How to Convert your Old-Fashioned Notes into a Mind Map

If you like to take notes and bring those into the Sunday School classroom with you when you teach, I’d like to suggest that you try something different next week.  Instead of bringing pages of notes that can be hard to keep up with, try bringing a single page of notes…a mind map…and see how much easier it is to use this simple but powerful way of recording important notes.

I learned how to mind map several years ago, and now whenever I teach or preach, I like using a mind map because of its simple nature.  It gives me the structure I need, the details I need to recall, but without endless pages of complicated notes.  I’ll never go back to using a traditional, hierarchical style of notes!

A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added.  A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, and other items.  These items are linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas,and as an aid in:

  • study
  • presentations
  • notetaking
  • organization
  • problem-solving
  • decision-making
  • writing

By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage an unorthodox brainstorming approach that can generate ideas without regard for a more formal, hierarchical organization system.

Why use Mind Maps instead of Conventional Notes?

  • Mind Maps are more compact than conventional notes, often taking up one side of paper
  • Make associations easily
  • If you find out more information after you have drawn the main Mind Map, then you can easily add it in
  • Mind maps are quick to review and easy to refresh information in your mind
  • Effective mnemonics – remembering the shape or structure of a mind map can give you the cues you need to remember the information within.  More of your brain is engaged in the process of assimilating and connecting facts compared to conventional notetaking

Creating Mind Maps

Mindmaps can be drawn by hand, either as ‘rough notes’ during a lecture or meeting, for example, or can be more sophisticated in quality by using mind mapping software.  To create effective mind maps, you’ll want to have at least 4-5 different colored pens so that each branch of the mind map will be a different color, making it very easily to see your different points throughout your presentation.

If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you can download inexpensive apps that will enable you to create mind maps on your mobile devices.  Go to the app store and simply type in “mind mapping” in the search bar.


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