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Mind Maps for Super Human Learning

I recently came across a book called “Use Both Sides of Your Brain” by Tony Buzan and decided to give it a read. Like the title says, I was really able to take advantage of the strengths of both sides of my brain.

Both Sides Brain Book and Mind Map Book

Use Both Sides Brain Book and Mind Map Book

Both books are about making ‘mind maps’, in summary a visual web of ideas. The rules are pretty simple: one central idea in the center. They recommend a visual picture / drawing of a central idea and drawing protruding branches. It’s supposed to be one word per branch, but I prefer using one idea/thought per branch.

The idea is that linearly approaches are the least creative ones and that the mind works non-linearly. For example, you may be working on one topic when suddenly you have a flood of brilliant ideas that are unrelated to the current topic.

People are much better at remembering things they’ve seen before and places they’ve been in before and describing them fairly accurately in comparison to abstract ideas or a linear list (such as a grocery list or a list of words in alphabetical order). This tool leverages our spacial and visual memory and allows us to connect words visually in a way that makes most sense to the individual making the map.

I’ve been using these maps to learn large amounts of vocabulary and being able to review and retain them quickly and easily.

Learning Chinese
Learning Chinese

These maps assist not only with learning new concepts and vocabulary but also getting a clearer idea when making complicated life decisions that have many pros and cons to consider.

Git Overview
Learning Git Summary

Although it requires a few extra minutes of jotting down ideas into a visual map, it’s a really great tool if you want to unleash the power of your mind.

Needless to say, I’ve been relentless on applying the technique at every opportunity. I decided to take on learning multiple languages, plotting out what I want to do with my life, planning a curriculum for an online class, and rapidly understanding new technologies such as GIT Version Control.