Here at Mind Map Mad, we track down and honour the world’s most amazing mind maps in seven categories. So, without further ado, it is with great pleasure that we present the…
Creating categories for the Mappy Awards was almost as difficult as chooing the winners themselves!
In the end I decided on seven broad subject areas. Some are fairly clear and precise, while others are purposely vaguer. They are the best I could come up with. They will have to do for now!
Here’s a brief description of each category to hopefully make things clearer. You’ll notice in passing that each category has been assigned its very own cute little colour. It’s beautiful, I know. I just thought I’d mention it. Thank you 😉
So this category is dedicated to showcasing the absolute best representation of business tools and ideas in mind map form.
In fact, mind mapping lends itself admirably to practically all aspects of business, from brainstorming, organising and planning right the way through to presentations and obtaining radical results. Not to mention encapsulating all those trendy business paradigms at a glance. Should be interesting.
2) Education – If there was ever an area which was custom-made for mind maps to adopt as its own, it is education. Mind maps started off as a powerful way of quickly organising information and remembering it effectively.
Now they are recognised worldwide as an extremely useful aid to studying and improving exam results, as well as simply getting a real grip on a subject, both globally as well as in detail, in a relatively fun format. I can’t wait to showcase some of the best examples of mind maps in teaching and learning. The canvas is huge.
3) Personal – I imagined this category for another huge area with enormous potential for mapping: personal development. It’s not ‘Personal’ as in ‘let’s organise my personal collection of Charles & Diana tea towels’; that comes next (General). No, this is laser-focused on techniques and ideas for making ourselves and our lives better in some way.
It could be about better time management (which borders on the Business category) or about dealing with depression or creating life goals. It’s all grist to the mill as far as the Personal category is concerned. So let’s get Personal!
4) General – Yep, you guessed it, this is for everything I couldn’t fit in anywhere else! I mean, what if someone does an a–m–a–z–i–n–g ‘Getting Your Garden In Shape’ mind map? Or one on how to prepare the perfect wedding. Or classifies the major global trends in
anorakism train-spotting metrophilia over the last century? (I’ve got my five-year-old train-mad son down to do the last one!) I suppose they could go into ‘Personal’, but nyeaih – that’s not quite it. Hence ‘General’. It should be good. I have high hopes. Life is large. Enjoy!
P.S. I’ve included my fourth mind map here, an interesting piece called ‘How I Lost 7 Kilos In 7 Weeks’, for your delectation. In fact, it should probably be in the Personal (Development) section, but I haven’t got another one to put here for the moment, and I’m not going to bore you with my only other mind map so far, my CV for crying out loud! So, until I find the perfect example elsewhere, this’ll have to do. There’s a huge article on how I lost weight to go with the mind map, by the way…
5) English – The Mad Mapper, also known as The Fun English Teacher (that’s me, folks) has spent over 20 years in the English-teaching world. So he’s darn well gonna have a category dedicated to it if he wants one!
Teaching English is a marvellously rich domain, full of fun and games, grammar and graft, laughter and tears, tenses and tongue-twisters, and whatever else you can imagine. One of the joys of English teaching is that you can talk about many things within the context of an English lesson; it’s not just about grammar. In the same way that mind maps are not just about… mind maps. But I digress.
Personally I feel that, apart from quite a few notable hand-drawn exceptions and the occasional computer-assisted surprise, the existing English teaching mind map canon is – how can I put this politely – somewhat uninspired.
Given the amazing educational tool that is mind mapping, I’m hoping to discover, and indeed create myself, some truly useful and intrinsically beautiful English-teaching mind maps. Let’s put to shame those sad, insipid ‘mind-mapped’ vocabulary lists and grammar rules pretending to be pretty. I’m not taking it any more! Power to the pupil, and may your English fly (off the map)!
6) Kids -That’s right, kids. You know what I’m talking about. You might even have come across some on your travels through life. Well, kids are a bit like English for our purposes here. You can learn English, or you can teach it. With kids, the subject isn’t only English, or whatever their native tongue might be. It’s Life.
Kids are learning about life, and adults are doing their best to teach them. Problem is, most adults are still learning about life themselves, and there is a school of thought which suggests that we’re all just big kids anyway, without much of a clue what we’re talking about most of the time, to further complicate matters.
