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Mind mapping for kids' stories!

In this 'Mind Maps in Action' blog post, we speak to Nic Andela about his experiences using mind maps as a learning tool during his medical studies and about his exciting new book, "One Trillion Stories for Kids"!

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I am a medical anaesthetist/intensivist doctor by trade and did my pregraduate medical training at the prestigious medical school of the University of the Orange Free State (UOVS) in South Africa. I was able to be nominated as the Medical School Student Chairman in my later student years, which gave me a clear perspective of how the medical and political forces work.

I’ve subsequently been involved in numerous medical and non medical entrepreneurial projects following graduation and have always known deep inside that my place here on earth is to provide a service or product to the masses rather than my usual medical one to one treatment I see in my practice.

One of the past projects was my first humerous book release called, Dissecting Humour that was designed to bring medical humour to those who become terminally ill, which was inspired by my late mum after she contract mouth floor cancer.

How were you first introduced to mind mapping?

I was brought up within an English environment at home and school and at the time was having trouble completing my medical tests within an Afrikaans University environment. It was here where I was introduced to the UOVS education department and a wise gentleman showed me the art of Mind Mapping in the context of academic learning.

I literally found this a revelation that had a profound effect in improving my academic test scores from a C aggregate to cum laude grades.

What do you think is the greatest benefit of mapping?

The ability to physically see large volumes of content presented within a basic image format, which has a profound effect on ones mental retention capacity to recall the appropriate information at a drop of a hat. This is so much more powerful than the traditional education style of layering lines of content which makes it more difficult to recall!

I personally believe that Mind Maps help with creativity, imagination and strategizing subject matter. Boeing seems to do it, so there is methods to the madness.

How does mapping fit in to your day to day work?

I’m able to adapt my Mind Maps to a variety of subjects with the middle core focus changing accordingly. I find this pertinent to me and can use them for anything from note taking during meetings, daily chores, to do lists, planning for strategic projects and goal setting.

I also find myself teaching my little girl, Lily the art of Mind Mapping which you can see on

Children seem to find this way of learning through drawing far more interesting than traditional teaching techniques.

Could you tell us about your book, "A Trillion Stories for Kids"?

To reach the masses I’ve picked the most important players in this education group i.e. the adults who are directly in contact with young children which include the parents, grandparents, aunties & uncles, child minders, educators and nannies.

The idea is to educate these adults who interact with the children daily using a simple past time that has been around for many generations i.e. “story time”. The idea was to create a simple Mind Map Story Telling Template for people to follow so they can recall an unlimited amount of imaginative stories when they sit down with the children.

The Template is designed in essence to introduce Mind Mapping to the adults and to not only educate them, but to have them introduce these profound mental mapping skills to their children from a very young age to use in school and university.

What prompted you to write the book?

To get us adults more engaged with our kids of the 21st century; far to many of them sit on electronic computers for many hours of the day, playing brain numbing games, which does very little for personal mental growth and creativity. The idea here is to revolutionize the story telling past time, by drawing from the Templates creativity to help story tellers compose really interesting and captivating children’s stories.

Where can we get it??

Barns and Noble (Hard copies), Nook (eBooks), Amazon (Hard copies & eBooks).

If you are a distributor, please contact Infinity Publishing directly in the US for larger discounted orders.

See for more information.

Would you like to add anything else?

I’m looking to create a kids Mind Mapping Network with the help of Daniel Tay, an inspirational Mind Mapper and teacher from Singapore where kids can submit their Mind Map concepts for other kids to visualize and to expand on, with the objective to increase children’s skills, creativity, imagination and thinking capacities for the future!

A huge thank you to Nic for sharing his story with us, and for his valuable contribution to the mind mapping community!

Have you got a 'Mind Maps in Action' story to share with us? Get in touch via Twitter: @Biggerplate

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Barney is Community Manager at Biggerplate and shares user stories, mind mapping tips, and other news and updates from our global member community!
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