Abstract: Techniques to stimulate creative thinking and problem solving skills.
Keywords: book review, psychology, consulting, business, entrepreneur, creativity, problem solving, nonlinear outlining, left brain, right brain, visual outlining, decision making, creative ability, business success, graphical graphic methods.
book cover
Title: Mindmapping: Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem Solving
Author: Joyce Wycoff
Foreword: Michael J. Gelb
Publisher: Berkley Books
Date Published: May 1991
ISBN: 042512780X
LOCN: BF449.W93 1991
Dewey: 153.4/2 20
Pages: 173
Bibliography: 33
Figures: 21
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REVIEW by Orville R. Weyrich, Jr.

Mindmapping is a creativity technique, rather than a scholarly exploration of the functions of different parts of the brain. Aside from few extraneous references to untapped potential brain capacity, Maslow's characteristic traits of self-actualized persons, and a tendency toward new-agisms, the techniques discussed in the book are quite useful.

Mindmapping itself can be described as a nonlinear visual outlining technique which is useful for brainstorming and organizing in a variety of different settings. It is basically a technique for organized "free association" centered around a "focus" topic. After the focus point is identified and written in the center of a writing surface, related issues and topics are thought of, and written on outward radiating spokes from the focus point. Each of these spokes can then become a focus for an additional round of branching, or can become the spine of a "fish-bone" diagram. When the same topic appears more than once on the mindmap, then a connecting line can be drawn, converting the forest of branching trees into a web or network.

The author advocates enhancing the basic mindmap with pictures and colors, on the basis that this establishes better communication between the "left-brain" and "right-brain." I am not sure that I buy into the psychological theories which are advanced to support this suggestion. Personally, I do find adding color to be very effective, but have little use for the pictures. On the other hand, if you are by nature a "doodler" then you may find adding pictures to be effective.

The author describes a number of applications of mindmapping, including the following:

I suggest the following additional applications:

In summary, I recommend this book to anyone who needs to create and organize ideas.


Foreword by Michael J. Gelb

Introduction: Mouse Diapers and Rainbows

Section I: Understanding the Brain and Creativity

Chapter 1: The Mind's Unknown Potential

Chapter 2: Creativity -- Within Each of Us

Section II: Techniques of Mindmapping

Chapter 3: Mindmapping: Whole Brain Thinking Techniques

Section III: Applications of Mindmapping

Chapter 4: Writing Can Be Easy, Effortless, and Enjoyable

Chapter 5: Better Project Management

Chapter 6: Brainstorming and Beyond

Chapter 7: Managing Meetings

Chapter 8: Whole Brain 'To Do' Lists

Chapter 9: Presentation Power

Chapter 10: Improving Learning Skills

Chapter 11: Mindmapping for Personal Growth




Author:        Wycoff, Joyce.
Title:         Mindmapping : your personal guide to exploring
                  creativity and problem-solving / Joyce Wycoff.
Edition:       Berkley trade pbk. ed.
Published:     New York : Berkley Books, 1991.
Description:   xviii, 173 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
LC Call No.:   BF449.W93 1991
Dewey No.:     153.4/2 20
ISBN:          042512780X : $7.95 ($9.95 Canada)
Notes:         Includes bibliographical references (p.
Subjects:      Problem solving -- Graphic methods.
               Decision making -- Graphic methods.
               Creative ability -- Problems, exercises, etc.
               Success in business.
Other titles:  Mind mapping.
Control No.:   91206356 //r98


I have taken this program and I highly recommend it to all health-care providers - Orville R. Weyrich, Jr PhD NMD.
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