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Mind Mapping - Journaling Tool

Using both the right and left brain allows big ideas and details to blend together.

"...if we are willing to abandon our usual coercive tactics and approach our problems sideways and kitty-corner we stand a good chance of finding our way through some interesting gates." - Eloise Ristad

journaling writing

Mind mapping is also called clustering or webbing. It's a quick, whole-brain brainstorming process that organizes random thoughts quickly. It combines big picture information and details on the same sheet. It connects key thoughts and free associations to a core subject.

To create a mind map, select a focus, write it in the middle of a page and circle it. Then create and label spokes radiating outward from the centre to represent different sub themes. From there, you can create and label branches off the main spokes, and even smaller branches off the branches, to represent different aspects of each theme. Every time you draw and label a branch off a main stem, you are mapping a new layer of detail. As you create your mind map, drawing symbols and pictures will help you anchor the concepts in your mind.

This structure allows you to graphically map a complex hierarchy of associated words, feelings and ideas.

Mind mapping is a creative way to set goals, solve problems and design action plans. It quickly records ideas in a free-form way. When groups use mind mapping, the thoughts of each participant easily trigger ideas in others. This dynamic group interaction encourages breaking free of old patterns to uncover new and innovative approaches.


Getting started:

  • Create a mind map to chart your life. Write your name in the middle of the page and circle it. Then create and label spokes for main life themes (e.g., family, work, friends, money, hobbies, goals and aspirations, etc.). From each spoke, add other radiating lines and on the lines write the thoughts that come to mind about that theme. Map what has been, what is and what will be. Be creative. Assume that resources are not a problem - you can have or do anything to make your path unfold as you dream it. Pay attention to your process. What is going through your mind? What is coming from your heart? Do this periodically and compare your mind maps to see how your beliefs, desires and priorities are shifting.

Go deeper:

  • Pick a fear or shadow part of your self for which you want more understanding. Allow your mind to create the main spokes for sub topics and then add details as they come to you. You might want to let one spoke hold ideas around the cause of the fear. Another spoke might explore ways to heal the pain and bring more love to your life.

Reach higher:

  • Start a mind map with the word God or Soul in the centre. Allow your mind to create the main spokes for sub topics and then add details as they come to you.

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One tool alone will triple your creativity. Check out our other many Creative Thinking Exercises and Resources.