The mental map also called mind map, is a diagram with in the center a main subject from which leave sub subjects. It will be useful in your last phase of revision before the test, because it concentrates all the most important concepts of your course in reduced form.
A mind map is unique and can relate to any subject. It’s up to you to shape it, preferably by hand, by stimulating your creativity so that it looks like you. It leaves no room for the superfluous and must only contain keywords, symbols, color to appeal to your visual memory. This ingenious scheme is often compared to an octopus, reflecting the functioning of our thinking, starting from an idea that can extend to others in a certain order of importance. The use of the mind mapping software comes perfect there.
How to create a mind map?
The secret of a successful mind map results in its organization. The more you practice, the more useful this tool will be. However, some basic advice will be essential to its creation:
- Hold your sheet in landscape format rather than portrait format.
- Create the heart of the subject by placing the main theme in the center of the sheet and well framed by a circle or a cloud.
Add the branches from the central subject to the periphery of the sheet. The first level of branches will constitute the first level of ideas, that is, the most important and so on. The ideas can be annotated on the branches directly, or at the end of the branch node, it’s up to you.
- It is better to use keywords to convey your ideas, rather than long speeches that you will not be able to remember.
- Try to keep your writing legible, not tight. At a glance you should understand your mind map.
- Use curves rather than straight branches that are less pleasant to read.
This is what will make your mind map more dynamic. Feel free to use the whole palette of the rainbow.
Prioritization and reading of the diagram
The interpretation of your mind map lies in the prioritization of your ideas, to facilitate your reading, and therefore your understanding.
A mind map is always read clockwise, and by level of branches. Each level determines the importance of the information.
- The more secondary the branches and the further away from the subject, the less information matters. This hierarchy must be respected to facilitate understanding.
The thickness of the line has its usefulness. The closer the branch is to the center, the thicker the line must be, always with a view to prioritizing information. Bring a rather intuitive color code to your creation. For example, a first branch can be dark blue while the branches depending on the node of the latter can be drawn in shades of blue such as light blue, turquoise.