Study With Soph | Two Ways to Mindmap – How to Effectively Learn Content Through Mindmaps

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!

Revision Series_ mindmapping methods


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.


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.

Soph xx

Other Posts In This Series:

My Favourite Revision Techniques

My Favourite Revision Resources



  1. January 6, 2018 / 6:11 pm

    I love using mind maps to revise so I am definitely going to use the ‘black and red’ method as I get nearer to exams to test how much I can remember! Thanks for sharing! x

    • January 6, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      Glad you enjoyed!

  2. January 6, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    The ‘Black and Red’ method looks so useful, can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before!! I think I’m going to start mind-mapping more, especially characters for English Lit

    • January 6, 2018 / 11:30 pm

      It is so useful for characters, and English lit context about authors/novels too! Glad you enjoyed; I only heard about the black and red method at a revision evening at my School a few months ago!💛

  3. January 6, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    Hi Soph,
    As a blogger, I’d like to explore mind napping but never have. As a teacher, I have done it with my students and plan to again.

    I met you at Tabi’s blog party. Maybe you can check out my blog if you need any blogging tips. That I write about. I also have blog parties like Tabi.

    • January 6, 2018 / 11:29 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the comment; I always use mind mapping as a study technique as it really helps you learn. I’ll check out your blog soon, but I’m really busy with exams at the moment! Thanks so much for coming to see my blog☺️

      • January 6, 2018 / 11:29 pm

        Thank you for your reply. I will look forward to your visit.

  4. January 6, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    Love the black and red map idea!

    • January 6, 2018 / 11:27 pm

      Yeah it’s super helpfu

  5. January 7, 2018 / 12:23 am

    I really like these ideas especially the black and red method because I’ve never thought of trying that!

    • January 7, 2018 / 9:36 am

      It can be really helpful for remembering key bits of info that you’re always forgetting! X

  6. January 7, 2018 / 12:46 am

    I love the black and red mind map idea! It’s really similar to the “blurting” info method but so much better! Thanks so much for the post because o start exams at the end of next week😢 Good luck with your English Lit and Biology💜😄

    • January 7, 2018 / 9:36 am

      Lucky you! My exams don’t end until 19th😂😭glad you enjoyed! X

  7. January 7, 2018 / 10:57 am

    That’s genius! I always make regular mindmaps but I’ll surely try the black&red technique too. 🙂

    • January 7, 2018 / 1:18 pm

      I’m glad you like it!

  8. January 9, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    I love using mindmaps to revise content for my a levels and I’ve never thought about the black and red mind mapping!! Thank you so much for introducing this into my life haha! Xxx

    • January 9, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      Haha I’m glad you enjoyed!

  9. January 30, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Useful Post!😊 Mind-Mapping is a MUST for my AS-Levels! 😜I love the concept of using 2 coloured pens, along with using black & red in particular! Never thought of that! 😂 Will definitely do it next time! Thankyou!! 😄

  10. October 1, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    This is so useful. I love the idea of ‘black and red’ mind map. Definitely going to use that technique. x

    • Love, Soph
      October 1, 2018 / 4:43 pm

      So glad you found it useful!💛

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