Effective Learning with Mind Map, not re-creating Rote Review?

I’m creating a mind map. It has 5 major points and under each point, there are multiple things to memorize.

I don’t want to just re-write those notes on a mind map, as that defeats the purpose of learning and I’m doing Rote Review, which I don’t want to do. Yet I’m limited on the piece of paper (8.5 x 11).

How do I know what to capture on the mind map to create effective learning?

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Try using images, and create a mini-story between them.

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Just watched this video from Tony Buzan himself:

He stated to use lost of color (I have many colored markers) and only use one word, not phrases or sentences.

I’m disabled in my dominate hand (right-hand), so its going to be harder for me to draw an image to convey what I’m wanting to learn.

What do you mean by create a mini-story between them?



Mini-Story is the basic Linking Method between two images.

Let’s say you have a word as “Swan” as one of the key points,
and then you have another word as “Bread”, and another as “Butterfly”.

You would first have to think of a tangible image for each word. The example I gave is for simplicity.

Once you have an image for each word, then you’d use an action to link them together.

Swan is eating a slice of Bread. Now you’ve linked the first two together.
Now you have to link the Butterfly to the Bread, but not the Swan.
A Huge Butterfly lands on the Bread.
and so on if you have more images.

Basically you link the next image with the previous image by way of an Action and you’ll have created a mini story.

Thanks for the info, guess I’m having a hard time applying it to what I’m learning.

I’ve uploaded the pdf of the word content I’m trying to learn (can’t upload the pdf, the file type is not allowed).

I’ve also uploaded a pic of the mind map that I’ve created, which is helping me learn the word content.

I’m not sure sure how to use the Linking Method with what I’m trying to learn.
mind map of 5 pillars of aws well defined architecture

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If you could create the images for each key point, and visualise them on the mind-map, then creating mini-story for each would be easy.

However, I see you are struggling with it, so I am going to suggest another method which will take a little more time but should be more reliable.

Once you do these actions below, you can then use spaced repetition and you should be able to memorise it all that will stay with you for a long time, perhaps months and years.

  • First, you have to know what each subject and key point mean. Read each key point word for word a few times and learn what they all mean in depth.

  • See if you can summarise all the key points in your own words as if you are teaching it to someone else. Try it a few times. If you get stuck, then learn a little more, and then summarise again until you do know them well enough.

  • Once you can summarise it, see if you can give some examples of one or two fact about it. Again do this as if you are teaching it to a person. A real person is even better.

  • Record your voice with a gadget if you have one while you summarise it. Once you press the record button, just relax, and forget that it’s there. And carry on talking.

  • Now it’s time to ask questions. Create a question for each key point you summarised, and then answer it. Perhaps create another question if you have the need for it. The more the better. Use “What, Why, How” in your questions, so it can not be answered with a yes or a no.

  • Now that you have the mind-map, and you know what each keypoint mean very well, you can then take them into your long term memory using a memory palace.

  • In your Memory palace; If you have 5 Major points, then create 5 rooms.

  • In your first room, the first Major Point/Subject, if you have 5 key point that belong to it, then you need 5 locations around that room that will belong to that Major Keypoint.

  • Find an image for each keypoint, in this case you need 5 images for the first room.

  • Place the images around the room at those 5 locations. Perhaps make the image do something with an item at that location. This will strengthen it even further as it would act as a Recall-Trigger. The locations and the items at the locations will trigger what you have placed there.

  • Once you place the images, then practice visualizing them all in your mind, seeing each item at their own location and what they do at the location. Better if you go clockwise, so you are not crossing in a zig-zag.

  • If you are confident with the first room, meaning you have memorised them all, then repeat this same procedure for the rest of the rooms.

  • Take a break every 30 minutes or so, let your mind relax.

  • Use spaced repetitions. So review it later on that evening, next day, a week later, and a few weeks later. And you should be able to remember them all for a long time to come.


Hi @v1ct0r,
Here’s an alternative:
To memorize the mind map,first u will have to encode the data.

