While the human brain can easily forget, it is actually much more efficient than any computer system. True, people can use computers to help compensate for mental lapses; but, always remember that the computer is just a tool. This may seem puzzling considering how superior the complex computing system is, however, unlike the computer, the mind is capable of making connections to increase efficiency with remarkably modest resources.
Take note taking as a prime example. The purpose of studying is to remember and ultimately internalize the content. Surprisingly, most scholars significantly underutilize the genuine creative capacities of the mind. We have become dependent on computers, hardly realizing that our own note-taking has suffered. Capturing information and then connecting it is a remarkable source of human ingenuity. Becoming better thinkers partially involves using an enhanced note-gathering skill. Of course, most academics perform this skill surprisingly ineffectively. Two of the most typical shortcomings of all note-taking techniques are that they are either too abundant or too dissociated.
When you were born, you already had essential learning programs present in your head. The magic formula for powerful note taking actually comes from youth. Human memory begins with the memory of images. After that, connect the images so you can figure out the meaning. To instantly recall information, your thoughts demand a map. Consider the surprisingly simple method of how children learn to read. Perhaps, indeed, they are taught pictures first to associate them with sounds, since the brain remembers pictures very easily. Image association brings moments from your life to the forefront of your mind instantly. It is much easier to remember an image compared to a group of words. Maps take full advantage of this ability.
Imagination mapping is a note-taking method that uses memory and imagination in an extremely rational way. Endless notes diminish attention and impair interest. The brain prefers graphics, single words or subtitles. Get the diary and use it as an example. If you tried to memorize the entire cover, you would have to spend a lot of time and make countless mistakes. This would really be a waste of your precious time. However, as long as you only remember the headlines, you can easily remember the key points through a natural chain reaction. Like falling dominoes, your mind can connect one piece of information to the next in an instant. Mind mapping harnesses this logic and combines it with the brain’s love of creative association so it can generate meaning, so you can quickly internalize a concept.
Because the idea best starts with a singular concept, idea mapping usually begins in the middle of a sheet of paper. Start with a note or image that represents your main idea. Next, create themes related to your initial notion that branch out from the key frame or mental image. The initial lines connect with the most important point. Then circle your thoughts as they occur and draw lines joining them as your map flows down the side of the paper. Bring it up to the edges if necessary.
Many people take notes in an extremely linear fashion that invariably originate from the top of the page to the bottom; however, this only causes aggravation. Your brain remembers data in a non-linear way, which explains why the first note always starts in the middle. The following notes surround the main concept for clarification. You can then create a secondary thought layer, a third, and so on. Terms or images at this level will connect to the main branch to provide explanation. Try to use single words and circle each word or graphic as you go. The joining lines demonstrate the association of your second layer to your initial layer to the central idea. Additional levels should still be added if necessary. If you run out of space, just turn the page and start a new map that connects to the old one.
Everyone’s brain will make use of numerous words and images to link concepts. Everyone associates meaning differently, so no two idea maps are exactly alike. This is how the brain naturally handles sophisticated information. Allow the mind to wander, create and connect new material. Truth be told, that is the magic of the mind working before your eyes. There is no right or wrong way to make associations. Just remember that the mind is higher than any personal computing system and decide to revel in this fact. You are extraordinary by nature.