I love mindmapping, it’s probably one of my favourite revision techniques because it’s really versatile and you can use it for a number of things. I love to use mind maps mostly for history, science and English literature (I do mindmaps on all the characters and themes of a novel) due to the sheer amount of content you have to learn; mindmaps are an excellent way to get down lots of information in a concise and easy to view format. However, mindmaps aren’t going to be useful to you if you’re just mindlessly copying down information in textbook sized chunks onto them, highlighting it and making it look pretty, just to shove it into a folder and feel as though you’ve done something. We’re all guilty of it, but I’m going to talk about two methods to stop you from making mindmaps in a passive way.
This post is going to be all about my two favourite ways to mindmap, what I call generic mindmapping, and then black and red mindmapping. Both methods have entirely different ways of getting you to learn information, and I like to use them both equally. Another method of mindmapping which I won’t mention in this post is splurging/blurting, however I have spoken about it in a revision post from November 2017 which you can read here!
Generic Mindmapping is the sort of mindmapping you’re used to. It gets to look pretty and you get all the information you need onto one page, however when you’re doing this you need to make sure you’re not being passive. Make sure to condense all of the information from the textbook or your notes into easy to read chunks with the key ideas expressed, getting rid of all the irrelevant waffle. I like to use a colour scheme of a black pen, a coloured pen and a highlighter; I write all the information in black pen, but the key words in a coloured pen and I highlight anything else which is interesting. The arrows coming from the topic in the middle might be the same colour pen as my key words. I find colour is really useful in mindmaps as it makes you want to look at them more, which is essential for actually learning the content.
The arrow coming off of the bubble in the middle should be a key bit of information relating to the subject. You can then place any extra information off of the key part with little arrows. This helps to ensure you get down all the main points but lets the mindmap remain really visible. If you don’t like having a busy mindmap, then you should probably use a larger sheet of paper, such as an A3 size. I find A4 usually works for me. If I’m not doing a mindmap which requires lots of extra information, I separate my ideas with lines in normal black pen, as it helps the information to run a bit more smoothly.
BLACK AND RED MINDMAPPING
This is probably the best method of mindmapping for actually learning content, as opposed to just having all the information in one place. It works best for a topic with a fair amount of information, and you’ll also need a book/textbook/sheet with the information you’re mindmapping in.
Grab yourself two coloured pens, I use black and red, because red as a colour is a ‘warning’ colour and for the purpose of this mindmap it really works with red, but feel free to use any colours you want. Read over your textbook pages for about three to five minutes, and then close the book. Give yourself ten minutes to mindmap as much information as you can remember in the black pen without looking at the textbook. After this, open back up the textbook and using the red pen, add in any extra information which you forgot. Every time you come back to revise this mindmap, the red pen will signal to your brain that this is the information you forgot, and so it should stand out on the page even more and hopefully stick into your memory!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Do you use either of these ways of mindmapping, and if not how do you do it? I hope this was helpful to you, especially those of you who are doing mocks right now (like me! I have English Lit and Biology on Monday – wish me luck!!). Make sure to let me know how you’re finding mocks if you’re doing them, or ho they went if you’ve done them already.