Note Taking

Different people learn in different ways. Mind Mapping can make a big difference to your understanding, memory and learning because the notes you create suit your personal learning style.

Be Prepared

An important part of note taking is to be fully prepared. Most people skip this step…and therefore miss much of the knowledge that they could have gained.

To prepare, make a Mind Map that shows everything that you already know about the topic. Our minds work by connecting new information to existing information, and this creates a framework that you can fit the new information in to.

Extend the Mind Map by adding topics for the things that you either know will be, or think may be covered. This forms the basis of focus for the new information. Finally add topics for the things you want to learn, so that your mind is looking out for that information, and can ask the right questions (either to yourself as you listen to the presentation, or to the teacher).

Color Coding

You can color code different topic shapes in NovaMind to represent the different types of topic – NovaMind has theme colors that allow you to choose colors that go together well, but also provide contrast, which allows you to easily color code things, and still have a great looking Mind Map. If you want, you can set these topics up so that the subtopics inherit these colors and at the end of the presentation, you will be able to identify at a glance the information that you already knew, the information you received that you were expecting, and the answers to your questions.

Click to download this example Mind Map.

How to Take Notes Effectively

While listening to the presentation, or in the study session, add topics for the new topics as you come across interesting information. If you can quickly add the topics where they belong on the Mind Map, do so, but don’t stress if you don’t have time for that.

Using Floating Topics

If you just want to grab the information as quickly as possible, add a floating topic, type in the keyword for what you have just learned, press Enter/Return to finish editing and again to create a new floating topic. At the end of the presentation you will be able to use the graft option to collect groups of topics together and add them to the main Mind Map. Make sure you do this straight away while the associations are fresh in your mind.

The Power of Keywords

Remember that the most efficient storage of information on a mind map is through using keywords and the association between the keywords to represent the ideas. Link the new things you learned to the existing knowledge you had, in a way that makes sense to you.

How to Memorize the Information

If you need to memorize the information, review the information at progressively increasing intervals like an hour, a day, a week, a month and a year. The review process should also include creating a copy of the Mind Map without looking at the original so that you can make sure that the information has really sunk in – make sure you use the same topic shapes and colors, because this will trigger the memory of the words and associations of ideas.

When you use a mind map, note taking feels compact and complete. An entire class or lecture or book summary can be seen at a glance.

It’s an incredibly effective way to study, review, understand and memorize information, as you’ll see once you begin using NovaMind in this way.