In ur case, I’ll link all the sub-points to the character from the movie WOZ(Wizard Of Oz).
Since there are 5 pillars of AWS, I have chosen the movie WOZ(since AWS sounds similar to Oz) and its 5 characters.
The 5 pillars of AWS = 5 characters of WOZ(Dorothy,Tin Man,Lion,Scare Crow,Witch).

First the encoding part.Here I’m encoding only one of the 5 pillars as an example.If this method suits you and have trouble encoding the other pillars,do let me know.

AWS = Oz(of Wizard)
Security = security guard
Automate = Automatic door
Traceability = tracing wheel
Protect Data = Data from Star trek
Foundation = Fountain

It will look something like this.

The same goes for other pillars ,which should be linked to the other characters.

Hope this helps…cheers :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s a brilliant example!
Very creative indeed.

It used to be one of my favourite movies. :slight_smile:
In fact I do use a part of it as a mnemonic when I teach my name to people because my last name starts with OZ :slight_smile:

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Nah @Erol, u r just being kind :smiley:

Infact u have given a very well-structured reply.

I’m always hesitant to suggest such methods in this forum since not everyone is good at encoding, and if that’s the case then it can very well lead to headaches.

Such associations always helps :smiley:

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Drawing faces also helps you remember.
Humans have a profound use for faces from an evolutionary standpoint so it makes sense.


Looks like your using software to create a mind map, do you mind sharing?

Powerpoint. But do know,u r supposed to do the encoding mentally.
I personally never make such images.

It used to be one of my favourite movies. :slight_smile:
In fact I do use a part of it as a mnemonic when I teach my name to people because my last name starts with OZ :slight_smile:

Hmmm. I wonder if Ozzy Osbourne uses that same mnemonic to help people remember his name.


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Not sure about that one :slight_smile:

But people used to call me Ozzy because my last name starts with OZ. They could make a connection with Ozzy Osbourne and make a joke.However, they remembered my last name better than my first name instead lol.

My name is Erol, and it is very difficult for some people to pronounce it properly in the UK. I used to tell them to think of Errol Flynn. He is an oldie actor, therefore the older generation easily made a connection and it’s always been a laugh.
But the younger generation has no idea who he is.

So I am using mnemonics to teach people my name and last name, and seems to be very easy for everyone even tho my name and last name is a complicated international name.

But when they give me the chance to teach it, they almost always have a loud laugh because I made it so funny and very memorable indeed!


I have to say, I especially like the name Erol. Maybe because it has a certain swashbuckler quality to it. I am too old for more children, but if I had another son, that would be a name I might choose.

Anyway, if I needed a mnemonic to remember your name, I think I would imagine Robin Hood dancing as he walks on the Yellow Brick road to Oz and evil monkeys fly around to the music of Black Sabbath.


Just wanted to follow up. I passed my exam last week.

Using a combo of Cornell Note Taking along with Mind Mapping and the Mini story helped.

thanks to all, especially Erol.


That’s great news! You’ve done an amazing job. You are the perfect example that these methods we use are not just for fun but are also very useful in passing exams, and everything else we like to learn for long term. Great Job!

Thank you!

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Hi v1ct0r, how did you combine each other. Thanks in advance. If you have example notes could you send image or something?

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I used Cornell Notes for the Lectures. To me, this is a great way to be active and capture information Vs being passive, which I believe our school system in the USA teaches.

From there, if I wasn’t able to memory from the Lectures or I needed help making things stick, then I restored to creating mind maps and the Mini Stories.

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Hi @v1ct0r I see you’re learning AWS architecture. Well I’m doing the same except I’m starting with Microsoft Azure Architecture. If your subject is similar to mine there is a lot of stuff to memorize but also a lot of stuff to actually know and understand! I’ve been studying for 3 months but without any mnemonic techniques, just hands on and trying to memorize certain key points that aren’t specifically logical. But I’m going to create some palaces to store the less obvious parts.

How are you getting on now?