Improve Your Study Skills with Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping - Tips in Note Taking

Improve Your Study Skills with Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping - Tips in Note Taking

If you are a full-time student or are studying from home, you probably make a lot of notes during your lectures and lessons and when reading your text books and 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 page / 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 Buzan’s iMindMap to help him study for his book-keeping exams: “I think I must have tried every peace 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 iMindMap 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 iMindMap, 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:

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 colors 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.
  5. If you created your Map with Mind Mapping software you can review the topic at any time by referring back to your Mind Map. It is easy to make any changes or restructure your map without the hassle of recreating all of your work.
  6. You don’t need pages and pages of notes for effective study!

Tips for summarizing a lesson or lecture

  1. Start by entering the subject matter of the lesson in the middle of the map with a central idea.
  2. Create the main branches from this subject, each labeled with a key topic or theme that was covered in the lesson. Remember to use single keywords in keeping with Mind Mapping principles.
  3. Next draw connecting branches to the main branches and label these with sub-topics. If you have any of your own ideas during this exercise, add them to your Mind Map.
  4. Add images to help make the Mind Map more visually memorable for revision.
  5. While it is necessary to be brief in order to create an effective Mind Map, you may wish to include more comprehensive notes at this early stage of study. Some Mind Mapping software i.e. iMindMap allows you to add notes to your branches or link them to external files such as Word documents or spreadsheets which you can open up when needed. After you have studied this information, you will only need the keywords of your Mind Map to bring it back to memory.

Note making is just one of the activities that you can use Mind Mapping to assist you in your studies. Mind Mapping is also an effective way to help you plan essays and project work, prepare for exams, brainstorm, create and make a presentation, for supporting group study, for revision and much more....

Download iMindMap Files

The Work of Rivers:

Please Note: All the example Mind Maps were created using Buzan's iMindMap™ - The official software from Tony Buzan, inventor of Mind Mapping. To open and edit these files you will need to have iMindMap™ installed. If you do not have iMindMap™ you can easily download and try the software for FREE.

About iMindMap™

Tony Buzan is the world’s leading expert on the brain and is the inventor of Mind Mapping®, the thinking technique used by over 250 million people worldwide. Whilst many products have claimed to allow you to Mind Map on a computer, none have managed to fully duplicate Tony’s world renowned process. Until now that is… iMindMap™ gives you the infinite visual variety, portability, freedom, brain friendliness and effectiveness of traditional, highly proven Mind Mapping® techniques. iMindMap™ is the ultimate thinking tool which allows you to work, learn and think smarter so you can excel in any area of your life.

Cast your vote for Mind Mapping

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Mind Mapping

More by this Author

Comments 1 comment

Andy 8 years ago

I like how this process integrates both the left and right brain when making the map but space is of essence also. You can't fit as much detail as you can in a traditional form such as the Cornell-style notes.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article