Think in Images 1

Why Mind Mapping is so outstanding and why you now get it right on time in historic context? One of the reasons is it compels you to think in images. Make the notes in images. Record information in images. Reduce long texts into simple sign, image which stands for it and helps you to get or recall the information in one look. The second half of the business is creating associations. We will discuss it later.


Think In Images Mind Map

Mind Map containing the structure of this post created by Michal Splho 

For centuries people were limited in expressing and recording their thoughts. They used the form of image – paintings, prints, ornaments – or the written form of words. Thanks to modern technology in 20th century new area of expression developed – the one where images and words interact and merge together – Film, TV, illustrated books. Art historians who studied and analysed meaning of images, the logic, conventions and grammar of imagery – and literary critics who analysed structure of text started to collaborate on no man’s land between the two independent forms. Meanwhile this no man’s land became a field in it’s own right and essays, studies and systems were generated by number of authors. (You can check outstanding work of W.J.T. Mitchell – The Language of Images; Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology; Picture Theory etc).

I believe that Mind Mapping finds itself right amidst of this no man’s land. To make progress in recording complex information and ideas you have to create your own imagery, your own pictorial language combined with keywords. Yes, you have to learn to think in images. What does it really mean? What benefit it brings to you? What skills do you need? How does it really works?

Answers to these questions would fill more pages on this blog and definitely I will work to bring more insight on this topic in near future. In this post I would like to encourage the ones interested in Mind Mapping (as well as in the theme which is much broader in context) to investigate and read sources and authors dealing with creating the meaning with images, encoding and deciphering imagery in various arts in structure of conscious perception etc.

I just found necessary to understand how to create images representing main keywords in main branches of my mind maps. Some keywords are too abstract to be illustrated with an image reflecting it literally. I realized I need to create my own pictorial language, my own way of representing words which do not have general pictorial form – like words: modern, encoding, technology etc. And you will need it too.

When creating a Mind Map you have to consider carefully who else will use it in the future. Is it just for your personal use? Is it going to be used with larger group of people specialized in certain technological field? Or is it going to be viewed by general public- very broad area where there are very different and many times very contradicting ways of perceiving the reality, image, sign… In that case you have to think what signs / images are you going to use in your Mind Map. You have to consider many different kinds of contexts your imagery will relate to. Your images might generate unexpected connotations – and different people with different political, social, educational, artistic background will read your signs and images with different meanings. To make it easier for them to grasp your intended message you have to think from their perspective too.

All is easier if you create Mind Maps just for your own use. Notes, plans, to do lists etc. You just have to invent your own signs which you will recall easily in future and that’s it. Joyous and creative moments are unfolding in front of you.

Here I would end this introduction into very interesting area of Mind Mapping. If you are interested in excursion of broader horizons – keep in touch. It is of a benefit to learn how the perception works and how the meaning is generated. More information will follow soon.


Seriously interested in Mind Mapping? Want to know more? There are even wider scope of possibilities if you use iMindMap software on your computer or iPhone. You can get a FREE trial of iMindMap, the only Mind Mapping software from Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Maps.

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