Mindmapping vs. Note taking

Posted by Haja on March 6, 2010 in Brain Power!, Mindmap |

Traditional ways of taking notes which are linear is considered to be the standard way of taking notes.  The traditional way of note taking has three key elements to it –

  1. 1. Linear Pattern – the notes are usually written in straight lines. Grammar, Chronology & sequences are typically used.
    2. Symbols- more often than not, words, letters and numbers are used.
    3. Analysis – Various analysis was used but its quality is ffected by the linear patterns.
      However, to be effective and using the Whole Brain – the left as well as the right cortex, it should also include the following –
      – Visual Rhythm
      – Visual Pattern
      – Colour
      – Image
      – Visualization
      – Dimension
      – Spatial Awareness
      – Association
      All these are important from a perspective of “Complete Learning” – which is where Mind mapping comes in.
      Use Mindmap’s as a way of using your Whole Brain- which in turn is a way of you living to your full potential.
      I will write more on these areas in the coming days.
      Adieu for now.


    Using iMindmap Ver 4.1

    Posted by Haja on October 8, 2009 in iMindmap |

    iMindmap is the “official” Mindmapping software in the market. Having used the earlier version of iMindmap, I was not sure if I wanted to try it again & after much thought (and the fact that the price was attractive), I decided to go for it. 

    The new iMindmap is stunning!  (I wonder why the “i” in the front- as seems to be all new technology related products nowadays :))  The features are exceptional, and this has fast become my favourite tool to mindmap, and take notes on.

    With a host of features designed to make the entire experience of creating a mindmap intuitive & exciting, I completely am bowled over by this product.

    Some of the key differentials of this products are –

    1. Voice recordings – it allows the recording of Voice in the mindmap – making it invaluable as a tool for taking notes.

    2. Linking to Microsoft Office – This is a super cool feature to allow mindmaps to be transposed to Word, Excel or Powerpoint.

    3. Linking it to Microsoft Project – this is a killer link- and for those who use Project extensively, this is a great tool to link the activities & thoughts to a Project template thereby making the entire process more in tune with the mindmapping exercise (read- using both sides of the brain).

    Here is an example of the 7 things that I find interesting about Windows 7.  Great product, even better shown on a iMindmap.



    Fig 1: 7 things about Windows 7- created by iMindmap 4.1 (Oct 2009)



    Cornell Note taking methodology – and bringing in Mindmaps

    Posted by Haja on September 25, 2009 in Note Taking |

    In general, one of the key areas that one looks at more efficient tools is in the area of Note-taking. During a cursory look for some tools for my OneNote (this is a MS tool that is your notebook on the computer-but more of that later), I came across this tool called the Cornell Note taking methodology. I spent some trying to read up on the same, and was impressed with the simplicity of the whole thought.  That led me to think of how I could incorporate a “mini-mindmap” into the methodology to make it even more relevant.

    In my mind, the route to Note taking using ONLY mindmaps should be step 2- and start with the note-taking methods you are comfortable with but use Mindmaps for building your memory. Once you comfortable with the concept, then move on to creating notes using mindmaps. I realize how difficult it is at times to try to take notes only in Mindmaps when the School teacher or lecturer is making you take down notes! 

    The way to take the Cornell Notes is as follows:


    This format provides the perfect opportunity for following through with the 5 R’s of note-taking:

    1. Record – During the lecture, record in the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Write legibly.
    2. Reduce – As soon after as possible, summarize these facts and ideas concisely in the Cue Column. Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces continuity, and strengthens memory.
    3. Recite – Cover the Note Taking Area, using only your jottings in the Cue Column, say over the facts and ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words. Then, verify what you have said.
    4. Reflect – Draw out opinions from your notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections on the course and how it relates to your other courses. Reflection will help prevent ideas from being inert and soon forgotten.
    5. Review – Spend 10 minutes every week in quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you have learned.

    So where does Mind mapping come in?

    The Cue Columns are your key words that we use in creating mindmaps (Could be both 4 and 5 in the R’s).

    Think of creating your own “mini-mindmap” here which will help you create your own unique tool to memorize the contents of the page. 

    Create a more detailed mindmap of the full chapter once the chapter is over- and you can review every element of the chapter easily.

    Try it out.

    Checkout more about this methodology here –


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