Be all that as it may, this category promises to be a particularly rich one. I envisage highlighting mind maps intended to help both kids be better kids, and parents be better parents. And of course, some kids might even be producing mind maps themselves. So much the better.
Click on the image or here to discover my very first mind map, in case you’re interested, which falls squarely into the Kids category. It’s called ‘Make Your Kids Laugh Their Heads Off’. Because you know you can better than anyone else.
7) Fun – This final category is actually the one which drives everything here on the Mind Map Mad web site. I almost called it the ‘Mad’ category, but my sensible side vetoed it at the last minute.
If it isn’t fun, at least on some level, then why do it? OK, of course there are the fairly unfun practicalities of life, such as earning a living for many, and filling out tax returns, and tackling a blocked toilet, but mind mapping ain’t one of ’em!
Mind mapping is intrinsically enjoyable, and this section celebrates that fact. I’m leaving it pretty vague. In order to be included here, either the topic of the mind map could be fun, or the way it’s presented could be, or both.
In the final random example I’m showing you here, by, err, me, I had a lot of fun playing around with the theme Black & White. It could be used for stimulating classroom discussion I suppose, and I hope it is, but fundamentally it’s all about F–U–N. And I’m still waiting to discover what classic ‘black and white’ items I unforgivably left out! Check it out and let me know!
The Mad Mapper is on a crazy quest to discover The P–E–R–F–E–C–T Mind Map. The PERFECT mind map? Yes, you see, he thinks the ideal item should be:
Showing character and possibly something of the point of view or insights of the map’s creator. This could be through the maps’s design, it’s style and colour or simply the topic chosen. Impersonal and characterless doesn’t do it for us.
We get excited by original and unusual creations. We’re looking for innovative, out of the ordinary designs. They don’t have to be totally mad but anything a bit different or eye-catching is always nice to see.
I have to admit I was struggling to find an ‘R’ for my acronym here. In the end I settled on a whole bunch of ‘R’ words which basically convey the idea of ‘Really Interesting Content, Cool Facts & New Angles’.
We’re looking for information contained within the mind map which is, ideally: Revealing, Radical, Realistic, Riveting, Rich, Relevant and… Right!
Bring back emotion – who banished it in the first place?! We want your maps to be aesthetically pleasing, artistically fulfilling and visually stimulating. Lovely to look at, delightfully designed, in a word… Fab!
A lot of information can be squeezed into mind maps and sometimes it works. Less, however, is often more. Eliminate complexity. We get confused and distracted when we are drowning in detail. With too many branches, too heavily laden, we lose sight of the trunk, the main idea.
Essential points only keep our thinking laser-focused. If you think this is contradicted by the word ‘Rich’ in the ‘Really…’ section above, think quality, not quantity. This sectionwas a bit too long, obviously to prove my point…
Here we recognise and reward the technical abilities – the skills – of the map’s creator. With a hand-drawn map this may be drawing ability or choice of appropriate materials. For software users it’s their knowledge of the application or their judicious selection of creative tools.
Where everything comes together, synergistically and sublimely. It’s not just one thing which makes a successful mind map. An attractive design is great. Useful information is clearly a positive thing. Personalisation is nice. But no one aspect can stand alone.
For us, a good mind map will incorporate several or all of the above characteristics. But a great mind map will have one more. A mysterious, almost mystical quality which it is impossible to define, where everything comes together to create something which is greater than the sum of its parts. This is truly a P–E–R–F–E–C–T mind map!
The Mappy Awards are for software-generated mind maps, not hand-drawn works. We may start a category for manual creations in the future.
We are focusing on computer-aided mind maps for several reasons.
1) Technical – It’s far easier to generate standardised images for viewing and sharing
2) Practical – There are a HUGE number of maps out there, both hand-drawn and software produced. I am a huge multi-continental task force of… 1. Which is why I have to know where to say ‘Stop’, or more accurately, ‘Don’t even start’. There are also some great freehand mind map galleries out there – no point reinventing the wheel.
3) Community – We already have some established online mapping communities for easily sourcing potential Mappy Award candidates. Hand-drawn efforts swim in much muddier waters.
4) Modern – Computers are everywhere today, and so is mind mapping software. Our preference is to go with the flow, applying classic mind mapping principles through today’s slick modern tools. We can also enrich our maps with hyperlinks, instantly generated PowerPoint presentations and much more, impossible with paper-based techniques.
