Note Taking

Note Taking, Memorization and Recall

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Show Note Taking Mind Map Document in NovaMind Cloud

Mind Mapping is an effective way of taking notes during presentations or when studying.

Different people learn in different ways. NovaMind 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 be effective at note taking, it is best to first prepare by creating a Mind Map that shows what 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 topics in NovaMind to represent the different types of information. NovaMind has theme colors that allow you to choose colors that go together well, but also provide contrast so you can easily color code things and still have a great looking Mind Map. If you use the option in NovaMind for the subtopics to inherit the line and fill settings from the parent, you can automatically have the new topics color coded too, with no extra work.

Effective Note Taking

During the presentation or study session, add topics for the new ideas as they arise. Where you can, associate the ideas where they belong on the Mind Map, but if the information is coming too fast for that, just get the keywords down and you can organize it later.

You may find it easier to create floating topics for the new ideas, and then at the end of the presentation, you can graft them to be attached to the Mind Map at the appropriate places.

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.

Reorganizing the Mind Map

After the presentation has finished or the study session is over, review the information you have gathered, summarize it and reorganize it so that the hierarchy makes sense to you. You can add short comments in the topic notes where necessary to capture extra information.

Use the prior knowledge you had to hook in the new information, as well as identifying the new ideas and making sure you get the association between the ideas reflected in the structure, because this is how your brain remembers information. Spend a bit of time making the Mind Map look good because our brains are attracted to things that look good and tend to remember them well.

Identify the gaps in your knowledge so that you know what you still don’t know, and can ask the right questions to get that information. Work out what is missing. What don’t you know? What else do you need to understand and act on the information, and where can you get that information? Go and find the answers to complete your Mind Map.

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. Because you are dealing with keywords and their associations, it is easy to both understand and memorize the information.

Memorizing the information

If you need to memorize the information, review it at progressively increasing intervals like an hour, a day, a week, a month and a year. The review process should 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.

The three main ways we remember things are by hearing them (auditory learning), doing things (kinesthetic learning), and seeing them (visual learning). People differ in the amount they learn by each of these learning styles, but we all use all of them to some extent. With the strong visual input of TV and computers, visual learning tends to be one of the strongest for many people. When you take notes using Mind Maps, you use all three of these learning styles. You have received the information in auditory form when you heard it during the presentation and every time you either read it in your head or out loud, in kinesthetic form each time you recreate it, and in visual form every time you review it.

Also our brains are divided into two hemispheres with the left side being stronger at logical associations, and the right being more visual oriented. This is why when you are Mind Mapping you use keywords with lines connecting them, and also make your Mind Maps look good. The logical associations of words and visual patterns together form a powerful way for you to remember and recall the information.

Information Recall

When it comes to recall, because you have memorized using visual cues, colors, lines and curves, keywords and logical associations, you can recall based on any combination of those things.

To recall your Mind Map, start with the Mind Map title and build out your Mind Map. This works whether you are able to use NovaMind when you need to recall the information, or if you are in an exam where you aren’t allowed to use it. If you are going to need to recall the information in a written form instead of using NovaMind, you should do at least some of your memorization and recall testing using the tools you will have at hand when you will need to recall it. In this way you can build an experience that you can mimic when you need to, which further enhances recall.

Try to use the same colors, topic shapes, topic locations, images and exact keywords wherever you can. The closer to the original you are the easier it will be to recall the full information.

If you get stuck somewhere in the recall process, you can use the information that you do know to trigger the recall of the other information. Remember that when you learned it, you stored away:

  • the color of the topics
  • the shape of the topics
  • the positions of the topics relative to each other
  • the keywords
  • the images you had on your Mind Map
  • the logical associations between the ideas
  • the sound of the information when you first heard it and when you read it to yourself during study
  • the overall image created by the whole Mind Map

You will always be able to remember some of these things, so for instance if you don’t recall a keyword, you can draw in the topic in the right place with the right shape and in the right color, and that will in most cases trigger the recall of the keyword. Even if it doesn’t immediately trigger it, you have set up the framework for your subconscious to go looking for it. You can create the rest of the Mind Map around it, and in many cases that will jog your memory. If you still need more, you can recall the sound of you reading through the Mind Map and recall the overall look of that area of the Mind Map and mentally zoom in to that keyword.

Using these methods, you will in almost all cases be able to recall 100% of your Mind Map when you need to.

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

Show Note Taking Mind Map Document in NovaMind Cloud

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