Map your mind

Mind map

trademark a diagrammatic method of representing ideas, withrelated concepts arranged around a core concept


As mentioned before I make mind maps. In high school I would make them for geography, chemistry and biology. They were hot property, teachers loved them, and my peers used them.

I guess I never realised that I was being a true science communicator.

And the best part it, I LOVE making them. I get such a kick from the process. I write up the notes in rough, go over them again, looking up anything I find tricky or unclear. Finally I start with black pen and follow my instinct. I draw, scribble and write till the page is complete. Then I colour in with felt tips, using colours I already associate with the topics on the page. I rarely need more than one page per allocated content and I never get lost.

To you, it may look like a mass of colour and complicated biology words, or maybe just art.

To me, I see knowledge and a clear path of thought.

I made this nutrition one for my year 12 A Level biology. It was one of the 6 major topics for my penultimate exam. I started with the title,  and moved down to cover protein, carbohydrate, and lipid digestion. along with the diagram of the cross section of the intestines. The vitamin reabsorption down to liver. I finished on control of dicestion and small intestine and colon.

Its amazing, I made this map in early 2006 and I can still remember the process now.

So whether you are like me and like pretty colours, or whether you need to think of a new way to learn (or communicate science) give mind maps a try.

It worked for me.

2 Responses to “Map your mind”

  1. Adam Levin says:

    I second the mind-map being quite amazing.

    I too don’t find mind maps to be the most affective way of learning. But in response to what Steph wrote, I don’t think you would want to rely on too much ‘self-learning’.

    I think you need a balance between giving people enough info on a topic to become interested and leaving extra for them to look up. It is a fine balance and for that reason I would tend to assume that my audience are inherently lazy or disinterested and as such, would offer as much info as I can, while keeping it simple, rather than relying on them to fill in gaps.

  2. Steph Ludekens says:

    Tina! That looks amazing!

    I used to try mind maps but they didn’t really work too well for me… I used to do flow charts and typed up bullet point notes (I know you hate them!) and they seemed quite effective.

    Bec asked in class the other day whether the idea that people learn differently had snowballed to the point that there was too many different, exciting things going on (or something to that effect – in reference to all the different ways we saw the information about national parks presented). I agree that it often seems like the people that are giving us information in such a crazy are actually making it more complicated than it needs to be.

    If we were all able to be presented with the same information (about nutrition, or whatever) and come up with a huge spectrum of awesome and different ways to learn it ourselves in the best way possible, is there really that much point for them to add the bells and whistles before we get it? (I’m aware that that was a mega-long sentence). I think that this really rings true with what Jon said about making people work for their information – it’s part of what makes it stick!