of association, the whole proceeding in a potentially infinite chain of branching patterns away from or towards the common center. Although mind maps are drawn on two-dimensional pages, it represents a multi-dimensional reality, encompassing space, time and color.
Mind map is a natural function of the human mind. It is a powerful graphic technique that provides a universal key to unlocking the potential of the brain. The mind map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.
The Mind Map, which has been called ‘the Swiss army knife for the brain’, is already used by billions of people worldwide. It has taken the educational and business worlds by storm and has allowed hundreds of thousands of students to improve their grades and many blue-chip companies to save or make thousands to millions of dollars.
ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 is a powerful mind mapping tool that will save you a lot of time and effort by allowing you to create mind maps at warp speed. Since you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of mind map creation, you can focus on the issue or problem at hand and reap the benefits of mind maps—learning, problem solving, brainstorming, decision making or creative thinking.
You can use ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 for a variety of tasks including creative thinking, planning, organization, problem solving, presentations, decision making, note taking, team brainstorming and other tasks. ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 is designed for effective team and personal work in business, marketing, advertising, education, home life.
ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 is available in Personal and Professional editions. Personal version offers versatile mind mapping and drawing tools. Professional version supports extra file formats, multi-page documents.
With ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5, you can export and import the mind maps to and from a variety of sources. The following mind map illustrates the mind mapping guidelines. It was created using ConceptDraw MINDMAP and was exported to gif format and then resized to fit this page.
I have been using mind maps for the past 20 years. In the beginning it was a tedious and tiresome project. Creating a mind map using pencil and paper can be a frustrating experience. Initially the most common tool you will use will be the eraser! But once you learn the ropes and become an expert, then drawing complex mind maps will come naturally. But the pencil-paper mind maps are always difficult as you require color pencils, ability to draw figures and so on. The effectiveness of the mind map improves with the use of color, different line thicknesses, use of different fonts and font sizes, images, etc. Getting this kind of diversity in the paper and pencil environment is nearly impossible.
But these limitations are eliminated when one is using the mind mapping software. For example, I created the mind mapping guidelines map in about 15 minutes; it would have taken me a few hours if I were to do it manually; yet the end result would not have been this pretty and visually appealing. The ConceptDraw MINDMAP eliminates the limitations of the maps drawn on paper—one doesn’t have to worry about the spacing, the neatness, etc. of the map—the software automatically formats the maps so that it looks really professional. With ConceptDraw MINDMAP, one has the choice of hundreds of colors, fonts, font sizes, and so on. Also there is an impressive collection of graphics to choose from; and if you are not satisfied with the graphics that come with the software, you can import pictures that you prefer from other sources.
The following is a mind map on time management. It is a simple mind map and was created while teaching students about time management. By the end of the class, all I need to do was to take a printout of the mind map and give it to them—no note taking, no need for acronyms, or any other memory techniques—just the mind map. While using the mind map, you are using the brain as it is designed to function and hence once you have created the mind map the ideas and concepts will be etched in your memory. That is the power of mind maps and that is where the ConceptDraw MINDMAP helps you in tapping the true potential of your brain.
The tasks for which you can use mind maps are infinite—you can use this for learning, exam preparation, help with dyslexia, teaching, brainstorming, project management, decision making, problem solving, event planning, time management, information management, meeting management, daily planning, presentation preparing, SWOT analysis, etc.—the list is endless… The ConceptDraw MINDMAP has a feature that improves its value considerably. It has a very powerful brainstorming wizard. With this wizard, brainstorming is as easy as saying 1, 2, 3—just open the wizard, fill the details and you have a neatly created mind map in your hand. You can edit it, modify it and improve on it.
Another very useful feature of this product is its capability to export the mind map to other programs like MS-Word, text files, etc. in the outline format. This is especially useful when writing article or books. One can generate, organize and structure the ideas using the mind map and then export it to Word outline, text outline, etc. Here the outline or the level headings can be expanded to finish the article or book that you want to write. The organization and structure of the document will be much better as you have done all the conceptualization, organization and structuring to your satisfaction in CD MINDMAP.
For simple tasks ConceptDraw MINDMAP can be used as a tool for planning. But it is the integration of CD MINDMAP with CD Project or MS-Project that really increases its value. This feature enables your to conceptualize and idea, plan the various activities (assign schedules, resources, completion status, etc.) and then export the map to either CD Project or MS-Project and do the project management with those project management tools.
ConceptDraw MINDMAP also provides a variety of templates to help you jump start the mind map creation. You can also use these to learn the art and science of mind mapping, if you are a beginner. Power users will find the Reference Manual quite helpful. The on-line help is quite comprehensive and will get you out of trouble whenever you are stuck.
I recommend this product to all those who have to learn, remember, plan, organize, analyze, brainstorm, and so on. Learning how to tap the true potential using mind maps is one of the best self improvement things one can do and CD MINDMAP will help you doing that easily, quickly and effectively.
You can download a 30-day trial version of ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 from the ConceptDraw web site. The ConceptDraw MINDMAP Learning Center provides you with tutorials and lessons to help you get started and once you have learned the basics to get the best out of the package. You can see some excellent mind map samples created using CD MINDMAP at the Image Gallery.You can also read what other users’ of this product have to say at Testimonials page.
- Buzan, T., and Buzan, B., The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential, Plume, 1996.
- Carter, R., Mapping the Mind, University of California Press, 1999.
- Marqulies, N., and Mall, N., Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping, Zephyr Press, 2001.
- Wycoff, J., Mindmapping: Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem-Solving, Berkley Press, 1991.