Mind Maps have many applications in academia including providing a visual overview of an exam, planning various stages of tasks and even making presentations. In this article we will focus on one of the most popular uses of Mind Maps: connecting ideas.
How Mind Maps Help Connect Ideas
Mind Maps or Mind Mapping enhances our brain’s capacity for memorisation through the association of ideas. This is due to a number of principles which we have outlined below:
1. Radiant Thinking:
Have you ever heard a song, smelled some perfume or eaten something which brought a tidal wave of memories to the forefront of your mind? Every smell, taste, sound or sensation can be represented as a set of associated thoughts and reactions occurring in our brains thus these actions can cause an onslaught of ideas and thoughts. This mental process is known as “Radiant Thinking”, the main representation of which is the Mind Map. Your brain is a giant machine of associations, to operate it you just need the right ‘key’.
2. The Hemispheres of the Brain – Left Brain Vs Right Brain:
Our brains are divided into two hemispheres, left and right, which perform a wide range of intellectual tasks called “cortical skills.” These include: logic, rhythm, line, colour, lists, daydreams, numbers, imagination, speech and spacial awareness. The more both sides of your brain work together to integrate these skills, the more brain capacity you will have to memorise information. Thus, a Mind Map, unlike other methods of study, involves numerous active cortical skills and helps you to memorise information quickly.
3. The Power of Images
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” This simple sentence perfectly illustrates this third Mind Mapping theory. Images activate numerous cortical skills which, again, improve our memory and our ability to associate ideas and concepts. Different people have different learning styles but individuals have a recognition accuracy of images between 85 and 95%. So a mind map, which is essentially an image once completed, is an ideal resource to stimulate this brain activity. Images can also be inserted directly into online Mind Maps to boost your memory further.
How to Create a Mind Map to Connect Ideas
Now you have seen the Mind Mapping theories, let us practice by creating a Mind Map and see how these study tools can help you in your studies. Notably, this connection of ideas takes place both during the creation and study of the Mind Map, helping you remember information better.
Suppose you want to make a Mind Map of Steve Jobs, American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple Inc. The first step would be to create the central node:
Then you can create several Mind Map branches with the main ideas you want to develop and visualise:
The next step is to bring these ideas to the next level with more information. This is precisely where the magic is in the Mind Map development process. When creating your Mind Map, you are performing a mental process by summarising information, choosing the most import information to include and connecting ideas.
The development of Mind Maps is a process that can be done individually or in groups. This is why Mind Maps are so often associated with collaboration and brainstorming. Each contributor helps to “fill gaps” through connection not previously thought of, encouraging the generation of new ideas.
Once you have a set of ideas to get started with, ExamTime provides a way to convert your Mind Map into a Note which will help you begin to develop more in-depth knowledge of a topic.
Mind Mapping Software: Create Mind Maps for FREE with ExamTime
ExamTime includes a free online mind mapping tool, which allows you to make a simple Mind Map as displayed above with 3 simple steps:
- Free registration
- Once signed up to ExamTime, click “Create” and select the Mind Map option
- Let your imagination fly!