‘Mind maps’ is a comparatively new method, which, nevertheless, already gained popularity in educational field. Whether you are studying at the university and need to deal with a whole lot of information or you are reading a book that provides you with complicated information, the method of mind maps will work much better than any common-used notes. This approach allows you to structure new information and increase the percentage of things that you are able to memorize. Sounds promising, huh?
What is ‘mind map’?
The term itself originally comes from psychology. The promoter of this technique, British psychologist Tony Buzan, who later even created a special software for it, claims that this is one of the best ways to memorize information in a short amount of time. As he explained, it has a lot to do with the way that our psyche works – it is easier for humans to percept information as a whole. In some ways, this process can be described like ‘scanning’.
Basically, ‘mind map’ is the visualization of your thinking process in a form of a tree-structured diagram. Probably sounds a bit complicated, but really it is not. So let’s get into it more deeply.
Main features of a mind map
As we already mentioned, there has to be an idea. The central key point to the whole map. Then come main themes in a form of ‘branches’ that grow out of the central bubble with the main idea. Another significant feature of a mind map is that the less important the statement is – the further it is going to be located on a ‘branch’. And last, but not least – all ‘branches’ must form a united nodal structure.
If you want, you can always draw the map yourself, at least this way it will definitely work for you. But there is always another option waiting for you – computer programs. With a little bit of research you will find more than one create web page that provides this kind of services. Therefore, it will not be too hard for you to find the one that will suit you and your needs the most.
Where to start?
First of all you have to think of a theme, a topic, to which your mind map will be dedicated. By drawing your mental map you will specify this topic by each time adding to it new information pieces. It is not only useful for information organization, but can also be a lot of fun! There are few things that you have to give attention to, though.
1. Bright colors
Humans tend to percept shapes and colors before actual meanings of signs. So make sure that you somehow highlight the most important pieces of information.
2. Different styles
To separate sections or ‘branches’ of your map, try to draw each one using a different style. This way even on subconscious level you will differ them from one another and, therefore, get a higher level of organization.
3. Additional notes
The whole point of a mind map, especially in the case of information organization, is in the reduction of the written material. The less written text you see – the bigger is the chance that you will remember it. So if you think, that at some point additional information is necessary, write it down on a small note, make sure that your mind map refers to it. This way your map will not look overwhelming and you will keep all the information you need.
Pictures are just as important to information organization as text, so make sure to include some to your mind map. This way, you will make your info even more perceptible.
Follow a strict structure while you are drawing your mental map, after all, this is the whole point of it. Do not jump from one point to another.
Mind maps are widely used in all areas of human life. But mostly, of course, for educational purposes. This is a great way to structure an already existing information so that you will memorize it times faster. It is also a great alternative to those students, who hate taking ‘traditional’ notes in the classroom. Drawing a mental map might even help them to get the most out of the lecture in the most fun way possible.
So whenever you need to structure and quickly memorize your information – mind maps might be just the right option for you.