Little Legacy 13 Mind Mapping

I am 17, sat at the kitchen table with my Sociology A level folder stuffed with nearly two year’s worth of notes.  It is covered in some old Laura Ashley wallpaper, little green flowers are interspersed with cartoons by my friend Dave, and indie band names, carved with devotion, in black biro.  I should be revising, but I have no idea where to start.

Mum is cleaning up after tea, pretending I suspect, to be busy, while keeping a beady eye on my progress. She picks up on my fidgeting, deep sighs and aimless shuffling of paper and takes her cue to sit down with me.  Soon I am bawling at the enormity of the task ahead.

Mum taught me to mind map that evening.  A technique made famous by Tony Buzan, it’s like a grown up spider diagram.  You take a central concept and group all the learning to do with it around it, using branches, words, images, symbols and colour. The powerful thing about mind maps is that they mirror the way the brain works, helping it to make connections, rather than feeding it a string of linear notes.

A mind map about Character for my OU Creative Writing Diploma

Neither of us realised at that moment the massive significance of that evening. Mind mapping saw me successfully through A levels, University and post graduate degrees. I passed it on too, mind maps also helped my GCSE and A level students achieve great results.

One evening, one huge legacy.  Thanks Mum.


Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by predecessors. Feel free to link up a little legacy you’ve been thinking about this week, or to leave one in the comments. Here’s the code, and here’s more on Little Legacy.


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