How to Use Mind Mapping Tools for Your Accelerated Learning
Mind mapping tools help you reflect externally what's going on inside your head. There are half a dozen ways to approach this accelerated learning method. We will be discussing the most popular form of this technique presented by Tony Buzan, who is known by many as the originator of mind maps.
Here's a great example of the mind map. Click here to download a full-sized version. (When the page loads, click on image and select "save to disk".)
Mind mapping is an accelerated learning way for anyone of nearly any age to put down any idea, brainstorm and problem solve, even take notes during class. It's very visual and organic. It's colorful and creative. And it's a fantastic way to keep from getting bored during class because you're actively using a larger portion of your brain while creating one. This creative process keeps you more alert and will help you learn more and retain a lot more information.
A Two Hour Lecture Presented From One Piece of Note Paper!
"You're kidding, right?" No, I'm not. This is the potential of mind maps in action:
Several years ago I knew a trainer who went into companies and taught employees new management skills and techniques in personal development. His talks lasted almost two hours. They were so good that afterwards many asked him for his lecture notes. He simply handed out a one-sided piece of note paper and on it was his entire training lecture in the form of a mind map. Amazement isn't a strong enough word for the reaction he received!
Back then, mind mapping tools were not even on the radar. Few had ever heard of them let alone seen one and yet, here was a highly paid trainer presenting break-through management concepts to hundreds of large corporations around the world using only one piece of paper!
Want to learn more? Watch the videos below!
How We Think
Experts in the field of learning and psychology tell us that the brain thinks by imagination and association. When transferring our thoughts or what we experience onto paper, the reason why traditional note-taking in lists and lines don't work as well as mind mapping is they don't have the associations piece built in.
I find it helps considerably to associate one concept to another when trying to remember something. For example, when I misplace my car keys, the first thing I do is think back to when I last used them. Then, I imagine what I did next, and next, and so forth until I reach present time. That's when I usually get my "Eureka!" and remember where I left those keys that grew legs and walked away.
That's how mind mapping tools work: Every concept is illustrated on paper in a way that links everything together either directly or indirectly. Pretty neat idea!
Make One Yourself! Here's the Rules:
1. Start in the middle of a large blank piece of paper. If the subject is about a book you're required to read and it's a several-word title, figure out one "keyword" for that book. For example, if the book title is, "The History of Spartan Society," make the center keyword, "Spartans".
2. When you discover a main topic, draw a large curved trunk (like a tree) from the center keyword/picture. write only ONE word for that main topic. As you discover other main topics related to the main subject, make other large trunks.
3. Branch off with smaller curvy branches for sub-topics relating to the main topic.
4. Important! Use only one word per branch in the entire mind map. If you need to write two words for one topic or sub-topic, draw another small curvy branch off the end of the other.
5. Only make branches as long a the word itself, not a long branch with a small word. (See image above for a visual).
6. Group related ideas together in each trunk.
7. Get messy! It's ok to scribble out stuff and cross things out. That's part of the creative process. When you refined your mind mapping the way you want, you can redraw the final if you want on a clean piece of paper. Redrawing is also recommended to help further anchor the information in your mind.
8. Use lots of pictures! ("A picture's worth a thousand words.")
9. Use lots of colors!
10. Leave as much white space as possible around your words and concepts.
11. Get crazy with your imagination! Have fun! That will help you retain the information.
If you want to try some great mind mapping software, click on the banner below!
Learn More About Tony Buzan's Great Mind Mapping Software Below.
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