Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘mindmapping’

Finding Trends Through Music – The Need to Breathe

Posted by Plish on September 8, 2009

While listening to the song Breathe by Anna Nalick it suddenly struck me that this isn’t the first song called Breathe that I’ve heard recently.  So I did a search.

The results are interesting.  Since the 1970’s there have been 30 major releases of songs entitled Breathe.  This doesn’t include tunes with the words ‘Breathe’ or ‘Breath’ in longer titles.  The percentage breakdown is as follows:

graph of percentages

Over 73 percent of all songs entitled Breathe  have been released since 2000.  Forty percent of all songs have occurred since 2005.

What does this point to?

I created a mindmap to categorize what the word ‘breathe’ might be connected to.

Click for Full Size

Click for Full Size

When I got stuck I did a quick search of idiomatic use of Breatheto see if any meanings were missed and there were a couple so I added them to the mindmap. We could learn even more by looking at the lyrics of every song, but I don’t think it’s necessary to dive in that deeply. 

Let’s take a breath and look at what this all means…

The word ‘breathe’ is a verb.  When it is used on its own in the English language it is used in the imperative form.  It’s basically a command.  What are the results of following the order?

Rest, relaxation, grounding, slowing down, functioning properly, etc.

Why do we need to slow down?

The 21st century has brought an increase Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Case Studies, Design, Health Concerns, idea generation, innovation, Innovation Tools, meditation, Mind Maps, problem solving, stress, The Human Person, Trends, Yerkes-Dodson Curve | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Great Information Visualization Tool – VUE

Posted by Plish on September 1, 2009


Different tools are required for different tasks.  When it comes to mindmapping and information management there are tons of possibilities.

I came across this software called VUE.   It’s less of a mindmapping tool and more of an information visualization tool.  Its strength lies in the multiple ways information can be arranged, sorted and manipulated.  I can see this working great for process analysis and research purposes.  Check out this video that also utilizes some pretty slick interaction tools.

Some perks about the software:

  • You can also use this tool to build presentations
  • Embed URLS in nodes
  • Embed pics or other files into nodes
  • Group and manipulate various nodes
  • Export as PDF or as a webpage

The best thing about it? 

It’s free!

So download it and play with it.  I’m sure you’ll come to like it and see multiple uses for it!

Posted in creativity, Design, idea generation, Information Visualization, innovation, Mind Maps, problem solving, Research, Reviews, Traditional Brainstorming, Web 2.0, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mapping with The Brain

Posted by Plish on August 7, 2009


Every once in a while something comes along and makes you say, “Cooool…”

Personal Brain is just such a product.  Touted as an information management tool, it is essentially mindmapping – its graphic interface and ability to “re-center” is pretty slick.  What is “re-centering”?

Typical mindmaps start with one idea in the middle and the ideas branch off.  This starts the same way but then with a click, any one of your satellites can become your new center.  I could see this really helping for brainstormings.

What is also cool is they have created a web presence for folks to upload their “brains” to the web.  There is some pretty cool information there.

If there is a downside for this software it’s that when there’s a lot of information the interface can look pretty daunting and somewhat crowded; the flip side is that it highlights the complexity of the connections between information.

How much does this software cost?

The basic version is Zip, Zero, Nada, Nichoho.

You can download it and use the Pro version for 30 days after which it defaults down to the free version which I think would be adequate for most users.  The higher end versions are geared towards more intense information management and lend themselves well to a corporate environment.  I could see this being used for managing a product/problem portfolio on a network level.

Their website is also chock-full of educational info like this webinar on using the tool for presentation purposes.

All in all, a really cool product and one that I’ll be utilizing for sure.

Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, Creative Thinking Techniques, creativity, idea generation, Information Visualization, innovation, Mind Maps, problem solving, Web 2.0, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thou Shalt Have No Innovation Idols!

Posted by Plish on April 24, 2009

There Should Be No Sacred Cows When it Comes to Innovation

There Should Be No 'Sacred Cows' When it Comes to Innovation

You would think that in the realm of innovation there would be no ‘idols’ or ‘sacred cows’, yet there are.

What do I mean by this?

There are certain practices that people are afraid to challenge because…well you just don’t!

Two practices that come to mind right away are:

1. Brainstorming

2. Mind Mapping

One would think that people who are creative and innovative would be the most open to different techniques and processes to generate ideas – right?


For some reason, creative types seem to hold on to certain methods (or innovation personalities, or schools of thought) as if they’re sacred – treat them as a sort of ritual which simply should not be changed.

Don’t think it’s true? Just check this post here and my post regarding brainstorming and you’ll see the passion with which people argue for brainstorming.  It’s especially interesting how defensive people get. 

What they don’t realize is that by getting defensive they are in fact saying:

“The human race has no capacity for improving the process of idea generation (or creative buy-in, etc.) beyond that which we experience in brainstorming ( or through mind mapping, etc.).”

Think about that for a moment or two then think about this:

With all the advances being made in the cognitive sciences, with all the advances the human race has made in the 200,000 some years of its existence, can two techniques discovered within the last 100 years really be the pinnacle of human achievement regarding idea generation?

And think about this:

If you only use a certain technique for generating ideas- your ideas/solutions will have a similar pedigree and it might not be the best breed of solution for a particular problem.

Please don’t misunderstand – I use mindmaps, I use modified brainstorming.  But, I also think that there are better methods and technologies for idea generation/problem solving/etc., only we’ll never find them if we don’t let go of our inordinate belief in the sacredness of certain techniques.

What are your thoughts?

Posted in cognitive studies, Creative Thinking Techniques, idea generation, innovation, Innovation Tools, Lateral Thinking, Mind Maps, problem solving, Traditional Brainstorming, ZenStorming | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Mindmapping as a Creativity Tool

Posted by Plish on March 21, 2009


Click to See High Resolution Version

Mindmaps are cool.

I’ve used them for this blog, for presentations, for compiling thoughts on research, even to map myself!

While we all want to be cool and high tech and use mindmapping software (of which there is plenty-just google it), drawing them often can have more impact, plus it’s easier to let our creativity and color run wild. Images and color do a better job of stimulating new ideas than plain text.

If you want to see some amazing hand drawn mindmaps and learn more about this art/tool, check out this blog

There is a profound piece there entitled “The Qualities of Leonardo Da Vinci”.  It’s well worth reading and meditating upon.

What are your thoughts on mind maps?

Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, Creative Thinking Techniques, idea generation, innovation, leonardo da vinci, Mind Maps, problem solving | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Mindmapping Foods That Boost Productivity

Posted by Plish on February 4, 2009

A Healthy Food MindMap

A Healthy Food MindMap


Here’s an interesting Mindmap of foods that are purported to boost productivity through various mechanisms in the body.

I’m impressed they used a Mindmap to diagram the various foods and what they are good for.

I don’t think eating health gets as much press as it should for helping people be creative, but it stands to reason: being creative comes easier when you’re feeling healthy. 

However, I am surprised and shocked(!!?) that “Diet Soda” even made this list of natural and healthy foods.

What about water?

Posted in Food, Health Concerns, Nature of Creativity, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

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