Mind Mapping

by Gillian Burn

What is a Mind Map®?

A mind map is a powerful graphic technique and unique thinking system devised by Tony Buzan, who is widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on the brain and how to use the brain more effectively. The technique is used throughout the world by businesses, schools, universities, companies and individuals. Mind maps are particularly effective for anyone who is busy and has lots to do, and who therefore needs to capture information quickly and effectively.

Mind maps use images and colour and display key information on different ‘branches’ to help enhance memory and understanding.

A mind map starts with the use of a central image. Key information radiates out from the central image along curvy lines. Further facts continue to radiate to the next levels or branches, key words or images being printed on the associated line. The branches connect to one another, forming an association of ideas, radiating out from the central image.

Mind maps are an effective, fun, easy and versatile thinking tool for every aspect of life. Whether the user is ten years old or an old age pensioner, or anywhere in between, a mind map can help them to organise thoughts and ideas.

The Mind Map is an expression of Radiant Thinking and is a natural function of the human mind. It is a powerful graphic technique providing a universal key to unlocking the potential of the brain. It can be applied to every aspect of your life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.

Tony Buzan


Tony Buzan first developed mind maps in the 1970s when he was working as an Educational Psychologist in Canada. He was lecturing on how to use the brain to a group of psychology students. He realised, as the students’ concentration reduced, that he was not ‘using the brain’ to help his students understand and remember information about the brain.

He started creating radiant pictures, using key aspects of brain structure. He designed the format of a mind map, basing it on the structure of the brain cell or neuron, using his research into the structure and internal workings of the brain.

In 1974, Tony Buzan developed a television series with the BBC called ‘Use your head’. He has subsequently written numerous books on the subject, which are available worldwide (see resources).

Tony Buzan has worked with schools, universities and businesses throughout the world, helping make a positive difference and improve working practices. The technique provides a method to help people cope with the demands of modern business life, by expanding their thinking, helping users to be creative and making it easier to assimilate information, study, learn and remember key facts.