An innovation of Tony Buzan, the mind map evolved from his research in note
taking techniques. A mind map consists of a central word or concept, around which
you draw 5 to 10 main ideas that relate to that word or concept. Then you take each
of those words and draw 5 to 10 main ideas that relate to each of those words. New
ideas can be placed in the right place and the map encourages the reduction of each
idea to a single word.
A mind map is a way to organize your thoughts or ideas around a major theme or
subject, and assist you in making brain linkages and connections for better recall
later. You can apply the mind map principle to a variety of situations, whether it’s a
book you just read, a lecture you just heard, or a vision you just had -- creating a
mind map around its central theme can bring clarity and order to your thoughts, and
you can depict it all on a single sheet of paper.
Research by Tony Buzan on note taking revealed that out of the various methods
of learning after a lecture - writing transcripts, writing summaries or writing key
words - key words written by the student was the most effective way of remem-
bering a lecture given to them. As an exercise in creating mind maps, use the below
skeleton of a simple mind map and improvise from there with sample words or ideas
that relate to the central theme of a book you just read or a movie you just saw and see
how effective it is for organizing your thoughts. You’ll also find that reviewing your
mind map later will bring the summary or essence of the book or movie back quickly
to you. Also if the book or movie is particularly important for you to learn and retain,
redrawing the mind map from memory a few times will implant the information very
solidly in your memory.