A Mind Map History Lesson of note...

To fully appreciate using Mind Maps and Mind Mapping, a Mind Map history lesson goes a long way, as it provides context. It also helps you appreciate the effort, research and testing that went into the process of developing Mind Maps as we know it today.

This will hopefully help you appreciate, and therefore use Mind Maps, with greater enthusiasm and success.

Tony Buzan's mind Map History

The story of Tony Buzan, the inventor of the Mind Map, going into a university and asking for a book on his brain and how to use it, is almost legendary in the Mind Mapping community. He was pointed to the medical section of the library!

His reply was that he did not wish to operate on his brain, but wanted a manual on how to use it. He was politely informed that there were no such books.

He described learning as a law of diminishing returns. The more he took notes and the harder he studied, the less he seemed to succeed.

If he cut down his studying, he would not absorb the information and would do progressively worse. If he increased his studying, he needed to put in more and more to get less and less progress.

He saw this as an opportunity, as there was a fundamental problem in the way he was using his intelligence and thinking skills. He was in virgin territory of unbelievable importance.

This started his quest for learning how to learn and let to investigations on:

  • Learning how to learn
  • Nature of thinking
  • The best techniques for memorising
  • The best techniques for creative thinking
  • Faster and more efficient reading (Speed Reading)
  • General thinking techniques
Out of all this he wondered whether there was the possibility of developing new thinking techniques, or one master technique.

The rest is history. Out of this Mind Maps were born.

This did not happen easily. It was a result of studying:

  • Psychology
  • Neurophysiology of the brain
  • Semantics
  • Neuro-linguistics
  • Information theory
  • Mnemonic techniques
  • Perception
  • Creative thinking
  • General Sciences
While doing this, he discovered that by using different cortical skills, for example colour and words, he could improve the memory of his notes by more than 100 per cent.

But, more importantly, he began to enjoy what he was doing and what he was learning.

He started using his new found discoveries on 'learning disabled', 'hopeless', 'dyslexic' and 'backward' students and noted remarkable improvement, with some even rising to the top of their classes. All this by simply using more cortical skills during the learning process.
This led to Mind Mapping to be used primarily for memory in the early stages.

Barry Buzan's Mind Map history

Barry Buzan, Tony Buzan's brother, is not as well known as his sibling, but he still had a major role to play in the history of Mind Mapping.

He started engaging with his brother while Mind Maps were in its formative stage and only beginning to become distinct from simple Key Word note taking.
His contribution started when he started to use the techniques in writing his doctoral thesis.

His interest was more in note making than note taking. They make a differentiation between the two. Note taking is organising other people's ideas and note making is organising your own ideas.

Mind Maps enabled Barry to sketch out the main ideas and quickly see how they related to each other.

This enabled him to start separating the process of thinking from the process of writing. He was able to think more extensively and more clearly.

By the time he started writing, he already had a clear structure and a firm sense of direction.

This enabled him to finish complex works and large volumes in a much shorter time frame.

Barry Buzan, also introduced the concept of Basic Ordering Ideas (BOI's), which dramatically increase the power of Mind Maps. Without Basic Ordering Ideas a Mind Map can just be a chaotic accumulation of ideas with vary little order. BOI's are vital in providing structure and clarity to the creative process.

All this will be covered in our 'How to Mind Map' series, so don't fear! We will guide you in using Mind Maps every step of the way.

Our Mind Map history

We have been using Mind Maps for nearly two decades and have applied it in the following:
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Speed Reading
  • Writing
  • Business
  • Software Development
  • Website Development
  • Project Management
  • People Management
  • Meetings
  • Presentations
  • Exam writing
  • Brainstorming
  • And much more...
On this site you will find a wealth of information on using Mind Maps. Our goal is to provide information on using Maps that is easy to learn, simple to use and produces fast results.

All our information is based on our own experiences, which have been trialled and tested in the classroom, in business and in our personal lives.

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