If you are a full-time student or are studying from home, you probably make a lot of notes during your lectures/lessons or when reading your text books or course materials. Later you will almost certainly review these notes when preparing for an exam or when you have a written piece of work to do.
Disadvantages of traditional note-making
The main problem with making notes in a traditional, linear way is that it is a very passive process. Your brain does not get very involved in processing the information. By actively engaging your brain in organizing the new material, you will be able to improve your understanding and recall of it. You can do this by using the Mind Mapping technique for making notes.
A simple and effective way to make notes
Mind Mapping is an excellent diagrammatic way of organizing key ideas or concepts from lesson notes or textbooks. You simply take the essential elements from linear material (textbooks or your lesson notes) to generate your Mind Map. In this way, you can capture all your notes on one screen, enabling you to see the interconnections of certain ideas. What’s more, Mind Mapping encourages you to utilize the power of images to add emphasis and association to your notes. Using visuals in this way enhances the memory’s storing and recalling capabilities as well as increasing aesthetic pleasure!
Rob reduced his notes by 95% using the Mind Mapping
In looking for a way to improve his note making abilities, Rob Williams used it to help him study for his book-keeping exams: “I think I must have tried every piece of Mind Mapping software available on the market. I purchased a couple which have not really done what I want… it can take ages to build a map. In contrast, I have found it to be quick and easy to use. I am terrible note maker, I tend to read a text and end up copying the whole text into my notes which is why Mind Mapping is ideal for me…you can only have keywords on the branches and not reams of text. I am studying bookkeeping and have an exam coming up shortly and was daunted by the thought of having to read through all my notes again. Using this, I have reduced the notes of the first three units by about 95% quickly and with visually pleasing results.”
Here are some tips to help you make notes using Mind Maps: note organizer
Tips for making notes from a textbook or course material
1. Textbooks are usually neatly structured into chapters, topic headings and sub headings which can provide an easy framework for creating your Mind Map branches.
2. Build your Mind Map as you progress through the study text. Every time you read an idea that strikes you as important or interesting, just add it to your Mind Map in the appropriate place. You can also add your own thoughts and ideas as they arise while you are reading.
3. Add detail such as images, shapes, highlights and colours to help you organize the material better and commit it to memory.
4. When you have finished reading, you will have generated a single Mind Map which summarizes everything of interest from the text. The act of creating the Mind Map will have greatly increased the volume of information that you absorbed from the text.