Mind Mapping Helps You Remember
Mind mapping is a great way to help you remember ideas, concepts, details, and their relation to each other in a quick, easy way. Use this method in addition to your regular note taking system as a kind of big picture “bird’s eye” view of the main concepts of an article, chapter, or segment of reading material.
Mind maps help you sort out information visually. They are essentially thought bubbles linked together in relation to each other which create self-organized, relational, nested sub-topic trees. Almost all of us have seen these before, and they are quite effortless to make. They are regular in almost all business and science books. Think of mind maps as detailed relational flow charts.
Our brain uses a process called pattern recognition help trigger recent memories. For example, the smell of apple pie triggers for some the thought of Thanksgiving and their grandmother’s special apple pie recipe. Each thought bubble in a mind map constitutes an idea which in turn leads to and triggers other ideas related to it. Mind maps are loose and simple to make as they are rather informal, are not as committed as taking detailed notes or tedious outlines, and can be done almost anywhere. Mind maps can be done on scraps of paper, notepads, online, or with software.
To implement mind maps while reading, simply pause after reading a few paragraphs for a brief moment, try to recall some of the key words or main ideas, and put them into mind map form. Link similar ideas together. As you progress, keep loosely adding bubbles and creating linkages. The act of writing these ideas down and creating the linkages further enforces the relations of the ideas to each other while simultaneously reinforcing the points into your mind. As you progress through your reading material, keep adding to the mind map. By the end of the article, you have created a rather detailed overview of all its key concepts and ideas. This can then act as a handy reference for future consultation of the material for study, work, presentations, etc.
With this simple process of mind mapping, one will be well on their way to quickly mapping out the key concepts of any type of material and gaining deeper knowledge of what they read in the shortest amount of time.
Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.