Saturday, 20 August 2011

Studying or Revising?

I've been a long term 'fan' of mind-mapping. I was first introduced to it as a teenager - and have found it very useful throughout my career, first as a student, then as an academic (and also for dealing with the masses of information I was using as a parliamentary candidate). As with any system - it is good to adapt to your own style and strengths. My problem is that I am useless at drawing (I know there are those who claim that anyone can be taught to draw, but is beyond me - I couldn't draw to save my life!). That has meant that I lost one of the advantages of mind-mapping - which is to use all the senses. My "mind-maps" were closer to "spidergrams" - sometimes I used colour - but essentially I used two dimensional diagrams, without drawings. However it has assisted me in studying; writing essays and preparing presentations and speeches.

I recently discovered that Tony Buzan had now gone hi-tech (he probably did so some time ago, but I was still using his books of, how shall I say, "a certain vintage"). Now I can do it on screen - I have MindMaps loaded on my home PC and on my iPad.

It may work for you - it may not. Each of us has our own learning style. For me it works - and works VERY well. In fact I am now using my computer mindmaps to draw together the research I have collected - as I write up my thesis for my Ph.D. So I have quite detailed MindMaps for each of the Congresses and Parliaments since 1974 - and for each of the Chief/Majority Whips; and for the key theories I have been using and developing. It has made the process of writing up so much easier for me. I also find it an invaluable "thinking device".

Previously, I found them most useful for exam revision - thankfully I'm not facing any exams in the near future - but if you are - or you have a friend who is - then it's worth considering whether Mind Maps can help.

If you want further information - press here. It tells you something about the products available. If you do order them - please use this link - as it will earn commission for Washminster - which I am hoping to develop further as a service for students and those interested in US, UK, French & EU politics and government.