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What Is A Mind Map And How Can I Use One? Method Of Learning For Students

Why Do We Need Mind Maps?

You’ve probably utilized plans, lists, and notes tens of thousands of times. And there’s usually something wrong with them. Problems emerge as soon as you consider something more difficult than pounding a nail into a wall. It’s as if something is limiting you, keeping you back, getting in the way, and even contradicting your own thought process. This is how things are.

Ideas don’t grow and evolve in a linear fashion. One concept leads to a slew of others, each focused on a different facet of the problem to be solved.

Our thoughts are dazzling. Any concept may be developed in practically endless ways in all directions.

Let’s begin with the fundamentals. When we think, we begin with some essential, important, fundamental problem, the subject of thought – the major theme, in one way or another. This subject should be well-defined and set in stone.

Nonlinear luminous thinking necessitates the abandonment of lists and sequences. Let’s attempt to jot down anything that comes to mind around the focal point of contemplation.

Experts from lots of essay assistance companies who work with students claim that a core concept creates multiple significant concepts, each of which grows and becomes concretized in the form of lesser concepts. Every minor thought is linked to a larger one.

Let’s just draw lines to indicate these relationships and add a bit more graphic detail. You’ll receive the same type of mind map that Tony Buzan advocated for many years. In truth, humans have been visualizing their thought processes for over a century, and the mind map is only one of the most basic and universal ways of showing it.

Which Tools Should You Use?

1. Paper

A mental map, in principle, requires a lot of areas. Even if you have a sweeping picture style, an A4 page will most likely be insufficient. Buying an A3 and lugging it around isn’t a smart idea, and mind-mapping at your favorite table doesn’t really match with life’s reality.

It’s also more difficult to make changes to a paper mental map. You’ll have to modify links and degrees of thoughts several times.

2. Mobile Applications And Web Services

Mind maps on the computer are more useful. They correct for individual handwriting defects as well as the crookedness of a thinker’s hands as a whole. Additionally, digital mind maps eliminate the need to carry a set of colored pens or pencils with you and allow you to “magically” connect extra data to the cards.

The application should ideally function on numerous platforms, allowing you to work with your thoughts wherever you are: at home, in the workplace, on the metro, or at the cottage.

A bundle of a smartphone or tablet app (or a well-done mobile version of the site) and a desktop web version or client will be minimally sufficient.

Mobile apps can be useful for capturing the “most important” ideas before they fade from memory, but it is still difficult to talk about comfortable full-fledged mind mapping from a smartphone or tablet.

What Are The Components Of Mind Maps?

The formality of mind-mapping thoughts is obliterated. Some people make mind maps from left to right, from top to bottom, and some call them “sunshine.” Your goal is to figure out how to record the flow of your ideas in a way that makes sense to you. So, if it’s more convenient for you, go ahead.

The most important thing is to remember what mind maps are. This will allow you to create maps for a variety of purposes, including development, blog posts, books, and just working through a project.

1. Map Center

A central topic, or idea, is the starting point for any map. This is sometimes referred to as the essence of thought. If you’re considering how to reach a life objective, the major subject can be “income sources” or “stop smoking.”

The human method of thinking is best represented by radial maps. Begin constructing a card from the upper right corner and work your way clockwise. However, it is only a question of personal choice.

2. First Level

The essential categories, actions, and chapters that pertain to the primary issue are located here. As you brainstorm, you’ll see which of the highlighted ideas are more vital and deserve to be on the first level, and which are less important and may be linked to a more general topic. This starts to construct a map hierarchy, which may be altered as needed.

The first-level themes have short names since they are simply categories that assist in the construction of concepts.

You can add visuals to the categories if they are too abstract. It’s especially important if you’re creating a map for a web service or app. This establishes connections between the categories’ material and allows you to swiftly disseminate ideas between them.

3. Second Level

Ideas begin to arise at the second level of subjects. It might be a fleshed-out conclusion that ties the parent topic together, or it could be a distinct notion that ties the parent theme together.

Second-level subject titles are usually still brief, consisting of one or two words.

The second level may be represented by phrases or subjects with notes attached if the card is quite straightforward and has no more than three levels.

4. Third and Subsequent Levels

The third and following tiers are where concepts are fleshed out. This is often not the place to go until the second level has been completed and arranged.

However, if you’re discussing a second-level issue with a few third-level “daughters,” it’s best to include them straight away. It will be more orderly and considerate when you arrive at the third level from the other categories this way.

If required, you can use descriptive terms at this level.

Make a maximum of four tiers. Otherwise, reading the map will be difficult.

