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Happy 2012 – Your Year to Get Smarter - Faster

Bill Jarrard's picture

Mindwerx International and Buzan Centre


Welcome to 2012, we hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable end of year and a very Happy New Year!. For those celebrating other festive occasions we wish you all a very prosperous time ahead.

Our holiday season was full of family, friends and fun but we are well and truly back into work now, and what a year it looks like being!

We’re off shortly to Florida to speak at the Creativity Cruise we’ve mentioned before and to run our Mind Mapping Instructor Certification program in Fort Lauderdale, and when we get back to Australia in late February we have our Sydney programs running as well. So as you can see there is lots coming up.


As the new year begins we thought we’d devote our first eLetter to starting with some positive action. So in this edition we’re looking at:

  • 31 Ways to Get Smarter in 2012 – Newsweek's first edition of the year
  • Back to School Tips – getting set for a great year of success in study
  • Your Summer Holiday – a great activity you can do with the kids
  • Teaching Others to Mind Map – a_free follow-up eCourse to our popular How to Mind Map eCourse
  • Planning your 2012 Success Strategy – tips to get your team and business set for a successful year.

So as we kick-off 2012 we hope you continue to enjoy our eLetters and we wish you all the very best for a fantastic year.



  • 31 Ways to Get Smarter in 2012
  • Back to School & Study Success
  • Note Taking with Mind Maps for Study Success
  • Study Success Skills
  • Your Summer Holiday
  • Teaching Others to Mind Map 
  • Professional Development in 2012
  • Planning Your 2012 Success Strategy


The Mindwerx and Buzan Centre public programs schedule has now been set, and we kick-off in Sydney on 28th February.  Check all the dates and location now.



31 Ways to Get Smarter in 2012


Just as we were about to wrap-up this eLetter we got a look at the first 2012 edition of Newsweek's The Daily Beast, and we just had to share the link with you.  It was also great to see that they're starting with a similar focus to us - that is on the amazing brain and how to buff it up in 2012.

We also love their tag-line for 31 Ways To Get Smarter in 2012..

  • Read stuff. Learn new languages. Master Chess. Zone out. Getting a bigger brain is easier and more fun than you think.

Our feelings exactly!  We'll be doing a blog on this in the next few days, which we'll give you the link to in the next eLetter, but for now have a look at the 31 Ways to Get Smarter in 2012 yourself

Also see the Newsweek story on how to Buff your Brain. 




Back to School & Study Success


In the southern Hemisphere, kids in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will be back to school in a few weeks, while Northern Hemisphere kids will be back from their break very soon.

So now is a good time to help them learn to study better with less stress and more success. Good study begins by balancing a number of learning skills:

  • Getting new information in through lectures, reading, experimentation, etc
  • Comprehending what you’re hearing, seeing, experimenting with, doing, etc
  • Retaining and recalling what you’ve studied or been taught
  • Using or applying what you’ve learnt in assignments and activities

There are a range of strategies for each of these, and we've written a blog with a few tips for you, so when you're ready go there to have a look


One tip we'd like to share now though has to do with reading.

A serious myth people believe about reading is that the way they learnt to read in Primary School is how they are supposed to read now. Nothing is further from the truth. The methods you learnt when you were 5, 6 or 7 years old may have been appropriate at the time, but they simply aren’t enough now.

To get the most from your study begin by asking what you need to read, why you need to read it, and then how will you read it.

Many students need to get a reasonable idea of the subject matter, but to support the premise of a major assignment you may just be looking for specific points, examples, quotes, or case studies. So you will want to use different approaches to the reading for each purpose.


And as you'll know if you've been reading our past eLetters, techniques such as Speed Reading are just the start of learning how to read with purpose and effectiveness.  So think about how you read and study now, and start to find ways to improve your skills.

Start with our blog, and we’re also working on a free eCourse to explore more reading strategies (due in a few weeks), which we'll tell you about as soon as it's ready. 


Note Taking with Mind Maps for Study Success

To capture and retain the material you’re reading you should of course be Mind Mapping key points, conclusions, and ideas you can use in assignments.

If you aren’t yet doing much Mind Mapping you may like to do our free_eCourse on How to Mind Map , and we also recommend you have a look at the new iMindMap Home & Student Mind Mapping software

This new version of iMindMap is an absolute winner for anyone of any age who is studying.


Study Success Skills

The last thing we’d like to mention about study, is that for those of you on or near the Gold Coast, we have a 2-day Study Skills workshop on 19-20 January.

Designed for students (14+) and anyone going back to study after some time off, this workshop looks at the four aspects of study mentioned above and gives some great tips on creating an effective learning environment.

We’ll also be running this course in a Sydney and Melbourne later in the year, during school holidays.  See the website for dates. 


Your Summer Holiday

Remember when you were a kid and the first thing you had to do when school started was write an essay on what you did during your Summer vacation or Christmas holiday. And do you remember how hard it seemed to do, even if you had a great time doing all sorts of fun things.

Well doing something like this with the kids is actually a great way to help get them back into school mode, without being too serious. It is also a wonderful parent-child activity that can be lots of fun and creates some great memories you can recall for years to come. The key is not to make it too serious or hard, and that’s again where doing a Mind Map can come in handy.

More than ten years ago Bill and his son Will spent a month in the UK while Jennifer was working there. On the way home Bill and Will worked together to create a Mind Map of the trip, and it did two things - one it was a great way to reinforce what they'd done together, and it also gave Bill a chance to show his son how to Mind Map.

