More about hierarchies and categories

The Basic Ordering Ideas in any Mind Map are those words or images which are the simplest and most obvious ordering devices. They are the key concep' gathering the greatest number of associations to themselves.

It is the use of hierarchy and categorisation which distinguishes the fall Mind Map from the Mini-Mind Maps described earlier. In these, the first ten words or images gained their importance simply by occurring first. In the full Mind Map, they are placed according to their inherent importance.

A simple way of discovering primary Basic Ordering Ideas is to ask such questions as:

• What knowledge is required?

• If this were a book, what would its chapter headings be?

• What are my specific objectives?

• What are the most important seven categories in the area under consideration?

• What are my basic questions? 'Why?', 'What?', 'Where?', 'Who?', 'How?', 'Which?', 'When?' often serve remarkably well as major branches in a Mind Map.

Very often, the simple act of asking yourself these questions will unearth the desired Basic Ordering Ideas. If not, start with the central image or subject and draw between four and seven lines branching out from it. Then ask the above questions.

Alternatively, you can go back to the Mini-Mind Map technique, write down the first ten words or images that spring to mind, then ask yourself which of them can be combined under more general headings.

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Making Time Work With You

Making Time Work With You

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