Improve Your Memory with Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping

Improve Your Memory with Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping

Memory can lead to the accomplishments of many astonishing feats. Take for example the story of Mozart visiting Rome in 1770, when he was 14, and listened to Allegri’s Miserere in the Sistine Chapel. The half-hour long piece of music was considered so special that the Vatican forbade its publication, but after the concert Mozart wrote down the entire piece of music from memory. Or more recently, memory champions have been setting world records which seem nothing short of miraculous to ordinary people. It is often assumed that such people must have extraordinary brains or are amazingly clever.

In 2002 scientists put this assumption to the test and performed a range of tests on highly ranked memorizers at the World Memory Championships held annually. The tests revealed that the memory champions’ brains showed no differences to that of ordinary people. However, it was discovered that nine out of the ten memory champions were simply using a technique called ‘the method of Loci’, which dated back to ancient Greece. This method is based on location and imagination. It was therefore concluded that a good memory is simply a skill, and a skill that can be learned – at any age.

The main principle of memory technique is linking the thing to be remembered to some other idea – this is known as association. When your memory has meaning, your brain gives it a tag that makes it much easier to retrieve. A similar process is achieved when you see something in context or linked to some other idea which provides a tag for the idea. If you imagine your memory as a library, it is clearly much easier to find a particular memory if it has a tag attached to it. You will be amazed how dramatically you can improve your ability to remember things if you use combinations of association, vibrancy and imagination.

The best technique that encourages you to use association and imagination is Mind Mapping. Mind Mapping was invented by Tony Buzan in the 1960s, although the learning principles of Mind Mapping have been around for hundreds of years and have been used by some of the world’s greatest thinkers. Tony Buzan states that it is the ultimate thinking tool – a creative and effective means of thinking that literally ‘maps out’ your brain. Mind Maps are an ideal tool to use as a memory improvement tool, not only is it extremely simple but it can have an immediate impact on memory, creativity and your ability to concentrate.

Mind Maps have a natural structure that radiates from the centre and uses lines, symbols, words, and images according to a set of natural and brain-friendly rules. A long list of boring information can be turned into colorful, memorable, highly organized diagrams that reflect the brains natural way of thinking and encourages synergetic thinking.

Imagination and association are the two main principles that make Mind Mapping so effective. By developing creative skills you are not only improving your ability to come up with innovative ideas you are also, by default, enhancing your ability to remember things. This is because creativity and memory are vertically identical mental processes – they both work best when you are using imagination and association.

A quick guide – how to make a Mind Map:

  1. Gather all the information you need – your research, an array of colored pens and a large blank piece of paper.
  2. Draw a simple image or symbol to represent your central idea in the centre of the page.
  3. Think of the main points or topics of your Mind Map, radiate your key topics of the central image as branches adding a key word that represents that topic.
  4. Now explore your main branches with sub-branches / thoughts. Add single words to each sub-branch. Let your ideas flow freely, adding a new branch for each thought.
  5. Use your colored pens and add images to make your map vibrant and exciting.
  6. Alternatively, you could produce your Mind Map using the new and exciting Mind Mapping software that has recently become available, for example, Tony Buzan’s iMindMap. By using software to facilitate Mind Mapping it enables users to create truly personal, organic Mind Maps without restricting the thinking process in any way, while incorporating all the principles of Mind Mapping technique.

Once you have created your Mind Map you will notice that instead of having pages and pages of boring linear notes you have a single page that contains all the key points that you need to remember. You will instantly see the connections and links between different ideas and thoughts and can help you quickly gain insight into the big picture as it represented on the piece of paper in front of you.

Secondly, by creating your Mind Map you have used both sides of your brain. People have an extensive range of intellectual and creative skills that they only partly use. However, Mind Mapping takes advantage of the potential of both the right (creative) and left (analytical) sides of the brain. What is more, if both the right and left brain are used, both sides become stronger, engaging with each other to reinforce their creative output, and association. Consequently resulting in a noticeably improved memory.

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Comments 1 comment

iMindMap 6 years ago

You are right that using Mind Mapping is a very powerful way of improving your memory but what many do not realize is that it is not just the image, colored branches, keywords and structure that helps the recall.

The biggest benefit in terms of memory is that the process of creating the map (analyzing the material, identifying themes, choosing key words, picking images and arranging associations etc) mean the recall of the topic will be far stronger because you are having the think and engage with the information far more than if you were just copying notes.

Well done an informative page.

Regards

Michael

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