Why Mind Mapping for Students?
Mind mapping is a visual, branching diagram that is used to capture ideas and information. For students, mind mapping provides a flexible canvas for note taking, paper planning, and studying. The process of mind mapping allows students to
- visualize ideas and concepts,
- brainstorm effectively with classmates,
- outline research documents and papers,
- improve note taking and knowledge management, and
- develop critical thinking skills.
Capturing notes in a mind map is a fantastic way to keep structured and well-organized ideas during a lecture. And, when you’re ready to study, it’s easy to develop the concepts further.
Effective mind mapping is about capturing keywords and essential information, not writing long perfect sentences. That’s why it is far easier to keep up with note-taking in a lesson using a mind map. You only capture a few words at a time without worrying about grammar or sentence structure, only essential information. You’ll be amazed at how much your brain remembers when you come to look back on these mind maps because every piece of information on your map is connected in context to other topics. This helps you make sense of things quickly and easily.
Using mind map software for your classroom note taking also means you benefit from creating adaptable and easy-to-edit notes. With mind mapping software, you can move information around a canvas in ways that make the most sense to you. Traditional linear note-taking usually means trying to capture everything you hear in the order that you hear it. This can result in related information being disconnected in your notes. Linear note-taking makes it hard to clearly show when something discussed at the start of a lesson relates to something addressed at the very end of a lesson.
With mind mapping software, understanding the relationship between ideas is never a problem. If you realize that a particular topic is related to something else, you can move that entire branch to the relevant area on the map. Alternatively, you can draw visual connections between topics to highlight related information clearly.
Finally, the use of images and icons within a mind map can highlight the essential pieces of information. They also provide small reminders or prompts about topics that you might need help with or need to research further once the lesson is over.
Education is all about building knowledge. From class lectures, readings, and assignments, you are acquiring a more holistic view of a topic. And, the notes you take in class provide the ideal foundation to further build your knowledge of a topic. After class, review your mind map, then add, edit and connect the information to make a more complete picture of the subject.
Using mind map software makes it easy for you to re-organize your notes or sections of your notes in ways that might be more logical when you review. You can also add additional information from assignments or readings. When it’s time to review, add icons to help you see where perhaps you are missing knowledge or have questions.
With a mind map, you can visually see areas that are less developed. This may prompt you to explore whether more information should be added. You can create a powerful knowledge map with mind map software by adding website links, attaching documents, and more. You are able to add greater depth to the topic without cluttering the view of the map.
When it comes to written assignments, you may not spend enough time planning. It’s tempting to jump straight into the writing. But if you spend just a few minutes building out the skeleton outline of your assignment, you will improve the structure of your written work. And, you will waste less time editing and re-writing later on.
A mind map can help you conceptualize the entire piece before you start writing. It will give you a much better sense of how the parts fit together and if each section flows logically into the next. Using the mind map to sketch out what key ideas you plan to include in each section will also help you to see whether you have covered all the necessary items needed in your work.
In addition, mind mapping software can even export this structure (and all your ideas) directly into a Word document so that you can immediately switch into writing mode. When you’re ready, simply flesh out the skeleton plan you developed in the mind map. Think of the mind map as your research, thinking, and planning tool, and MS Word (or equivalent) as your final editing and printing tool!
Build mind mapping into a daily study routine and you’ll be ready for any exam. Capture notes in mind maps during classes, build knowledge maps and develop written assignment plans in mind maps. With every map created, you’re laying the groundwork for success. When your exam rolls around, you will arrive exceptionally well equipped and feeling more confident.
Rather than trying to find notes from different classes and hoping to understand how they connect, you now have a connected set of knowledge maps that you’ve built over the year. Each map contains clear visual cues to help you see which information is most critical, most challenging, and where you may need to spend some extra time. The structure and simplicity of a mind map means you are less likely to feel overwhelmed by large chunks of text and can review the information in a better state of mind. You can continue to develop and update them as required.
Start Mind Mapping Today!
It’s never too late to use mind mapping in your studies. The sooner you start, the quicker you’ll experience the benefits! If you start building mind mapping into your study routines, you’ll quickly find your work less stressful and exams less daunting. So, what are you waiting for?
For additional tips and to see how others have used mind mapping in their studies, the following resources may be helpful:
- Biggerplate Collection: MindMeister for Students
- 15 Creative Mind Map Examples for Students
- Visual Learning with Mind Mapping (Guide)