I recently interviewed Mind Mapping guru Tony Buzan via e-mail about the growth and evolution of the popular visual mapping technique that he invented in the 1960s, his decision to launch a Mind Mapping software program (iMindMap) and the future of mind mapping. Don't miss this fascinating conversation!
One thing that surprised me about this conversation is that Tony openly welcomes the growing popularity of mind mapping software. I always assumed that he viewed it as somehow bastardizing his basic principles for mind mapping (i.e., users of mind mapping software often neglect to include images and color in them, which Tony says helps to stimulate creativity and recall). But that doesn't seem to be the case. He implied that mind mapping software can be a powerful catalyst, that can help us to "more easily and naturally explore the limitless possibilities of human thinking."
When asked about his decision to develop iMindMap, Tony indicated that he set out to have his software development team to "design a perfect marriage between the computer and the infinitely associative organic nature of natural human thought... The object, which many had said would always be, and up until that time had been, impossible, was to blend the two worlds so that the human brain could, with an infinitely explosive tool, more easily and naturally explore the limitless possibilities of human thinking. iMindMap is the first software in history to accomplish this goal. I believe that the team who accomplished this will go down in history alongside Gutenberg, and the inventors of the radio, television, the telephone and the computer itself."
While this last statement may sound like hyperbole, I think that Tony is geniunely excited that his development team has succeeded in creating a mind mapping program that doesn't get in the way of creative thought, and is designed to closely mirror the experience of hand drawing a mind map. For example, in iMindMap, you drag lines for new topics out from the existing one, rather than clicking the "insert" key to add a branch. The result is much more organic, and according to Tony, supportive of the way that our marvelous brains work.
For all the details, be sure to read this fascinating interview!