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The benefits of mind mapping, backed by scientific evidence

Reading time: about 6 min

Topics:

  • Organization and evaluation

Mind mapping is a creative process that uses your brain’s natural ability to make associations and recognize patterns among various concepts and ideas. Using keywords, phrases, images, shapes, and colors, you can visualize your thought process as you connect ideas and subjects and understand how they relate to your central topic. In this way, mind mapping is a visual representation of your brain’s natural thought process for generating ideas and solving problems.

In this blog post, we’ll look into the science behind mind mapping and discuss how that science provides evidence for the benefits of mind mapping.

A brief history of mind mapping

Mind-mapping techniques have been used throughout history by people like Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Pablo Picasso, and Albert Einstein. But it wasn’t until the late 1960s that British psychologist and author Tony Buzan popularized the term “mind map” to describe the visualization of connecting thoughts and ideas. 

Today, mind mapping software like Lucidspark has made mind mapping accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your role in business or life is, creating mind maps can help you learn and make informed decisions.

Mind mapping and your brain

According to a 2020 study, we have around 6,000 thoughts every day. From the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night, we are thinking about something. Each thought leads to another thought, usually in a nonlinear fashion. Our brains process and retain this information by making associations, finding patterns, and creating interconnected networks.

For example, if someone asked you to think of chicken, it’s unlikely that you would picture the word “chicken” in your head. Instead, you’d likely think of the animal, which might lead to other thoughts and ideas like:

  • Chickens can’t fly.

  • My neighbor has chickens.

  • I need to buy some eggs.

  • Maybe I should raise chickens.

  • Roosters are noisy.

This is how our minds work. Basically, we build several mind maps in our heads every day. Unless you have a photographic memory, you won’t remember all your thoughts and ideas. Creating mind maps helps you visualize your thoughts and associations while recognizing patterns. This gives the information more clarity and makes it easier to digest and understand.

What are the science-backed advantages of mind mapping?

The following are some benefits of mind mapping backed by scientific studies:

Improves information retention and recall 

Roughly 65% of people are visual learners. This means that it’s easier for them to retain and recall information presented in visual form than a textual form. This study on mind map efficiency concludes that information retention is boosted by 10-15%.

Improves comprehension

A mind map represents a holistic view of your thought processes. This helps you to see the big picture and understand how individual parts relate to the whole. By grouping related visual cues and small amounts of text together, a mind map can make it easier to absorb and understand large amounts of information in a shorter time.

Stimulates creative thinking

Mind mapping encourages divergent thinking because ideas and concepts are captured in a non-linear, free-flowing manner. Divergent thinking involves the generation of multiple ideas to explore many possible solutions. Exploring multiple possibilities fosters creativity as you look at various connections and tangents.

Increases productivity and saves time

The following are ways that mind mapping increases productivity and saves time:

Organization and categorization

When capturing information in a linear manner using only text, it’s possible that your mind might wander. Mind mapping represents a free flow of ideas, which branch out from a central idea. This means that your mind is engaged and focused on relationships and connections to the central idea, which keeps your mind from wandering or exploring ideas that don’t relate to the central idea.

Visual representations

As mentioned, visuals are generally easier to comprehend than a text block. This means you can take in a large amount of information and make informed decisions faster.

Connectivity between the right and left sides of your brain

You use the right side of your brain for creativity, emotions, and intuition. The left side of your brain helps you with critical thinking, reasoning, and analytical skills. When you draw a mind map, the right and left sides work simultaneously. This helps you be more productive, make better decisions, and find solutions to problems more quickly.

Versatility

Mind maps are a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of situations, including:

  • Brainstorming sessions: A brainstorming session encourages the free flow of ideas. A mind map helps the team stay focused on a central idea.

  • Study aids: Students can use mind maps to condense complex information into easy-to-read visual summaries.

  • Project planning: Mind maps can help project managers set clear goals, break down tasks, and efficiently allocate resources. 

  • Problem-solving: Mind maps help you break down complex issues into smaller manageable components, which helps you identify root causes and find potential solutions.

  • Writing: Mind maps can help writers and content creators organize ideas for written materials into coherent sequences that are easier for their intended audience to understand.

  • Setting goals: Use a mind map to focus on a centralized goal. Then, branch out to define what you need to do to reach that goal.

  • Time management: A mind map can help you to categorize activities and set deadlines. This can help you to more effectively allocate your time to the right activity at the right time.

Why you should use the Lucidspark mind map tool

Lucidspark has dynamic mind map features and functionality that will help you easily collaborate visually with dispersed teams and organize your thoughts more efficiently. These new mind mapping features include: 

  • Artificial intelligence: The Lucidspark AI features make it easy to populate your mind maps with ideas related to the central topic. With just a few clicks, you can select one of your mind map’s branch nodes, and Collaborative AI will automatically provide additional related suggestions and ideas so you can think outside the box and propel ideas faster.

  • Effortless entry: The mind mapping tool is easily accessible from the left toolbar of the Lucidspark whiteboard—gone are the days of needing to start with a dedicated template.

  • Unlimited canvas: Lucidspark offers an unlimited board. This means that you will never run out of space and your mind maps can be as big or small as you need.

  • Easy collaboration and communication: Team members can easily contribute ideas to your mind map and keep focused and engaged with features like comments, @mentions, and chat to solicit feedback, ask questions, offer opinions, etc.

  • Integration tools: Lucidspark integrates with several popular apps, like Slack and Google. And mind maps can seamlessly be imported and exported between Lucidspark and Lucidchart without losing any of your work.

Try out Lucidspark's mind mapping features with an easy-to-use mind mapping template.

Try template

About Lucidspark

Lucidspark, a cloud-based virtual whiteboard, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This cutting-edge digital canvas brings teams together to brainstorm, collaborate, and consolidate collective thinking into actionable next steps—all in real time. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidspark.com.

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