How To Mind Map

November 21, 2009  |  How to, Time Management

A mind map is a type of (radial) diagram that contains words, ideas or tasks that are linked around a central idea or keyword.

A mind map can be drawn by hand or by means of a computer, before a particular lesson, while attending the class or even after the lecture has finished.

Popular Usage

Blue Arrow Solving problems
Blue Arrow Brainstorming
Blue Arrow Note taking
Blue Arrow Resolutions
Blue Arrow Planning

Benefits

Gives you a good overview of important points and keywords (such as dates, facts or figures).
Organizes your topic in a way that let’s you write less and understand more. Thus making your studies more efficient.

Example of a mind map

Mind map example - Author: Danny Stevens

Methodology

Always start out by placing your main idea or keyword in the center and then start pondering about anything that might relate to that keyword. List all the things you came up with on a piece of paper (not on the actual mind map) and then write them all down on the mind map by interlinking each idea to an appropriate category.

Remember that each line should carry only one keyword or one image and they should be of the same length as the keyword or image.

Obviously, there’s more than one way of mind mapping since the technique itself is very subjective. So even though I mention ways to form your mind map in this article, you should only take them as guidelines and nothing more. It’s more important that you develop your own style in order to fit your specific needs.

I recommend emphasizing certain elements in your mind map such as using different colors to make the mind map more vivid and easier to digest.

Let your ideas flow

Make sure that you don’t kill any of your ideas at the beginning. It’s a common problem that people try to edit their ideas before they’ve done collecting them. You can remove, edit and add as much as you’d like after you’ve finished listing them all.

Keep it clean

Another common mistake is to scramble in as much information as possible without keeping the format. If your mind map looks like clutter, you wont be able to understand it (maybe at the present moment but certainly not in the future). Finally, mind mapping is something you do to help yourself. Make sure that you can understand and interpret your own thoughts even if no one else understands it.

ou’ll find that it makes things so much easier. Look at the classes you have to attend, work out the time that you need to get to them and then set a realistic time every day so it almost becomes like part of your daily timetable. And how much studying do you need to do?

Well you can use a formula that goes something like this: for every hour of class, put in an hour and a half to two hours of study. Why the difference? Well, some of you might read much more quickly than others, some might take a longer time to absorb the same material. So it figures!

Just keep in mind that very often the ones who are slower tend to remember for longer, so it evens out! If you can study soon after your class, that makes it even better because everything is fresh in your mind.

Do take a quick break in between to relax. And remember – don’t push yourself. If you begin over scheduling your study hours, you’ll find yourself overexerting and that doesn’t really work too well in the end.

About the author

ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of www.study-habits.com, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.


5 Comments


  1. thank u

  2. This is a great idea. I am preping for my comps right now, and this might be the most helpful idea I have come across yet. Kudos.

  3. Thanks, appreciated.

  4. Thank you. I always thought this looked hard to do but was always curious. I am glad can now effectively do a mind map.

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