Mind Mapping: Tea Categories

I dream at night, during the day, and in colour. I carry an A4 pad with me everywhere I go (even to the park or the market) and make notes on whatever enters my mind when I’m awake. I make notes as mind maps for everything.

Mind-maps help me think. The best essays I wrote in Cambridge, the best speeches I’ve given and the best lessons I’ve taught also started as mind-maps. All were made on a thick, ring-bound A4 pad at varying times throughout the day.

Here’s one I typed up. It’s a collation of many smaller maps I made while reading about Chinese tea culture.

The best mind mapping software for Mac is undoubtedly iMindMap 5It’s available here for 14-days completely free of charge.

All The Tea In China, India and Africa
All The Tea In China, India and Africa. Click to enlarge it considerably. © James Kennedy, 2011

Every node here has a much deeper meaning than I’ve written down. Reading every piece of information on this mind map reminds me of the book that contained it, where and when I read it (and can subsequently recall most of the books). Mind maps thus carry individual meaning to the person who made them. They prevent plagiarism and make our own thoughts more clear.

Lastly, but most importantly, mind mapping look really impressive. Even if it’s only for this reason, I encourage my students to map all their university assignments on paper before writing. Mind mapping looks sophisticated and intimidates everyone else.

I’ve also been using the Reminders app for iPhone recently. There are many disadvantages compared with an A4 pad (it’s small, fiddly and only does linear bullet-lists) but it does give you one major speed-advantage: it fits in your pocket🙂

6 thoughts on “Mind Mapping: Tea Categories

  1. Great example of iMindMap in action, I really like this. In uni I used to use large A3 hand-drawn mind-maps when I was making speeches in seminars. The free-flowing format of the mind-map helped me to be flexible in what I was saying, ensuring I covered all key points without needing to script things out like other students were doing. It’s nice to find others who find the technique and the software to be as useful as I have done.


    1. Thank you! I love mind-mapping mostly because it gives other people the impression of being really organised. It makes professors remember who you are in a giant lecture hall of 300 people! As a freelance teacher, I teach mind-mapping wherever I go (universities, 1-to-1 classes, groups…). I use this to encourage to students *to learn* rather than simply do what they’re told (“write 1000 words”, etc). We learn the most from things that don’t award credits, credentials and grades. Like mind maps!


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