Last week I wrote about how diagramming can help critical
thinking. Granted, my post was a brief, generalized overview of six types of diagrams: mind maps, fishbone diagrams, affinity diagrams, flow diagrams, SWOT analysis and 2 x 2 matrix. Its goal was to show that diagrams offer a wide variety of uses.
As a visual person I’m always scribbling notes, making lists and diagramming. It allows me to see the bigger picture. Mind mapping is one of my favorite ways to diagram information because it satisfies my love for doodling and lends itself to be useful as general overview or a detailed plan. They’re also one of the least well-known ways to diagram. Thus I’ve created a how-to guide for mind mapping.
Start with a designated topic/idea in the center.
Then brainstorm the concepts/groups/people/etc. that are directly connected to your main idea.
For each new concept/group/person/etc. brainstorm the next immediate group of ideas.
The great thing about mind mapping is that you can decide how detailed you need to get. Or it may tell you something if you find that one section has significantly more or fewer connections. You may even find a helpful connection you weren’t expecting.
In summary, mind maps may look overwhelming at first but offer a great visual method of mapping out relationships.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Pauker-Silva