5) Professional – With today’s mobile, cloud-surfing world, busy business people and educators can create, modify and share their mind maps instantly, from wherever they are. Using professional mind-mapping software also indicates someone who takes creativity, organisation and top results seriously.
6) Philosophy – This is an entirely personal thing, but I absolutely love what you can do with computers today. I admire enormously those inventive and dextrous souls who produce fantastic mind maps using coloured pencils and paper. I also love getting my hands
dirty colourful – creating strange abstract art is one of my passions. But when it comes to mind maps, there’s nothing I like more than messing about with pixels…
7) Opportunities – The commercial possibilities for helping people with mind mapping software are much greater than with hand-drawn mind maps alone. My goal is to introduce this cool tool to a new audience who haven’t discovered it yet and software is a great vehicle for doing so. Map on!
The Mappy Awards are NOT exclusively for mind maps created using the iMindMap software from the ThinkBuzan company.
Having said that, iMindMap is the only mind mapping software I’ve found which comes remotely close to allowing you to create mind maps which meet my seven key P–E–R–F–E–C–T Mind Map criteria I describe above. These criteria apply to any mind map, by the way, irrespective of how it was produced.
Not only that, but on scouring the web for interesting electronically-produced mind maps to consider for the Mappy Awards, practically all the viable candidates had been produced using the iMindMap software.
Of course there are tons of ‘mind maps’ out there produced using other software, many of which are merit-worthy for many reasons. Very few of them, however, meet even a couple of my seven PERFECT Mind Map criteria.
To take an extreme (but extremely common) case: a black and white list of chapter headings taken from some book and put into mind map software which adds lines between the entries. This may actually be more difficult to digest than the original contents page. It certainly isn’t Personal, Exceptional, Fabulous, Competent or Total, as described above.
The information given may be Really… Right (not incorrect) and it may also be Essential (nothing superfluous added) but it would fall short on too many other points for it to be considered for a Mappy Award.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticising efforts like this. If it brings useful information to someone in an appropriate form, or was satisfying to do, then it is, by definition, good and worthwhile. It’s just not what I’m looking for here at Mind Map Mad.
We warmly welcome mind map submissions from anyone who has tried their best to offer interesting information in a pleasing package. Cool content in a marvellous mind map, in other words.
Just follow our guidelines in the P–E–R–F–E–C–T Mind Map section above and have a look at some of our past winners and you should be fine.
Fill in the form below with a direct link to your mind map somewhere online and we’ll check it out.
Make sure you tell us something about your map, what it’s about, how you tried to be creative and why it’s important to you. Thank You! 😀
We take copyright very seriously at Mind Map Mad.
1) We reprint mind maps found freely available elsewhere on the web.
2) We include clear credits and clickable links back to the original page and the author’s website right next to the image on Mind Map Mad.
3) We aim to highlight and honour the best mind maps we have found on the internet by providing valuable positive exposure and new marketing and publicity opportunities for the authors of the maps featured.
4) We do not charge for this service, nor do we accept monetary payments intended to influence our decisions, which are based on merit using the above criteria, and are final.
5) We are a small, personally-run web site, and the Webby Awards were created as a bit of productive and proactive fun involving the entirely personal and idiosyncratic choices and preferences of its creator, Sab Will, also known as The Mad Mapper.
6) We hope you will enjoy being part of this initiative and will use it to promote yourself, your work and creative mind mapping in general to the maximum. We believe that the spirit of sharing goes very much hand-in-hand with personal and professional advancement and we have great pleasure in inviting you to take part in our small contribution to this guiding principle by allowing us to share and show off your excellent mind maps here.
7) We will immediately remove an image and all related information and links if for some reason the author does not want it displayed on the Mind Map Mad web site.
Our aim is to build a friendly, positive and sharing community of mind mapping enthusiasts. The Webby Awards are an integral part of this goal. If you want to get in touch for any reason you are always welcome to do so here.
warmly welcome mind map submissions from anyone who has tried their best to offer interesti
We hope you enjoy seeing all these wonderful mind maps produced by creative and enquiring people from around the world.
So what about you? You can get involved very easily by joining our lively mind mapping community over on Facebook right here, right now!
If you’d like to join our friendly mind map discussion group on Facebook to learn more about mind mapping and submit your own creations, then you’re welcome!
Just click the button below and join up straight away – I look forward to meeting you there 😀