27 gennaio 2011

clockwise or counter–clockwise ?

per coinvolgere nella riflessione altri mind mapper
ho tradotto il precedente post in inglese

Getting in touch with other mind mappers has allowed me to think over some rules of mind mapping. As I have already written in my previous post, I knew Hans Buskes some weeks ago and while reading his maps I noticed something particular related to the direction to follow when reading.

Everybody knows that a mind map is written/read clockwise.

The “critical” point is on the left side of the map, when from branches 3 and 4 you draw the sub-branches. After that, how can we go on?

Clockwise, that is from the bottom to the top? (As shown in example A)

Or counter–clockwise, that is from the top to the bottom ?(As shown in example B)

11 commenti:

Paul Foreman ha detto...

Very often (not always) I tend to start top left 11.00 o'clock & work clockwise; sometimes I number branches to indicate an order if appropriate. I use cross referencing & arrows to highlight associated content or connected themes. I prefer to use 360 degree free association & flow rather than following a strict rule of clockwise or anti-clockwise.

I had a look at various suggestions by others; here is what I found:

In "101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps" by Phil Chambers (World Mind Mapping Champion) he advises the following:

"Order your branches so that when reading the Mind Map the first branch is at the angle of the number two on a clock face and the Mind Map is read clockwise. If your order is anything other than this convention, indicate this by numbering your branches in sequence. If you're left handed you may prefer to start at the 10 o'clock position and work anticlockwise"

His book is available from: http://www.learning-tech.co.uk/

In "How to think like Leonardo da Vinci" by Michael Gelb he says:

"Starting at the center opens your mind to a full 360 degrees of association"

In "Head First" by Tony Buzan (inventor of Mind Maps) he says:

"From the central image, radiate out key words & the most important ideas you have about the topic, each on a separate, thick line"

I think therefore it is personal preference rather than a hard & fast rule.

A. Martinez ha detto...

Hi Roberta.
In my personal experience I do work clockwise, it turns out to be more bran-friendly for me, I dont know why, sure there'll be nice theories about brain function to explan that. When I draw the branches 3 or 4, I work top down, first sub-branch up and then drawing down. I hace also try the orther way you describe and it didn't turn out confortable enought for me.
Best Regards

roberta buzzacchino ha detto...

Questo il commento di Adam Sicinski

Hi Roberta,

I read you post on the blog. Very interesting topic.

I always create my maps in a clockwise direction. I guess it's out of habit, and it's because people tend to naturally read the map that way. However, I start my maps on the top right side of the page then move bottom right, bottom left and finally finish off top left.

Have a great weekend :)

roberta buzzacchino ha detto...

Questo il commento di Jame Nast


Nice article!! Thanks for sharing. I tweeted your blog post from yesterday.

Because all cultures read a clock in the same way I think the clockwise approach is the most natural. When I’m brainstorming and there is no sequence to the ideas I actually don’t do the clockwise approach. In those cases I do more of a random approach to bring visual balance to the map. So my first main branch may be at the 1:00 position. 2nd main branch I place near 7:00. 3rd main branch at 4:00 and fourth at 10:00. As more ideas pop up I continue this approach of visual balance. FYI…

Kind Regards,


Yorkshire Foragers ha detto...
Questo commento è stato eliminato dall'autore.
Tim Fulford ha detto...

First of all I have to say that there is no rule which states which direction you should write a map and therefore it is not true to say that everyone knows this.

However I have always worked clockwise starting at 1 and going round the face. It is not good practice to have more than 7-8 first order branches so it is unlikely that you would run out of space.
The second and third level branches should, in my opinion, go clockwise as was well. The reason for stating this is that when you come to read a map, particularly when using it to presenting from, the brain gets confused when you go past six o'clock and suddenly start using second order branches in a counter clockwise direction.
I have looked quite carefully at why people suddenly start using a counterclockwise technique and it because if we were making a list we would start at the top and work downwards.
Unfortunately most software cannot cope with the effective change in direction and starts to run counter clockwise.

I have also found that most left handers like to run their maps counter clockwise. While I have no particular issue with this or left handers it does not make sharing maps easier. I liken it to the way in which we produce text in linear form which is top left to bottom right in a snake like, line by line pattern. If we suddenly did something different from the convention it would create reading and communication issues. There is no reason to do this.

In all my training sessions I encourage my delegates to run their maps clockwise for all levels of the branches to make reading and sharing easier.

I have attached here a link to a post on my website which contains a diagram that you can down load.

roberta buzzacchino ha detto...

Questo il commento di Tim Fulford pubblicato sul suo blog

Branch order on a Mind Map……

roberta buzzacchino ha detto...

Questo il commento di Hans Buskes pubblicato nel suo blog

Do mind mappers let themselves be restricted by software?

roberta buzzacchino ha detto...

Questo il commento di Claude Aschenbrenner pubblicato sul suo blog

Dans quel sens faut-il remonter les cartes ?

kupoaare ha detto...

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roberta buzzacchino ha detto...

kupoaare, thank you :)