As a visual and kinesthetic learner, I’ve used “creative note taking”, or Mind Mapping, for years where I use color and pictures and themes to help me see how ideas are linked in course design work, giving presentations and lectures, taking notes, or brainstorming ideas. It is also a great tool in coaching to open things up, see patterns and themes emerge, as well as gain new perspectives and new insights.
Tony Buzan invented Mind Mapping out of frustration with traditional note taking revision techniques. He suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:
- Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
- Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.
- Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
- Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
- The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and thinner as they radiate out from the centre.
- Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
- Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also to encode or group.
- Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
- Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
- Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.
If you are interested to learn more about using MindMaps in your coaching, you can learn more at http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm and for mindmapping software, go to www.ThinkBuzan.com, and, yes there is an app for Smartphones and iPad.
Or, you can use the more traditional, and what I consider fun and creative way to MindMap – colored pencils and paper.
How can MindMapping support you in your coaching?