When I first started college, I loved taking notes by using colorful markers, mostly because I thought this would help me with retaining information quicker. Although doing this did somewhat help me, I soon discovered another way of studying that proved to be even better – mind mapping.
However, if you’ve never used this studying technique before, you may be wondering how effective it is. Luckily for all students that are asking themselves the same question, our 2024 guide below can help. Before we take a look at the effectiveness of this learning technique, let’s first learn what it is:
Mind Mapping: Explained
If you type in “mind maps” in the search bar, you’ll quickly learn that it’s similar to a tree branch, but instead of spreading from one side to another, it focuses on a central topic that spreads to other branches. To use it, you’ll need to come up with a central topic and slowly branch it out to other concepts that are related to it. Since it’s completely visual, you’ll be able to use both sides of your brain, thus, it’ll be easier for you to retain and manage information.
When you’re done connecting all the concepts together, you’ll make a visual aid that’ll show the connection between the concept that you already understand and new info that you need to learn. This particular studying method will help you use your natural retention skills, hence, you won’t have any issues with learning new things. Because of this, a lot of people choose to create these maps when studying.
So, Are They Really Effective?
1. You Can Easily Learn New Information
One of the most important things, when learning is being able to link new details to the old ones, which is something forming these maps, could help you with. Since you’ll connect all the dots, you’ll be able to focus on relevant aspects among different topics, thus, you’ll end up understanding it better, as well as quicker. Basically speaking, you can make learning visible, which is something that can provide you with a wide range of benefits.
2. You’ll Retain Information Quicker
Although a lot of people think that we only store info as words, expressions, whole paragraphs, and sentences, this isn’t entirely true. We can also keep it as essential concepts, images, charts, and graphs. Since mapping functions and looks similar to our brains, you won’t have any problems with retaining info quicker. In fact, a wide range of studies concluded that such techniques can improve your retention by approximately 15 percent!
3. More Fun = Better Concentration
I don’t know about you, but one of the most annoying things for me when studying is reading and underlining text, as well as listening to lessons over and over again. This isn’t only less effective, but it could cause you to lose concentration, which will only make everything more difficult for you. Mind maps will make studying fun and interactive, which is why you’ll be able to concentrate better and retain info quicker.
Keep in mind, even if you’ve never made mind maps before there is a wide range of free mind map examples like the ones offered by zenflowchart.com. This means that you can utilize different programs and templates to quickly and properly make the maps. There are also guides offered by most organizations that offer programs for mapping, thus, make sure that you go through them before you start creating your own.
4. It Could Make You More Productive Which Can Save Time
Since you’ll have all the information needed in the palm of your hand and since you’ll be able to go through it quickly, instead of spending hours re-reading specific parts of the lesson, you can be more productive, which will, of course, help you save a lot of time. In fact, there were several surveys that concluded that over 16 percent of people stated that these maps helped them save more than seven hours per week, while another 40 percent stated that it saved them two to three hours.
5. Learning Will Never Be Simpler
Lastly, forming a mind map will encourage logical thinking, even if you aren’t aware of it. This, combined with everything else we’ve mentioned will assist you with improving your comprehension of complicated subjects and assignments, thus, the learning process will be easier and simpler. Keep in mind, this technique can also help you if you have to work with other students on a group project, hence, consider utilizing it for this as well.
How to Choose a Program?
Before we conclude this article, there are a few things worth mentioning, mostly because it’ll help you choose a mind mapping program quickly. For starters, you should know that there are probably hundreds of options available on the market, however, you shouldn’t choose the first one that comes up in your search results. Instead, you should first create a list of the top options and from there, you’ll want to focus on what they can provide you with.
For instance, some programs have templates that you could use, while others will require you to add shapes and colors on your own, so, consider how you want to create these charts. Also, some are completely free of charge, and there are options that will require you to pay a small fee, so, before you purchase a program, you might want to try some free ones so that you can see how mind mapping works, and later on, you could purchase a program.
And, of course, just like purchasing and using any other thing, reading the reviews is crucial. After all, they’ll reveal whether or not a program is suitable for your needs, thus, read the testimonials provided by other users. You should remember, reading them on the official sites isn’t enough, you should also read them on independent ones since people tend to be more transparent and honest on such platforms.
Even if you never utilized, formed, or seen a mind map before, you must seriously consider implementing it as one of your primary studying techniques, mostly because it could help you retain info quicker and more effectively. Besides this, it’ll make learning enjoyable and easy, which is something that could help you improve your productivity and concentration as well.
Since you’re now well aware that this studying technique could help you when studying, you shouldn’t spend your time reading guides similar to this one. Instead, you should choose a mind mapping program suitable for your requirements, and from there, try and see how simple it’ll be to study!