Maker Mind

Make the most of your mind

#048 | June 18th, 2020
Current mood: windows and mind wandering. Artist: Rutu Modan.

Directed distraction.


Hi friends!

Did your mind start wandering more often than usual during the past few months? You know, that daydreaming state—when you are physically here, but mentally somewhere else. When it happens, we tend to catch ourself, and bring our focus back to the task at hand.

But mind wandering can actually be beneficial. In fact, it's essential for our creativity and our productivity. So how does it work?

This week, you will learn about the history and neuroscience of mind wandering. Then, if like me you are a bit of a mind explorer, we will also investigate the world of mental maps, cognitive maps, mind maps, and concept maps. (so many maps!)

(also, if you're looking for a new book, read this.)

Enjoy the read, and hit reply if you have any questions, feedback, or want to say hello!

Ideas & Inspiration: Join a thought-provoking meetup on June 24th, where we will discuss sustainable ways to cultivate your creativity. Register »

Brain food

The art and science of mind wandering
Mind wandering, while it can take many forms, is an experience of thought shared by all of humanity. Some people see it as a negative habit that must be controlled; others as a creative necessity. The truth, as often, is more balanced: there is an art and science to mind wandering.

From mental map to mental atlas
Mental maps, cognitive maps, mind maps… Scientists and popular psychologists alike have coined all kinds of thinking maps. It may be tempting to consider some of these more effective than others, but the reality is that we need to build a mental atlas.

Browser extensions for Roam Research
While Roam is a pleasure to use out of the box, the community has created many browser extensions to improve your experience while taking notes and brainstorming.


Brain candy

Why do people avoid facts that could help them? (Scientific American)
“Several studies suggest that individuals widely prefer to remain ignorant about information that would benefit them when it’s painful—and sometimes when it’s pleasurable.”

Loneliness alters your brain's social network (Science Daily)
“Feeling disconnected from others is reflected by how the brain represents relationships.”

Who was the first therapy dog? (Psychology Today)
“A tiny Yorkshire Terrier may have been the first recognised therapy dog.”


Brain trust

Many interesting conversations this week in the members area:

  • Ideas & Inspiration. The next virtual meetup will be all about Ideas & Inspiration. We will discuss experiences and challenges in sustainably fuelling our creativity. Register.
  • Community. Currently discussing Hey (a new email provider), the benefits of slowness, building a daily writing practice, and digital gardening tools. Join the conversation.
  • Mind Match. As always, fill this form to get matched with a fellow member for a virtual coffee chat. Includes a thoughtful conversation guide with ice breakers!

Until next week,
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