Will later presented his Mind Map to Jennifer and Tony Buzan as a thank you for their friendship, and it has travelled with them and Bill around the world and been seen by 1000s of people. You can see and download Will's Summer Holiday Mind Map from our website.  

Take some time to do a Mind Map like this with your kids and give them the skill of Mind Mapping.  They’ll thank you later for both the skills and memories. And if they want to learn more about Mind Mapping remember a great book is Tony’s Mind Maps for Kids series.

And if there is any doubt about how much kids love to Mind Map, have a look at Tony Buzan here with some kids Mind Mapping on a recent trip to Kenya.





Teaching Others to Mind Map®

In early December we launched our free_10-Day How to Mind Map eCourse , and so far over 500 people have subscribed to it, which we are delighted about. As hoped the interest in Mind Mapping is really picking up, so much so that a number of people have asked how they could encourage friends and family to Mind Map as well.

There was particular interest from parents who want their kids to learn to Mind Map, or want to get teachers at their kid’s school to introduce Mind Maps. And we had a number of people in business and government departments ask about how they could convince their colleagues to take up Mind Mapping.

Of course this is what we do in our training programs, along with qualifying others in our Instructor Certification programs, but we also want to help the many people who cannot get to one of our programs. So we’ve just launched a new free_10-Day follow-up eCourse called Teaching Others to Mind Map

To include something for as many people as possible we look at teaching kids, helping colleagues and professionals, teaching Mind Maps in a formal way, teaching ‘list’ people, and we even discuss how to teach Mind Maps subliminally.

If you’re interested in introducing Mind Maps to other people, first do our How to Mind Map eCourse and then subscribe to Teaching Others to Mind Map. And please let us know what you think of the eCourses, and we’d love to hear what else you’d like us to develop for you.

We’ve already got an eCourse on Six Thinking Hats, and Speed Reading and Improved Memory are in the pipeline, so stay tuned.




Professional Development in 2012

Again in 2012 Mindwerx International and the Buzan Centre will be running public programs around Australia, as well as in Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

This year will also see a big focus on sharing our programs with in-house and professional trainers_who want to expand their repertoire of skills and services.  Participants will qualify to instruct and coach others in the same programs we offer as public workshops, so our Certified Instructor Programs include

  • Mind Mapping – the first 2012 course in Australia is in Sydney and starts on 28th February
  • Speed Reading – this is one of the most valuable skills anyone can have, and we need lots of instructors
  • Improved Memory – applying these principles guarantees success to anyone, and we can show people how
  • Study Skills – with the information overload people struggle with, this is a must have skill for everyone
  • Creative Thinking – taking the Mindwerx Deliberate Creativity & Innovation programs to audiences in all industries.

If you’re interested in associating with Mindwerx International and the Buzan Centre have a look at these programs and contact us anytime to have a chat



Planning Your 2012 Success Strategy

For those in large or small businesses, as well as Not-for-profits, agencies and government departments this is a great time to work with your team to plan for the next 6-12 months, and also look further out beyond the next couple of years.

A simple way to do that is to organise a team workshop and use some Deliberate Creative Thinking  to make the most of your time.

We run all sorts of facilitated team activities from team problem solving sessions to executive retreats developing innovative strategies for the future, but you can get started yourself right away.

We recommend you set aside at least a half-day, preferably away for the office if possible, and design a simple but clear agenda for the session.

Don’t try to do too much and stay focused on doing what we call ‘Strategic Thinking’ rather than the more detailed planning, which comes in the days and weeks following the workshop.

If you want to quickly reflect on current strategies a very useful way that we use all the time is to run each strategy through a quick Six Thinking Hats review.

Use Blue Hat to set your Focus, Red to see how the team feels the strategy has been working, White to get the relevant information needed to assess it further, Yellow to explore what has been working, Black to see what hasn’t done so well.

Once this exploration is done the team will be ready to start some Green Hat thinking to generate ideas on how to improve the strategy or come up with new more innovative approaches. This Green Hat could also be strengthened with some Lateral Thinking, which is bound to help generate some unique and interesting new ideas.

This is a basic approach we often use with clients, and we urge you to give it a try. If your team isn’t familiar with Six Thinking Hats, get them to subscribe to our new free 8-Day Six Thinking Hats eCourse – it will be more than enough to get you started.

And if you want to work on this seriously give us call and we can discuss how we can use our Zing Team Collaboration system  to do in four hours what you’d normally need 2 days to do.


Well we know it is a busy time of the year, so we’ll wind this eLetter up here. We hope we’ve prompted you to stop for a little bit to reflect on the past year and think about the coming year, and please let us know if we can do anything to help – we’d enjoy catching up in 2012.

Have a great rest of the week.


Bill, Jennifer, Mike, Fleur and the Gang

This message comes from Bill Jarrard, Jennifer Goddard, and the Gang at
Mindwerx International Pty Ltd - Inspiring Creativity and Innovation
Buzan Centre: Australia / NZ - Unleashing Genius

Office:   +61 (0)7 5502 6570
Bill Direct: +61 (0) 419 645 299
Jennifer Direct: +61 (0) 407 541 497
Freecall in Australia : 1800 060 982

Our WorldWide Headquarters is based at:
24 Tamworth Drive, (PO Box 3588)
Helensvale, Sunny Queensland! 4212 Australia - Buzan Centre Australia / New Zealand - Deliberate Creativity and Innovation - Software for great looking Mind Maps - Computer aided thinking beyond Mind Mapping

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Creation date: 
11 Jan 2012