Do You Need To Follow The Rules of Mind Mapping?

by iMindMap

bubble map

Here is a very interesting question for all you Mind Mapping purists out there – do you need to strictly follow the rules of Mind Mapping?  Now if you are an evangelist and a Buzan acolyte then your immediate answer is going to be a resounding yes.  You will harrumph a bit, gather together with your Mind Map buddies and consider striking me off your Christmas card list for even thinking of asking the question.

But let us look a little bit deeper at this question.

I was surfing the web the other day looking for some best practice use of Mind Mapping so I could add to my library of applications and find even more examples to share with people interested in improving their thinking abilities.  Whilst on one of my regular jaunts around the web I came across a site for a branding designer.

This guy used Mind Mapping to help him come up with his branding designs.  They were ugly, drawn in pencil on graph paper, didn’t follow the guidelines at all and were more like bubble diagrams.  In fact there were TWO central ideas (if that statement can’t be an oxymoron!).  The closest he got to using color was a highlighter to focus on key ideas.

Please, those of you who are clutching the Mind Map bible to your chests and hoping Lord Tony doesn’t find out, lighten up will ya!

What this guy was doing though worked for him.  He was generating some stunning designs and had a very successful and fruitful process that clearly produced results which if we think about it is the most important thing.

Now could he align himself a little closer to the principles of the technique to improve his process even more by perhaps adding color or the odd image or two which would stimulate more of his brain.  However if what he is doing works for him right now – why should he?

Let’s not trivialize the Mind Mapping guidelines drawn up by Tony Buzan because they are all there for very good reasons and the more of them you adhere to the better the quality of your Mind Maps and the better the quality of your thinking.

However let’s not forget that it is a tool to help us, not something that should take over our lives, and when the job in hand gets done, it is done even if we only use a fraction of the resources available to us.

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