As you may have realised by now, the theme that permeates throughout our Websites is 'Creating and Using Mind Maps to learn faster and easier.'
We have also created a Free Handbook on creating a Mind Map Tutor to help you learn faster and easier.
If you want to get a more detailed and comprehensive program, then have a look at our Learning Management Program. It will give you a holistic, comprehensive approach to learning and meeting your life's objective.
This article covers the principles behind a Mind Map Tutor and how to use them properly.
There are two analogies, which I often use, when explaining how to use a Mind Map Tutor. The first is equating it to a 'normal map', e.g. the map of a city, town, etc. and secondly, the building of a Jigsaw Puzzle.
Let's start with the map.
If you are using a map to navigate, you need to realise that the map is just a representation of reality - it is not reality. The better the Map represents reality, the more effective the map will be.
If you equate this to a Mind Map, you must ensure your Mind Map is:
The jigsaw puzzle analogy can be applied to creating the Mind Map Tutor, as well as using the Mind Map Tutor, to learn.
People are often confused, as they think that by merely building a Mind Map of the content, they already understand and know it. While many people find that creating a Mind Map goes a long way in understanding and remembering the content, there is often still some hard work to do if you really want to master the content.
Let's explore the typical process of building a Jigsaw Puzzle.
We start with the big picture, which is normally the picture on the cover of the box.
We then look at the pieces on the table and think, 'How are we even going to get started?'
A common method is to pick a corner - any corner - and start putting the puzzle together piece by piece. Many start with all the corners, as well as the centre.
Slowly but surely, the picture starts coming together. New pieces are linked to those that are already on the table. Your brain is constantly searching for clues to link the new pieces to existing pieces.
The same applies to learning with a Mind Map Tutor. Whether you created the Mind Map Tutor yourself, or you purchased one of our premium ones, you should have a similar structure, with branches connecting to existing, known, branches. Eventually all the pieces will be linked and everything makes sense.
Your Mind Map Tutor always starts with an Overview Mind Map.
You will have a focused topic in the centre of the Main Mind Map. This central topic is the hook to which you will attach all the content contained in the subsequent branches and Mind Maps.
Coming off your main topic, you should have 5-10 branches that serve as the main index for the rest of the content.
In his landmark work 'Use Your Head', Tony Buzan, the inventor of the Mind Map, gives a wonderful picture of how creativity spirals once the content is put into permanent memory.
Memorising these few branches won't take too long and it is very easy for you to test yourself. You can simply draw this Mind Map on a Page, in your Mind, on your iPad, or on your personal computer, within a minute or two.
You should test yourself regularly during the learning sessions of each subject that you are learning.
Once you have done this, you will have an overview embedded in your mind. This is the same as having the four corners and a bit of the centre pieces of a Jigsaw Puzzle.
You should also understand what each branch means, as this will be the key to unlocking the details that follow.
Now take branch number one. This branch should be linked to a new Mind Map with a set of 5-10 branches once again.
You have already memorised the central topic of this new Mind Map, as it is one of the branches of the main, Overview Mind Map.
Now begin to read and understand the rest of the branches and notes. This will ensure that you understand the topic fully. Add your own notes, thoughts, resources and images.
You can decide how much of this you want to put to memory, but we have found that 90% of your learning would have taken place by simply memorising the main branches and working through the details. Remember that you can supplement your notes using linear notes as well. We suggest the Cornell Method, which is covered in our Note Taking Section.
Do the same for each Main Branch of the Overview Mind Map.
Many of the second level Mind Maps may have more detailed Mind Maps. By working through them using the same process, will ensure that you dig into the details of the subject and get an intimate understanding of the topic.
If you are going for a distinction in an exam, then this step is mandatory. Even if you don't have such high aspirations, do it, as you may even surprise yourself!
It's all about the process and the system. By using a consistent, repetitive system, your ability to learn faster and easier just improves. Remember, if you want a comprehensive guide and more details, our Learning Management Program is the system to get.
You will get a holistic program that gives you all the knowledge, skills and attitude to learn faster and easier with less effort.
It's all in the system...