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Spider Diagramming To The Rescue


I have a confession to make. Spider diagramming has changed my life. It’s a technique that I learned in design school, and I have been using it fervently ever since. Upon first look one may not understand the true value of it, so I’m here to delve deeper into how spider diagramming can change your life.

  1. It allows you to think in a non-linear way. Goodbye to the long lists of yesteryear, spider diagramming helps you think outside the box. (Or outside the list, if you will). It gives your thoughts the ability to jump around, which leads to my next point.

  2. Captures random thoughts. When creating a list, random thoughts just increase the length of the list. However, when using spider diagramming, random thoughts are organized as soon as they hit the paper.

  3. Captures uncensored thoughts. Spider diagramming can be done so quickly that it captures your thoughts before you have time to doubt them. This does mean that it captures half-baked ideas, but those ideas usually lead to something good, so it’s best to get them out in the open.

  4. Captures both thought and emotion. Whereas a list simply captures thoughts, spider diagrams capture your thoughts, and your feelings about those thoughts. It helps you figure out how you feel about the issues at hand.

  5. Allows for easily seeing connections between thoughts. Tangents that would never intersect on a list, may easily be connected on a spider diagram. Arrows and dotted lines can be used to show the connections between ideas.

  6. Easily creates main points. Each hub demonstrates a main point, so spider diagramming helps you more quickly put together the skeleton of whatever you are writing.

  7. Quickly and easily shows sub-points. Out of each hub are sub hubs. Spider diagramming makes it quick and easy to come up with sub categories, and organize those thoughts and connections.

I know that this is a really basic, high-level overview but that’s because that’s all this topic needs. Spider diagramming is quick and easy to do, and leads to great insights. Don’t just take my word for it -- try it! If you want to learn more about how to create a spider diagram, check out this site:

Stashed in: Design!, Ideas, Awesome, Diagrams, Reference

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Do the sizes of the circles matter?

It looks like the biggest ideas get the biggest circles. 

Size of the circle doesn't matter. Location of the circle definitely matters though.

As is true for much in life, location matters. 

Size not-so-much.

isn't this just mindmapping?

No. From her link above:

Spider diagrams are not the same thing as mind maps but they can be just as useful in some ways as an idea organiser or an alternative note taking method.

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