In this day and age, there’s so much information going around that you might begin suffering from information overload. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by all the incessant battering of data from all around, I’ve found something that you can incorporate into your bullet journal to help. It’s called the mind map, and I went around online to help you get the hang of it.
What is a bullet journal mind map? The mind map is a tool that capitalizes on visual thinking to help you organize information, brainstorm, and jump-start creativity. Incorporating it into a bullet journal will let reap the benefits that the journal brings, as well as what the mind map offers.
There are many benefits to combining the two, but first you need to get to know the mind map before you put it into your journal. If you want to learn how to do it, who it’s perfect for, and if it’s for you, read on!
- 1 Getting To Know The Mind Map
- 2 Mind Mapping and Bullet Journaling
- 3 The Benefits of Mind Mapping
- 4 How To Make Your Own Mind Map
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Creative Ideas From the Bujo Community
Getting To Know The Mind Map
The Mind Map was first popularized by Tony Buzan in the 1970’s. It was built based on studies in the past concerning visual maps as tools for better learning. This method had been known to be used since the 3rd century and has since seen numerous developments and evolutions.
Buzan then developed the method into the current Mind Map. He basically made the mind map to act like how the human brain thinks. It capitalizes on how we associate many ideas and factors to the image we have of the concept or thing.
It makes use of simple keywords, images, colors, to make it easier for our brains to form associations and delve in deeper on a given subject. This makes for any easy way to take notes, brainstorm, and organize our information.
Buzan’s aim was to offer the user another way of thinking. It’s kind of like an alternative thought process that will allow for more freedom and creativity, which in turn will lead to more productivity.
We don’t exactly think by reading, meaning when we try to conceptualize something, our thoughts don’t take the form of a text book.
The first thought always comes in as an image, and from there the words flow, each idea goes deeper and deeper into the concept until we have successfully formed a better picture of something.
It’s effectiveness has also made rounds between creatives, professionals, and students, many of them reporting that since they started using mind maps, they’ve seen an increase in performance.
Remember, this isn’t a tool that you have to spend money on, or something that requires hours upon hours of learning to develop. This is a simple, accessible, and practical way to organize thoughts to improve productivity.
It’s a free flowing method that allows the user flexibility and each one is unique to the individual.
If you’ve gotten to know bullet journaling then the concepts aren’t that far gone. There are many similarities between them, but also a difference in the process.
Here’s Tony Buzan explaining Mind Mapping:
Mind Mapping and Bullet Journaling
Now that the idea of the mind map is clearer, it wouldn’t be hard to understand why the mind map and bullet journal makes for a good combo.
If you’re new to bullet journaling, the bullet journal is also an organizational system that aims to make the person using it more productive and mindful. It’s flexible in that you can change its contents to better suit your needs.
This had led to the system being continuously developed by the community, each giving it their spin on the original system. There are numerous systems, methods, and collections that have been created, and even goes so far as to track almost anything you can think of.
Since it’s easy to plug and play almost any method or tool into it, people have found it very beneficial for them to marry the idea of mind mapping in a bullet journal.
Both are easy to learn, simple to execute, and can be shaped into each individual’s needs.
The Benefits of Mind Mapping
Due to its simple system, many people have been able to apply it into their lives. Below are some of the benefits the community has discovered:
- A great tool for creativity
- Improves memory
- Collecting and organizing information
- A great problem solving tool
- Planning and brainstorming
Great Tool For Creativity
Since the mind map is all about the visual association of certain features and ideas to a concept, having a tool like this will greatly help people find other perspectives concerning a subject.
This would be great for whenever an artist, writer, or any one else needs to find a way to look at things differently. It allows them to lay out all the factors and explore them on their own, opening up different avenues they probably would have never accessed if they were too focused on a single thing.
Having all the ideas laid out in one sheet of paper for you to analyze will help you associate a lot of things to a single subject.
Once again, the mind map takes advantage of how we think, using images, keywords, and color to help us associate different ideas to a certain concept. This breakdown makes it easier for the user to remember even the smallest detail when assigned to something else.
Take for example an apple. Once you think of an apple, you immediately think of something round and red.
The system takes full advantage of this, and allows you to do the same for different concepts.
Collecting and Organizing Information
This is where we take less of a traditional approach.
In school, note taking has always been about writing one word after another. Continuously overloading ourselves with other words and ideas that we can skip.
Simply put, there are a lot of things that may take up valuable real estate instate.
This concept challenges that.
With this method you can take a subject, and have something more visual and easier to remember as your notes. You can have something shorter, and more relevant to the subject written down and focus on that instead.
Of course, you can use the two together for better results but having one or the other won’t hurt either. It’s really what works for you in any given scenario.
A Great Problem Solving Tool
Once again, like it’s benefits for productivity, this tool gives you a different perspective on a certain concept or problem.
