One of the most common problems faced by people from all walks of life and in various circumstances is the inability to draw clear connections between subjects and pieces of information. From the business word to studying for exams and so many more examples besides, it’s a familiar tale of having an extraordinary amount of information written down but not knowing how it all fits together.
Well, the good news is that this is precisely where mind mapping steps in to make life that little bit easier.
Mind mapping is often considered another form of note taking or thinking out loud, but in reality it’s a hugely powerful too that can make a huge difference. Not only can the appropriate use of mind maps help a person interpret and learn information faster, but it can directly benefit the problem solving process.
What separates mind mapping from other forms of note taking and studying is the way in which it allows you to look deeper at the subject to understand its structure. Rather than it being a case of thousands of facts and figures scattered around a space randomly, each important area of the subject is linked with its corresponding words, data, images or anything else of significance.
In addition, the very structure of the mind map is known to be one that the human brain favors when it comes to both assimilating and retaining information.
About Mind Maps
A mind map can be simply defined as an alternative to note taking that uses a two-dimensional model as opposed to the usual lists made when not taking. One of the key bonuses with the mind map is that they take considerably less space to complete than conventional notes, in most instances demanding no more than a single side of A4 or A3 paper. This makes mind maps easy to add to and refer back to at later times, without the confusion of sifting through pages of notes.
Another huge benefit of the mind map is the way in which it allows you to break down larger and more complicated subjects into smaller pieces that are easier to digest. By mapping out any area of a subject in full, it also becomes much less likely that any areas of importance will be forgotten or left out as is often the case when using notes the traditional way.
More often than not, a mind map represents a superbly more capable tool for jogging your memory than a list of notes. Because of the shape and layout of the mind map, it can often take no more than a fleeting glance at the structure to prompt the brain into recalling the details it contains.
Uses of Mind Maps
The uses of mind maps are extremely far reaching, but the most common everyday examples include:
- Group and individual brainstorming of ideas
- Consolidation of information when gathered from multiple sources
- Breaking down complicated problems
- Assimilating and storing information for later retrieval
It takes no more than a few minutes to create a mind map and take home a first-person experience of the value and power they can have. Perfecting the art of course takes time, but getting to grips with the basics couldn’t be easier.