Book Reviews and Links

Buzan, Tony with Buzan, Barry, The Mind Map® Book – How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential, 1996.

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed taking notes and making plans with diagrams, color codes, arrows, boxes and circles. So I have been intrigued by research suggesting that a linear approach to planning and note-taking may limit learning and creativity, while style I find to be more fun may actually be better at marshalling intelligence.

“Mind Map®” is the registered trademark for Tony Buzan’s approach to using cluster diagrams and other techniques for breaking out of linear thinking and “harnessing the full range of your cortical skills.” His book describes the benefits of a non-linear approach to many intellectual tasks, and then sets forth laws and recommendations for making notes the Mind Map® way.

Buzan is a leading authority on learning and creativity, and the book may offer more than you want to know about the design, architecture and function of the human brain. Also, his rules for “mind mapping” may seem more rigid than you want to bother with.

The part I love about this book, however, is the illustrations. The numerous diagrams demonstrate just how much information and creativity you can bring to a single page if you practice the art of capturing ideas using cluster diagrams and similar flowing techniques.

The non-linear approach can be used to illustrate the parts of your most complicated project, to summarize the work of your committee, or to plan your future. If you’re still organizing with Roman numerals, you might want to loosen up by trying out the Mind Map® approach.

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