Software for mindmapping and information organization

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Mindmapping for the quick-witted

This is a good, quick description of what mindmapping is, when applied to its use for note taking. It’s a little short on specifics and examples, so you’ll have to browse further on for those.

Do You Have "Grass Hopper" Mind? Mind Mapping Helps You Capture Ideas As Fast As You Can Think

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Not just students, just about everyone invariably have to take down notes at some point or the other. The conventional method of writing is the linear way, where every point is faithfully written in full sentences, taking care of meaning, syntax and commas, etc. This does not help us in effective note taking as we struggle to keep pace with the speaker or our racing thoughts in quickly writing down the information.

But with Mind Maps, it can be an entirely different story. You will learn a whole new way of tackling note taking You can just race ahead and what’s more, keep pace with your running thoughts. So what is so special about it that writing becomes so easy? The power of Mind Maps lies in that information is held in a format your mind will find easy to remember and quick to review.

First, Mind Mapping technique uses non-linear method of key words or phrases instead of long, running sentences. Mind Map provides a two-dimensional structure, where the primary, secondary and other levels of thoughts or ideas are laid out, so the flow of thoughts, and relation between different levels of thoughts are clearly brought out.

A complete Mind Map will have the main topic lines radiating in all directions from the center. Sub-topics flowing from the main heading will be linked like branches of a tree to the main trunk. Just exploring your thoughts and putting them down in single word will automatically create different levels so the whole thinking process gets projected.

Since Mind Maps is essentially about noting the most precise points, it is compact, occupying less amount of space, while providing a comprehensive picture of the whole subject at a glance. If you find that you need to include more points, you can easily integrate them with little disruption.

Mind Maps are of great value for:

* summarizing a set of information
* consolidating multifarious information
* thinking through complex problems and
* presenting information, where the structure and flow of your subject is categorically clear

Mind Maps are also very easy to review, as you can simply refresh information by just glancing through the Mind Map. The format of the Mind Map aids in capturing the full essence of the subject at a glance.

In addition, Mind Maps are highly effective as mnemonics. It is easy to remember the shape and structure of a Mind Map since you are totally involved in putting them down. So you are aware of your thoughts on a particular part of the Mind Map.

Besides, colors, pictures and symbols form a vital part of Mind Maps. Colors help to distinguish between different aspects of the subject and also show their organization, apart from helping to visualize the Mind Maps for recall. Further, pictures and symbols aid in remembering information more effectively than words. Also, lines or symbols are used in Mind Maps to show cross-linkages of one part to another. This helps you to see the connection among the various elements easily.

Above all, your Mind Maps are your own prized possession. Once you learn how to use Mind Map, you can develop your own style to make them meaningful. While you can use your hand to draw Mind Maps, you now have software tools to help you produce top quality Mind Maps that can be easily edited and reworked. All these and more make a strong case for you to learn Mind Map and use them for effective note taking. The most significant point is that Mind Maps have a great deal of application in various aspects of our activities and not confined to just note-taking.

About The Author

Dr. Vj Mariaraj is a Mind Map enthusiast and has been using Mind Maps for the past twelve years. He has created over 5650 Mind Maps. To learn more about mind mapping send an email to He is the founder of that creates Mind Map Summaries of Business Books. To learn more visit

Written by: Dr V J Mariaraj

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This article, good as it is, misses one of the most important uses of mindmapping for those of us in business life: Information management. Mindmaps provide a good framework in which to bury links to files at the point that is just where you will look for them later. How do you know it's just where you'll look? Because in a mindmap, you choose the most appropriate place according to your own thinking.

wyoyjf at 163 dot com 2010-01-15 08:35:11
Mindmap,as introduced above, is a remarkable method of note-taking and relating what is taken down.However,I'd like to know how to make a effective mindmap.
vic at mind-mapping dot org 2010-01-19 22:42:29
Yes, Dr Mariaraj doesn't really go into the specifics of how to make a mind map. This may help: Vic's Knol about mind mapping and there's a wiki with a basic description here: How to make a mind map

See if they help.

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Visual representation of knowledge

Here are some links to articles on the visual representation of knowledge by Sigmar-Olaf Tergan, an academic leader in the field

An overview of concept mapping

This is a 1997 article by Eric Plotnick, from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology Syracuse NY

Concept maps and web research

For me, web research and concept maps are a good pairing. As I research - I build a map. As I map - I realise new areas that need research.
This papers variously by Arguedas, Cañas, Carnot, Carvalho, Dunn, Eskridge, Gram, Leake, Maguitman, Muldoon and Reichherzer have helped me to understand why, and see other possibilities.

Assessment by concept map

This piece discusses the nature of knowledge, the difficulty in measuring achievement in the three types of domain knowledge, and how concept maps offer one way of judging students' knowledge structure.

Framework for mind mapping

Here is a link to a set of free templates for many types of mind maps. This is good solid stuff, and if you have MindManager, there's no reason not to get it.
But if you don't have MindManager, well, there's still no reason to hold back - go and pick up the MindManager Viewer from MindJet's site. That is also free.