Having all the relevant factors laid out on a piece of paper will allow you to attack the problem head on with a different point of entry. It will let you find creative ways into a solution, something out of the box that may not have been tried before.
Planning and brainstorming
If you think that this is a solitary exercise, think again.
This can be used in almost any environment as long as the activity requires some intelligence. That includes group thinking. Yes. You’d probably wished that you had this during high school and college.
For the same reason, as problem solving, mind mapping will let you view something with a different perspective. If you need original ideas or concepts that will open up different opportunities for you, this is a great method to try and use.
You can watch this video to find out more of the benefits of Mind Mapping:
How To Make Your Own Mind Map
Mind Mapping is a simple thing to do and learn, the steps are very straight forward, so don’t be intimidated by it.
Here’s how to make a mind map in any piece of paper
- Take a blank piece of paper and lay it out horizontally. (You can do it vertically, but you’ll have less space to do more stuff.)
- Draw an image of the subject, including important details specific to it. (No judgement here. Bad or not, the drawing isn’t the point)
- Let the main keywords come to you. Don’t force any association with the main idea. (Some prefer phrases, but it’s mainly up to you.)
- Once you have the main keywords associated with the main subject, draw a branch from your drawing and at the end of each branch write the keywords. (This means if you have 5 keywords, you need 5 branches connected to the drawing. The branches may be color coded for a better effect)
- From there, analyze each main keyword and draw a line from there to the new word. Do it for each one of the main keywords. (This should make your mind map look like a tree with smaller branches growing out from the main ones.)
- Repeat this process as necessary.
As you can see, it’s a pretty easy process. It may seem messy at first, but once you’ve completed the initial mind map, you can make another one and polish that.
It’s also important to note that this is a free flowing process, so don’t try to force any idea, and just let it flow.
Here’s a video of a mind map tutorial, that’s helpful:
Here’s another one from Tony Buzan, himself:
Now that you know how to make a basic mind map, you may ask: “How do I put it into my bullet journal?”
That’s easy too. There may be a few thing to remember though:
- Take a blank spread from your journal. Depending on your needs, it can be a 1 page spread, or 2 page spread.
- Number the pages below, and label the mind map at the top of the page.
- Go back to your index, and log these pages. (This step is easy to skip, but oh is it hard to get back to the mind map once you fill up your journal.)
- Follow the steps for a basic mind map, as enumerated above.
Once again, remember to log the mind map into your index. Once your journal starts filling up, or you need to switch to another notebook, you’ll be thankful you made that a habit.
Who Is The Mind Map For?
While the benefits of the mind map is universal, there may be some who would immediately reap the benefits of practicing this tool.
Some of them are:
- Professionals developing strategies
Creatives, whether they be a writer, artist, or what have you, will definitely enjoy the benefits of mind mapping.
Ask any one of them and they’ll tell you one of the hardest things in their field is going through a creative block. This blockage may last for days, weeks, or even months. No doctor can prescribe anything for this blockage and thus inflicts great pain and suffering on said creative.
Note taking, one of the most important skills any student can have.
Mind mapping can vastly improve the note taking skills of any student, especially those who learn more visually. It will allow them to associate more of the important details and retain them better.
One of the best things, according to Tony Buzan, is to teach this method to children to expand their ways of thinking and allow them to retain more information.
If you’re into checking out the studies conducted, here’s the link.
Professionals developing strategies
If you’re part of a department continuously in meetings, brainstorming strategies, then this method would be a godsend.
Applying this may not only reduce the number of meetings, but also see a vast improvement in results.
Who wouldn’t want that?!
The household is also a good place for this, especially for the overwhelmed parent juggling the kids, the chores, and work.
The mind map will let them get a good perspective on how to juggle their day. It will help clear up their schedule, and of course, clear up some of the clutter in their minds.
The mind map, as you can see, is a powerful thing. It’s simple, accessible, and effective. If you have any doubts at this point, the best thing to do is try it out.
Is it worth adding into your bullet journal?
Personally, I try to make my bullet journal as minimal as possible. I do reflect on my day, as part of the bullet journal method. It’s made for less anxiety on my part, and also some measure of mindfulness
The mind map is also a part of this, but I must admit that I only use it when I need it. This is usually when I get creative blocks(my hobby is writing). And, yes. I do log it into the journal.
However, instead of automatically making it in my journal, I make the mind map separately. Once I’m done, I use some tape or even staple it to my notebook, then log it into the index.
Always remember the index.
So, in the end, it’s really up to you. If you want to use it in or out of your notebook, feel free. As with everything with bullet journaling, do what works.
Just remember to give it a chance.
Creative Ideas From the Bujo Community
If you’re going to take the plunge, I’ve included a lot of minimalist mind map spreads above, however, if you want a more artistic or maximalist idea, I’ve compiled a few from the bujo community.