3/02/2016

How to mind map the right way

Hey, everybody!
I think, I got to know mind mapping as a studying method after I read I book, that's topic was actually speed reading but focussed on the usage of mind maps as a memorizatoin help as well.
Personally, I use mind maps as summary papers for a subject's content, that includes all important information I need to know and am studying.
Doing this, I realized that a lot of people have a very negative afffection towards mind maps what I cannot quite understand. I know a lot of people claim mind maps to be too much effort to make or confusing.
I would partly agree to the first point. Although the process of creating a mind map may takes more time that a common note sheet, it reduces the time you need afterwards for studying and memorizing the content, what in the the end decreases the overall studying time required.
As for the seccond point, I think these people are making the wrong kind of mind maps. As the name indicates, a mind map should create a mental map, so a mental help to structure and organize the content in order to find things more easily. This is the point, that makes mind maps so attractive for me. When writing a normal note sheet, information are usually listed up chronologically, with very few connections and cohencences depicted between the topics. If an aspect is added afeterwards, it is hard to add it to the previous content. A mind map, however, has a more free structure, enableing connections and additions afterwards. They also leave more room for graphic elements, that explain the study content visually.

I have a certain way of creating mind maps, I am now going to explain to you.

  1. I start by collecting my notes and other required study material. For mind maps, I use white DIN A3 papers and a pen as well as colored pens. I start by punching holes into the sheet and folding it so that it is filable into a folder.

  1. Then, I write the topic, the mind map is going to be about, in the middle and circle it. At this point, it is important to decide whether to capture a whole topic on a mind map or just certain aspects or parts. I now divide the space on the paper roughly into areas, assuming how much space I will need for the subtopics. I mark this areas with a pencil.
  1. For a subtopic, I write the title on the very top of the area. In case, I have the subtopic divided into smaller aspects, I outline the areas with a pencil. Then, I write down each topic's content, as brief and compact as possible, using technical terms.
  1. In order to make everything more visual and easier to remember as a picture, I also draw small images or symbols, depict phrases (like answer or question) with big marks and use a color code. It is helpful to write a general symbol key
I am studying with these kinds of mind- maps using the active recall system, that is really working out so far. Mind maps help me keeping everything structured. It is also helpful as I certainly know that I only have to study the mind map's content and do not have to search for diffrent note papers or texts. 

What  do you think about mind maps? Do you use them?
I hope you find this article helpful and got some inspiration and I'll see you tomorrow!




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