Phil Chambers recently shared with me his excellent book, 101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps. Although it’s focused on hand-drawn mind maps, much of its advice is also applicable to software-produced visual maps. Phil, who is a World Champion and International Grandmaster of mind mapping, has obviously put a lot of thought into this booklet, and you would do well to emulate the "best practices" he has assembled here. Several of the ideas that caught my attention include these:
- Use a photo or image as the center of your mind map, rather than a word or phrase.
- If you plan to use your mind map as a memory aid, limit the number of main branches to a maximum of 9. Research has shown that the human mind can simultaneously hold 7-plus-or-minus-2 pieces of information. Any more than this, and you will tend to get overwhelmed with information.
- When brainstorming, add some empty branches to your map if you feel "stuck." The brain will naturally try to fill in these gaps, and you will come up with as many ideas as you have empty branches.
This valuable mind mapping resource can be ordered here for £4.97 (approximately $9.45 USD).