Have you ever tried a brainstorming technique called “mind mapping”? Mind mapping is a visual method of thinking about or taking notes on a subject. I don’t remember when I first learned about it, but I remember using mind mapping several times in college for various classes. When I had trouble figuring out where to start writing a paper on a particular subject, or (more often) needed to come up with more material, I turned to mind mapping to visualize my thoughts and find connections that my usually linear-thinking brain might have overlooked. Today I’m going to give you a few ideas for ways to use mind mapping in your scrapbooking! It’s a perfect fit for us creative types, and a great way to get outside that journaling box (or tag, or journal card, or neat set of hand-drawn lines!).
A mind map about mind mapping from LiteMind
Ever been stuck at the journaling part of your layout? All the flowers, buttons, photos, and papers are in place, but the story remains to be told. To use mind mapping as a journaling jumpstart, start with a plain sheet of paper. Draw a circle in the middle and jot down your layout’s title, subject, or photo. If you have a printed-out copy of the photo, even better. Then relax and think a bit. What words, images, concepts, ideas, dates, people, notions (you get the picture) come to mind? Start drawing lines off your main circle and connecting ideas. There are no “rules” – don’t worry about even spacing, neat writing, or grammatical sentences. This is a time for shorthand and quick notes. Write down whatever comes to mind, and connect those thoughts that seem to go together. You can even play around mind mapping on the computer – here’s a great list of mind mapping tools and applications, most of them free. Don’t be afraid to go off on a tangent. I chose a photo of me with my boys on Mother’s Day, and here’s the mind map I came up with:
Still not quite sure where to start? Check out this list of possible ways you could use mind mapping in your next project/layout. If you have more ideas, please add them in the comments!
- List the who, what, when, where, why and how
- Uncover deeper and/or multiple stories from a single photo
- Figure out what a photo means to you and what emotions it conjures up
- Generate layout/album/project ideas
- Choose one of the ideas generated on your map and flesh it out for your journaling
- Brainstorm a fresh, unique perspective to tell your story
- Try a mobile app for on-the-go mind mapping, a fun way to generate ideas and journaling when you have to be away from your computer! Check out this list for Android, and this one for iPhone.
- Use a map for your journaling as-is, like I did on the layout below. To get a similar look, scan in your hand-drawn map. Place it over your background paper and select “Darken” for the blend mode. You may have to play around with blending modes depending on the color/texture of your paper, or use the eraser to touch up areas (for example, my scan ended up with a weird black line in one corner, so I just erased that out).
Have you ever used mind mapping for a creative project? If you have, or if you are inspired to try it now, I’d love to see the results!