Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 75 - September 2011 - by Phil Chambers


TIME TO READ: 7 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 1,642. To learn more about Speed Reading read the main article below and Contact us.

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Welcome to the September 2011 issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter. Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

In a packed edition this month we have an article that dispels some myths about Mind Mapping, A very Special book offer, News from the UK Open Memory Championships plus our regular features of Quote of the Month and what I’ve been up to.


September's Quote of the Month


"If children grew up according to early indications,
we should have nothing but geniuses."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe .

More quotes here


Learn how to get a ‘GRASP’ on creativity and receive a bundle of bonus gifts


Help us celebrate the launch of GRASP The Solution, the new book by Chris Griffiths on how to generate innovative ideas and solve problems creatively. Order a copy from Amazon on or before Wednesday 19th October 2011, and you'll receive an inclusive bundle of FREE gifts to help you triumph innovatively over any problem, challenge or opportunity!



Finally, a book that makes practical creativity easy to GRASP!

  Chris Griffiths, creator of iMindMap, launches a new book on creativity and how to GRASP THE SOLUTION

For many years now, ‘creativity’ has been a hot topic among business and social circles. More than just the latest buzzword or fad, it’s become the most decisive weapon for success in a modern world overrun by change and complexity. Creativity is serious business. So why do so many of us struggle to apply it in any real or practical way?

While many books have defined the concept of creativity and offered all kinds of hyped up tips and tricks to encourage it, now there’s finally a book that shows readers how to put creativity to work systematically in the real world.

GRASP The solution is a refreshingly pragmatic and straight-talking guide to making decisions and solving problems creatively. If you’ve always thought creativity was all fluff and no substance, this book will make you think again.

Struggling to come up with new and innovative ideas?

Got the idea but can’t make it happen?

Frustrated trying to find the right answers?

Fed up of failed group brainstorming sessions?


Chris Griffiths (head of ThinkBuzan, the organisation behind Mind Mapping – the thinking tool used by millions worldwide – and iMindMap software) compels you to let go of what’s killing your creativity. In just four clear steps, he shows you how to unleash bold, fresh ideas and solutions in a systematic way to help you triumph innovatively over any challenge.


It’s time to start thinking differently – success doesn’t come from doing what’s been done before! More information on the book can be found here.


Ready to Buy The Book And Receive Your Gifts?


STEP 1: Buy The Book From Amazon (on or before 19th Oct 2011) - Click on the links below:


  amazon1    amazon2      


STEP 2: Email Us Your Amazon Confirmation Receipt

Contact: Melina Costi, Head of Publishing, ThinkBuzan Ltd

Email: mcosti@thinkbuzan.com


STEP 3: Get Your Bonus Gifts!

We’ll send you your gift parcel and download links.



Want to know more about the BONUS GIFTS you’ll receive when you buy the book on or before Wednesday 19th October 2011?


·       Free 6 Months Subscription to iMindMap Online (Worth £30/$44.50)

A web-based tool that gives you total freedom to Mind Map from anywhere, with anyone, at anytime. Travel light with nothing but a Log-in needed to access all your Mind Maps and collaborate with friends or colleagues anywhere in the world.



·       Downloadable Mind Map Templates Based on GRASP Strategies

A comprehensive set of Mind Map templates to complement the book and save you valuable time defining your challenge, generating tons of ideas, evaluating your options and setting your goals and actions plans.


mind map



·       ‘GRASP The Solution’ DVD

A selection of insightful videos covering key topics featured in the book. Learn about the different modes of thinking and how to deliver practical creativity through system and process.


Clapper board



·       Free iMindMap ‘Getting Started’ Manual

            All the guidance you need to start Mind Mapping your way to innovative solutions

            easily, boldly and powerfully.




iMindMap Basic Software is already FREE

(download from http://www.thinkbuzan.com/intl/products/imindmap/basic)

 – Add these resources and you have all the practical tools you need to start tackling your problems and challenges creatively.




What's Phil Up To?

Phil's Photo

Apologies for the tardiness of the Newsletter this month.

I have been very busy so far in September. I have run one-to-one coaching sessions on Mind Mapping, Study Skills, Memory and Speed Reading for clients in London. I have also run a one-day Speed Reading course for a group of academic staff at a University.

Later this month I will be visiting Sweden to oversee the Swedish Open Memory Championships.


The UK Open Memory Championships

Congratulations to Ben Pridmore who retained his title as UK Memory Champion, for the 5th year in a row with a resounding victory.