Go to the accompanying notes if you require more information or extensive descriptions.

If the map becomes too large, break it into “floating” themes or build a new map with a connection from the primary map. You can accomplish this using app like MindMeister.

Additional Tools

Applications that enable extra features like notes, callouts, and links are preferred for the main mapping. This is something that advanced apps like iThoughtsX, XMind, ConceptDraw, iMindMap, MindMeister, and MindManager excel at. The latter has a somewhat costly price tag, which is only justified if you truly require all of the application’s numerous features. For novices, a basic Google or MindMup will do; free versions of the applications are also available.

How to Build Mind Maps

The procedure begins with a concept. It’s sometimes a spur-of-the-moment thought. New ideas arise as you repair them. You have an idea that ties to another issue that comes to you along the road.

This everything occurs in an avalanche, which is why the mind map is so effective. You’re not looking for the best area to write it down; you’re simply jotting down a thought near the main topic.

You can locate those ideas later.

Refining

In fact, paying too much attention to the right structure while actively expanding the map with concepts is pointless. Moving themes around are only essential if the present scheme is incompatible with the current cognitive process. Such alterations may be done instantaneously using digital mind maps.

The second-level theme frequently not only shifts to a more appropriate parent but also evolves into a higher level. This is what occurs when you suddenly discover the importance of a side thought. Such moves make sense in certain cases, but not in others.

The beauty of digital mind maps is that once you’ve completed your brainstorming, you’ll have plenty of time to think things over and tweak them with no effort.

With links, outlines, and comments, sketch out planned map modifications. Make a breadcrumb trail to follow so you can go back and retrace your steps.

Floating themes are a type of theme that may be used in most programs. These topics aren’t connected to a primary subject, and they add to the current project’s map count.

The best purpose for a floating theme is to utilize it as a temporary repository, a buffer, or a transit site for ideas that aren’t important enough to become first-level themes but can’t find a position on the map for now. These concepts will either find a home on the present map, migrate to a new one, or become important themes in their own right.

Sorting

After you’ve uploaded all of your thoughts and ideas to the map, you may sort them. This is a simple process. You’ll see inconsistencies, methods to improve, and spots where topics need to be shifted, enhanced, or degraded as you proceed from the center to the perimeter. In reality, you continue to brainstorm throughout these times. You’ve generated a notion, and now you’re improving it spontaneously.

If your map contains concepts that must be presented in a logical order in the end, now is the time to get started. As previously stated, you can begin filling in the map in the top right corner and work your way clockwise. Intuitively, you’ll want to start at the top of the list and work your way down. You already have a sorting algorithm, as you can see. You may begin reviewing the map once the map has been placed in order and you have all of the late ideas.

Checking

It’s simple to spot problems in a mental map, but only for the author and only in the near term. The map rapidly becomes nonsensical early on, therefore the major purpose here is to ensure that it does not make sense to the next person who views it.

Some of the map’s concepts lose their significance and usefulness as it is built. Such concepts can be recognized and screened out via verification.

Verification is done in the same way as sorting is done: from the center to the perimeter. We’ll go through one branch at a time. Does this make sense to you? Great. Have you come upon an old concept? Remove it. Isn’t there a better place for this in another thread? It should be moved.

You may run across duplicate ideas in different forums from time to time. Having them confuses you, and people who look at the map afterward will be confused as well. Remove the duplicates, leave the concept where it belongs, or come up with other ways to get rid of them.

Checking can assist you in determining whether the concept is truly worthwhile. If you’re unsure or stumped, you should either disregard this card or revisit it later.

Polishing

The card becomes more helpful when it has been polished. You make the map understandable to others after you attain the required level of visibility. Your intangible notion is now ready to be turned into a very real functional project.

Presentation

A static map may be turned into a dynamic display using several of the programs listed above. MindManager and MindMeister bring your mind map to life, with MindMeister’s presentation mode allowing you to apply zoom effects and highlight certain areas of the map. A map file may be exported into a PowerPoint presentation using iThoughtsX and ConceptDraw, and a 3D picture of the map can be created with iMindMap. The majority of popular services allow you to share maps with your coworkers and acquaintances.

Modern technologies made mind mapping even more powerful, functional, and accessible. The methodology on digital steroids is non-alternative in terms of the efficiency of retrieving and fixing ideas.

Read Soft Skills That Students Need To Develop Today.

John Harper

#1 File Information bestselling author John Harper loves to dispel the myth that smart men & women don’t read (or write) romance, and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch him winning the $77,000 jackpot. In 2021, Netflix will premiere Bridgerton, based on his popular series of novels about the Why Files.

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