Normalizing mind mapping

Oct 15th, 2008 | By | Category: Mind mapping, one

A few days ago, I blogged about my competition for suggestions to expand the population of mind mappers exponentially.  It’s time to give my thoughts, though I’m not an entrant in the competition.

We have to ‘normalize’ mind mapping; make it seem like something that people do as a matter of course.

When Tom Cruise controlled a computer screen by waving his hands in front of a computer-generated image in Minority Report it made a strong impact.  Many people remember that.  There was no such technology at the time, but with the iPhone, iPod Touch and MS Surface, the capability is coming closer.  I’ve seen news very recently of a working gesture-in-the-air interface though the display is not the floating-in-air style to match.  That movie scene changed how people thought about interacting with a computer.  But I mention that, not because I think we need spectacular technology, but because it stuck in the mind and has really changed things.

mdalves, in a comment on my original post wrote “What about Dr. Gregory House mind-mapping their brainstorms instead of writing boring lines of text?”.  This is an example of the approach that may give a way forward, in my view.  The TV program makers have to see something in it for them though – something to attract viewers’ attention, make them remember their show and watch again next week.  But first we would have to get the message out to them.  Ideas for that welcome!

The leverage will come from mind mapping being seen as a part of popular culture.  Oprah (well, the O magazine) had something about this, I saw here

Mindmap analyses of the Presidential Candidate debates may have some effect.  I wish I knew how many people watch at those.  Not mind mappers, people who have never seen mind mapping before.  What did they make of it?  Did you watch any?

Having mindmapping and concept mapping in an educational setting seems good at first sight.  It can’t do any harm, because we would expect students to appreciate it (if it fits their thinking style) and go on to use it in the adult world.  But that that’s where mind mapping (and concept mapping) were first introduced more than 30 years ago and it hasn’t proved to be enough.  Some students don’t like it, but are forced to hand in concept maps or mind maps as homework.  Others think it’s OK but see it as something to be left behind when they leave school or college.  Some take it on into adult life and never stop.

Let’s have your ideas – comment here, or on the original post, both count towards the competition for that free iMindMap Ultimate license. 

Vic Gee
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


Tags: , ,

One Comment to “Normalizing mind mapping”

  1. Thomas says:


    I completely agree mind mapping needs to become a default habit if it comes to creativity, problem solving, and ideation. It needs to get rid of its esoteric touch and out of the eduTrauma.