vendredi 2 juillet 2010

Mind Mapping (& a Resume Example)

Mind Mapping is a technique for representing ideas in a hierarchical way around a central point. This technique was made popular by the British psychologist Tony Buzan in the 70s. According to Tony, it is a way to represent ideas as they really exist in the human mind.
The concept of mind mapping is creating hierarchical branches out of ideas. For example we start by the main idea “music”, than we create several branches: “instruments”, “style”.. Then we break the “instruments” branch into “piano”, “clarinet”…
The most important rule is to use only keywords, and use colors for main branches. Images for representing ideas are also recommended. Tony says that taking notes using one color is mono – tone, equivalent to monotone, which mean boring and the brain will be sleeping. You can find many software on the net to help you create such mappings, but I think using paper increases the efficiency of the method, although using software you can have a lot of cool functionalities, like adding multimedia content, check-out boxes, links...
Great uses of mind mapping are taking notes, preparing a speech, a presentation, brainstorming, creating a summary, preparing a debate, representing complex hierarchical data… Although I think it is made for personal use, but you can always adapt it to be used as a collaborative and communication tool. Bref, I think it is a very useful, but not the only, tool for everybody.
A very helpful usage I found is for creating a book’s summary. It allows to better memorize the book’s content, and to faster access certain information in your head. In this usage, each chapter will be represented by a branch, and it is recommended to try to redraw the mind map once you finish reading the book, to anchor once for all its ideas.
I will finally expose my first usage of mind mapping with an evaluation version of Mind Manager 8.0 to create my resume. I found it a funny idea to try, but interestingly it made me discover more the keywords associated to my profile. How would a recruiter or an HR would appreciate such a version?! :)

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