MindMaple Viewer for iPad

We are happy to announce that we have just released a MindMaple viewer for iPad.  At this time, just the viewing option is available, but in the upcoming months we will be releasing our full editable version for everyone to enjoy.  Stay tuned!

Current Features:

1. Open and manage MindMaple documents. You can set categories to group your documents.
2. Dropbox function to download documents from your Dropbox account.
3. Collapsing and expanding topics.

Introverts as Business Leaders

I read this article today by Chuck Frey, “5 Killer Advantages Introverts Have in Business and Leadership,” and it not only changed my perspective of introversion but also what roles introverts play in business.  The typical picture that people create in their minds when they think of business leaders tends to be a more extroverted, gregarious, and always surrounding themselves with others.  This article explains that as the world continues to evolve, introverts have advantages to become successful leaders.

Here are the five advantages:

1. They are most comfortable working within their minds and developing new ideas.

2. They are able to think deeply and consider more potential options and ramifications.

3. They are usually awesome listeners.

4. Storytelling – a key leadership skill: Because introverts are comfortable in the world of ideas and images, they tend to be awesome storytellers.

5. Anticipating and capitalizing upon change: Because they tend to be incessant readers and consumers of news, trends and business strategy and leadership topics, they are better prepared to anticipate change and leverage advantages and innovation from it.

Chuck Frey also discusses in his articles the link between mind mapping and introversion, stating, “I suspect that many users of mind mapping software are introverts, because they enjoy exploring ideas and their implications. It enables them to expose their thinking visually, on screen, and manipulate ideas and knowledge to an extraordinary degree.”  Mind mapping can help business leaders to organize their thoughts and manage their tasks, aiding in creativity and productivity in their work.

Teaching Visualization to Students

I came across this interesting article, Opening the Door: Teaching Students to Use Visualization to Improve Comprehension” by Education World with a step by step approach on how to teach students visualization skills for increased understanding and retention.  This is a great way to incorporate mind mapping as well to provide a tool for the brainstorming and drawing phase of their visualization process.

Some kids enjoy reading but many dread it, finding it to be boring and frustrating, especially reading textbooks and other school assignments.  Most see it as a passive activity and would rather be playing outside or engaging in other active past times.  This article demonstrates, however, how to make reading an active rather than passive activity with the following easy to follow steps:

Step 1:  Modeling the Technique is where the teacher reads aloud text and then describes what images come to mind for the students to observe this active process in reading.

Step 2:  Students Practice Visualizing is the stage where the teacher reads passages to the students, and they are encouraged to close their eyes and become aware of images that come to mind associated with the words read.

Step 3:  Sharing Visualizations is the part where the students discuss as a group the images they created in their minds while listening to the passages the teacher read.

Step 4:  Using Drawing to Help Students Visualize is the stage where mind mapping fits in well.  Students are instructed to draw images that come to mind as they listen to the text read to them.  Drawing the images reinforces their comprehension and retention.  Mind mapping would be beneficial here, because when creating mind maps you can use words as well as images and other visual icons and features to even further promote understanding, enjoyment, and recall.  In addition, mind maps would help the students to expand on their initial images/words and continue to map out fresh, new ideas as well.  Students would be using their right and left brain with the mind maps to optimize learning.

Once students feel comfortable using mind maps for these types of exercises, they can begin to incorporate maps in many other school and personal activities such as note taking, presentations, and task management.

Contest winner – Understand your brain with mind mapping

Congratulations to Ken Shapiro, the winner of our recent mind mapping contest. He is the recipient of the prize $250 Amazon gift card.

We received many great entries for this contest, but we were especially inspired by Ken’s map, which truly shows the creative value of mind mapping. Ken has faced (and is still facing) some serious challenges. In his own words:

“I am a relatively young man of 42 who — after having brain surgery to remove a large cerebral aneurysm approximately 20 months ago — suffered a stroke which has left me with extremely limited use of my left arm and hand, as well as the need to walk with a cane. Fortunately, I have retained cognitive function but do find my thoughts scattered and at times difficult to express clearly.”

Mapping the human mind

Our minds are so complicated; constantly awash in new thoughts and sensations from moment tomoment; able to shift from frustration to joy in a matter of milliseconds. We ourselves are completely baffled by their workings of our own brains. We have trouble breaking habits, making decisions, or pulling ourselves out of a bad mood.

Ken’s map is extraordinary because it conveys in a single image the complexity of the human mind. Joy and gratitude are present side by side with anger and anxiety. Distinct thoughts feed into one another in a network. Powerful abstract emotions are connected with the actions of day-to-day life.

Hope and Anxiety

Ken’s aspirations are listed under the topic “Hope.” Certainly our goals and aspirations depend on our hope for the future, and they provide us with hope during times of difficulty. However, Ken has also drawn an arrow connecting “Aspirations” with “Anxiety.”

Aspirations and anxiety? At first, I didn’t understand this connection. But as I thought about it, I realized Ken’s connection contained a perceptive insight into my own mind. It’s true that my aspirations have caused anxiety for me before: sometimes they seem overwhelming or impossibly challenging. Other times I forget my reasons for pursuing them, or wonder if I am wasting my time.

Of course, just because my aspirations can be intimidating at times doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable and worth pursuing with vigor. It’s part of the human experience to have a mix of emotions that may even appear contradictory at times around a particular subject of importance.  Ken’s map helped me to see that.

Mind mapping and self-knowledge

With a single arrow, Ken’s map communicates a deep insight into human experience. His map contains many other insightful connections as well.

Our thoughts are often connected to one another in ways that are difficult to see until we make the effort to step back and look carefully at our habits and histories. As Ken’s map shows, mind mapping can be a valuable tool for this process. Perhaps by mapping our thoughts in this way, we can learn much about ourselves and make better decisions.

That’s part of why mind mapping is so exciting. We can turn the power of mind mapping to any topic, and it helps us make new associations. We form connections between concepts we had never considered before. When we let creativity take control and no longer hinder our thought process with structures and expectations, we can find new solutions and ideas.

Learn more about Ken’s story at his blog, http://semi-colon.blogspot.com/.

Enter Round 2 of the contest!

MindMaple is sponsoring a second mind mapping contest. To enter, make a mind map of your favorite book you’ve read recently, and send it to office@mindmaple.com by September 1. Learn more about the contest at the MindMaple website.