The competition, sponsored by MWB Business Exchange, saw competitors from the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA as well as the home nations of Wales and England. We also had the pleasure of welcoming German Arbiter Gaby Kappus and English Arbiter Nathalie Lecordier.

Nelson Dellis, reigning USA Memory Champion, took silver medal position and the ‘Best International Competitor’ trophy.

In addition to personal bests by several competitors, James Paterson from Wales set a new Word Record by memorising the names of 63 people in 15 minutes. Full scores below:

Names & Faces
Binary Number
Abstract Images
Speed Number
30 min Number
30 min Cards
Historic Dates
Spoken Number
Speed Cards
Overall Points
1 Ben Pridmore 347 874 720 681 747 687 1044 688 700 0 6489
2 Nelson Dellis 671 197 370 364 625 527 615 376 495 9 4248
3 James Ponder 476 538 413 498 624 433 385 368 390 54 4177
4 Mattias Ribbing 435 326 423 345 450 433 538 224 420 402 3996
5 James Paterson 741 259 363 440 362 480 231 432 408 128 3844
6 Rick de Jong 212 203 110 85 167 236 115 168 464 0 1760
7 Martin Mwaka 247 65 88 85 100 109 80 72 242 66 1154
8 Jay Adams 0 0 0 221 310 55 423 0 0 0 1009


Mind Maps, Myths and Misconceptions

As World Mind Mapping Champion, it saddens me when people have been exposed to poor training or inferior visual thinking tools that purport to be Mind Maps but in fact are not. As a result, they come to believe myths about the limitations of Mind Maps. Of course, Mind Maps are not applicable in every area of life or study but in this article I aim to tackle some of the unfair criticisms that occasionally arise.

1) Mind Maps can’t be used for technical subjects like maths.

Mind Maps are very structured and follow a strict set of rules. So it should be no surprise to learn that they can lend themselves to mathematics. One of the aspects of maths is the categorisation and breaking down of a problem. Mind Maps are ideal for this. Another aspect of maths is following a process. Once again, this can be represented directly on a Mind Map or you can always add a diagram, flow chart or graph on a branch where appropriate. Mind Maps don’t directly help you to perform a specific calculation but arithmetic is a very narrow aspect of the subject. I prefer to describe maths as the study of patterns and the beauty of nature.

2) Images and colours are childish and have no place in business.

The most successful businesses and entrepreneurs are those that continually innovate and think creatively. The use of images and colour on Mind Maps stimulate and promote creativity. They also massively aid memory. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is true. A visually rich Mind Map, once memorised, allows you to have facts at your fingertips whenever required. A truly invaluable business asset.

3) Mind Maps, concept maps, process maps, fish bones, bubble and spider diagrams are the same.

If you type ‘Mind Map’ into Google you get 51 million results. Many of the apps and software packages that claim to be Mind Mapping tools break most of the true Mind Mapping Laws. The laws are there for a reason and are based on psychology so the more you break the less effective your thinking will become. The iMindMap Software is the exception in that it follows all the Mind Map Laws and creates true Mind Maps (See more details above)

In ‘The Mind Map Book’ Tony Buzan warns of the danger of Mind Maps that aren’t really Mind Maps, “At first glance, they look like Mind Maps and seem to obey the fundamental Mind Mapping principles. There are, however, a number of differences. As both figures develop, their structure becomes increasingly random and monotonous. Furthermore, all the ideas are reduced to the same level and each one becomes disassociated from the others. Because the laws of clarity, emphasis and association have been neglected, what appeared to be developing into order and structure has in fact resulted in confusion, monotony and chaos.”

Not a Mind Map

4) Mind Maps don’t appeal to logical thinkers.

A Mind Map works as either a ‘top down’ or ‘bottom up’ process. For a holistic thinker you can start with a serious of main branches and dart about the Mind Map adding ideas as they come. In this case you start with a ‘big picture’ approach and refine it as the Mind Map develops. If, on the other hand, you prefer to think is a logical step by step approach you can draw the first main branch and fully develop the ideas from this before moving on to the second, and so on. The resultant Mind Maps are much the same regardless of how they were created. One of the most powerful features of a Mind Map is that you can see the details, interconnections, relationships and overview on a single page.

Despite the fact that I have a scientific and computer programming background making me very analytical and methodical, I have learned the flexibility to switch between holistic and logical thought depending on the situation.

That’s it for this month. Look out for the next newsletter at the beginning of October.

Best Wishes