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mod-4-thumb-1Word Mapping as a Detailing Process

Our brains do not store words line by line, or arrange information in orderly lines, columns, or outlines. Our minds work best when we allow ideas to flow freely before attempting to organize them. Word mapping (similar to mindmapping or clustering) captures thinking in an innovative way. Tony Buzan developed mindmapping in the early 1970s as a tool to help people take notes more effectively. As he applied this tool, he realized that he had discovered not just a better way of note taking—using words and images in a web-like format—but a new and powerful means of improving thinking skills.

Word mapping encourages the natural flow of the thinking process as key words and phrases come into consciousness. First you generate information—get it out of your mind and heart on to paper. Then prioritize it. In her book, Mindmapping, Joyce Wycoff explains several points that are useful in word mapping:

  1. Place a one-word idea or dream in the middle of a horizontal blank piece of paper.
  2. Print key words on lines radiating out from the middle.
  3. Write what comes to your mind without judging or editing ideas.
  4. Then put ideas in sequence, or prioritize the order of actions, if helpful.

Module 4.3 Activity: Word Map a Goal or Dream

  • Choose a goal and write it in the center of a blank page.

    Download and print off this mindmap.

    Then add radiating lines and detail all the aspects, items, finances, relationships, timelines, etc. that you think are entailed in this idea, dream, or project. Include any questions you don’t have answers for right now. Then decide which task is first, then second, etc., and number them. Once you know the order, it helps to transfer them to an organized list. Scan your copy into the space below.