The 'Laws of Mind Mapping' were originally devised by Tony Buzan when they codified the use of imagery, colour & association & coined the phrase 'Mind Mapping'. In the intervening 30 & years, there is been plenty of variations on the original 'Mind Map ' & the widespread usage of mapping application of various sorts, has dramatically changed what is feasible.
. Make a central picture that represents the topic about which you are writing/thinking:
* Use at least colours.
* Keep the height & width of the central picture to approx. or cm (proportionately larger for bigger paper).
* Permit the picture to generate its own shape (do not use a frame).
The summary below is based on Buzan's structure (a 'Mind Mapping, how to' - details available in his plenty of books) but they think that whilst this structure is great for establishing well structured maps that can be used in plenty of different ways, variations on these rules or 'laws' are often sensible & appropriate - as long as they are based on an understanding of why the laws exist & what they are trying to help the mind mapper to accomplish.
. Take a blank piece of paper, A4 or larger. Blank paper allows 360 of freedom to express the full range of your cortical skills, whereas pre-drawn lines restrict the natural flow of your thoughts.
. Use the paper in landscape orientation. Words & pics have more space in the direction they write, so they dont stumble on margins as quickly.
. Start in the centre. Thoughts start in the centre of our mental world. The Mind Map page reflects this!
A picture is worth a thousand words. It opens up associations, focuses the thoughts, is
fun & ends in better recall:
. The main themes around the central picture are like the chapter headings of a book:
* Colours stimulate the right cortical activity of imagination as well as capturing & holding attention.
* This size gives plenty of space for the remainder of your Mind Map, while making it giant to be the clear focus of the topic.
* The unique shape makes it more memorable & enjoyable. A frame makes the centre a monotony of shape & disconnects the branches.
* Print this word in CAPITALS or draw an picture.
* Place on a line of the same length
* The central lines are thick, bowed & organic i.e. like your arm joining your body, or the branch of a tree to the trunk.
The branch of a Mind Map
* Connect directly to the central picture.
* Printing (versus cursive) allows the brain to photograph the picture thus giving simpler reading & more immediate recall.
* Word length equals line length. An additional line disconnects thoughts, length accentuates the connection.
* Bowed lines give visual rhythm & variety & so are simpler to keep in mind, more pleasant to draw & less uninteresting to look at. Thicker central lines show relative importance.
* Connected to the picture because the brain works by association not separated, disconnected lines.
The main themes, connected to the central picture on the main branches, permit their relative importance to be seen. These are the Basic Ordering Ideas (BOIs) & aggregate & focus the remainder of the Mind Map:
* Connecting lines are thinner.
* Words are still printed but may be lower case.
6. Start to add a second level of thought. These words or images are linked to the main branch that triggered them. Keep in mind:
Your preliminary words & pics stimulate associations. Attach whatever word or picture is triggered. Permit the random movement of your thought; you do not must branch before moving on:
* Connected lines generate relationships & a structure. They also demonstrate the level of importance, as from a branch to a twig.
* The size & style of the letters provide additional information about the importance & meaning of the word/image.
7. Add a third or fourth level of information as thoughts come to you:
* Use images as much as you can, in lieu of, or in addition to the words.
* Permit your thoughts to come freely, meaning you jump about the Mind Map as the links & associations occur to you.
* Enclose the shape of the branch & hug the shape tightly.
* Use different colours & styles.
Your brain is like a multi-handed thought-ball catcher. The Mind Map lets you catch & keep whatever thought ball is thrown by your brain.
8. Add a brand spanking new dimension to your Mind Map. Boxes add depth around the word or picture. To make some important points stand out.
9. Sometimes enclose branches of a Mind Map with outlines in colour:
* These provide immediate visual linking. They can also encourage follow-up & remind you of action you require to take.
* They can also show connection between branches by using the same colour outline.
The outlines will generate unique shapes as you find in clouds & will aid your memory:
0. Make each Mind Map a tiny more:
* It will be simpler to keep in mind.
* It will be more to you
(& to others as well).
11. Have fun!
Your eyes & brain will have an interest in your Mind Map:
Add a tiny humour, exaggeration or absurdity wherever you can. Your brain will delight in getting the maximum use & pleasure from this process & will therefore learn faster, recall more effectively & think more clearly.