Help! Memorizing Mindmaps

[This thread was copied here from the old forum.]

Chyawanpunk 13 November, 2014 - 00:48

I have created many mindmaps on paper of certain subjects I’m reading. They consist completely of keywords which will trigger the required information. I find it difficult to relate the keywords to each other as they seem pretty independent.

Eg-> Firm divestment (Central idea): (keywords around it) factors, targets, fund, methods etc -> each again has its own elements around itself & so on.

I can recall everything eventually, but it takes a lot of time. My examination is going to be very lengthy with little time for recall.So, it would be very convenient to have the map memorized along with its various connections (like appear right in front of my eyes when I close them).

So how do you memorize mind maps, once you’ve created them? Can you share your experiences in memorizing such mind maps if you have? Any other techniques like pegs or Loci which can be used in tandem with Mindmaps for remembering? Please give me your inputs.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Metivier 13 November, 2014 - 02:09

It’s a great question and I’ve been personally trying for quite some time to reconcile Mind Maps with mnemonics.

So that we can help you better, I suggest that you scan and post one of your Mind Maps and say more about what you’ve already tried when it comes to memory techniques. Narrow the target and people can help you more. :slight_smile:

gamebitt 13 November, 2014 - 04:28

When I was writing about the efficacy of mind maps I came up with the idea of improving it by adding some memory tricks to it. As it turns out mind maps aren’t using correctly the rules presented in the dual coding theory. Many experiments showed that they are roughly as effective as normal notes, not better. Even long-term training isn’t enough. They are simply like normal notes with images. The reason why they aren’t as effective as people claim is that they use mostly verbal information while our brain is better at processing visual pieces of information. Some authors claim that it is better to make image maps in which words are only embedded in the more troublesome ideas that are represented by images. Most users of mind maps prefer words with images while they should use images with the smallest amount of words as possible.
You would ask, how to transform everything into images. Just encode them in the same way you do it when using memory techniques. When looking at mind maps in general, you will see that it is a simple linking method so if you’ll remember mind maps you can review them also in your memory. Then you can continue testing yourself without even looking at the map. This is especially helpful because using the testing effect improves your remembering more than simple repetition.

However, if you look at mind maps and mnemonics you’ll see that using mind maps isn’t necessary because you can replace them with mnemonics and the process of learning will be the same. If you will still have problems with remembering mind maps after implementing my ideas, you should resign from using mind maps because you will spend more time memorising them than using the methods described at this forum.

Metivier 13 November, 2014 - 05:25

I think the logic behind Mind Maps is similar to mnemonics: you’re paying attention to the information you’re studying in a different way while using different modalities of the mind.

But without looking at the research, I would agree with gamebitt that mnemonics (Memory Palaces in particular) trump Mind Maps for the same reasons.

A Memory Palace is a Mind Map, but will always be better because you’re “mapping” out the information on familiar terrain. This gives you a massively larger chance of “finding” the information because the trail is consistent with reality.

Mind Maps, on the other hand, are colorful lines on paper that you’ve constructed, not pieces of information laid out on paths that have been pre-constructed and that your mind already knows intimately.

The exception here are virtual Memory Palaces, to which others can speak more. I personally find them to have limited uses, namely poetry or other verbatim strings of information where the assistance of a well-constructed journey is less relevant.

gamebitt: Any chance you could post some of the research that you’ve read?

Chyawanpunk 13 November, 2014 - 06:42

Thanks so much for your responses!

I will upload an image of my mindmaps once I can get my hands upon a scanner. I’m in my hostel room right now.

  1. There’s a reason I’m biased towards mindmaps. I found them easier to make (than journey method), but then difficult to memorize (which defeated the purpose). I actually have memorized the first 150 Articles of the Indian Constitution using the Journey method but it took me an hour for every 10-15 articles and my mind tired out very quickly which discouraged me from moving further with the Journey method and I shifted to mind-mapping.
    The most important reason I prefer mind mapping is that I do not need to memorize everything I read from the text but only a few ideas where mind mapping comes in very handy.

  2. For example, most of my reading involves stuff as linked here.Volumes of textual information from which I only need (to remember) a few keywords . What do you think is the best way to proceed in case of a study like this?…
    I’ve highlighted certain things I need. So you see mindmaps help me gather ideas at one place.

  3. I have created my Dominic system (00 to 99). I’m still practicing upon it and making improvements. Numbers become easier to remember with this method, but visualizing verbal information seems very laborious. If I am to improve upon my Journey method (for verbal memorization), what sort of mental exercises would you recommend?

gamebitt 13 November, 2014 - 08:29

Here are the links to the research I used:

  1. Cherry K., Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization.
  2. Cunningham G. E., Mindmapping: Its Effects on Student Achievement in High School Biology, 2005.
  3. D’Antoni A. V., Does the mind map learning strategy facilitate information retrieval and critical thinking in medical students?, 2010.
  4. Davies M., Concept mapping, mind mapping and argument mapping: what are the differences and do they matter?, 2010.
  5. Eppler M. J., A comparison between concept maps, mind maps, conceptual diagrams, and visual metaphors as complementary tools for knowledge construction and sharing, 2006.
  6. Farrand P., The efficacy of the `mind map’ study technique, 2002. (these results couldn’t be replicated by other scientists)
  7. Holland L., An investigation into the concept of mind mapping and the use of mind mapping software to support and improve student academic performance, 2004.
  8. Jbeili I., The Impact of Digital Mind Maps on Science Achievement among Sixth Grade Students in Saudi Arabia, 2013.
  9. Karpicke J. D., Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping, 2011.
  10. Merchie E., Spontaneous Mind Map Use and Learning from Texts: The Role of Instruction and Student Characteristics, 2012.
  11. Ritchie S. J., Retrieval Practice, with or without Mind Mapping, Boosts Fact Learning in Primary School Children, 2013.
  12. Roediger H. L., Test-Enhanced Learning. Taking Memory Tests Improves Long-Term Retention, 2006.
  13. Shuttleworth J., Study skills use, motivation and the efficiacy of the „Mind Map” technique, 2005.
  14. Vekiri I., What Is the Value of Graphical Displays in Learning?, 2002.
  15. Wickramasinghe A., Effectiveness of mind maps as a learning tool for medical students, 2011.

Jay Dugger 13 November, 2014 - 10:01

I’ve had no particular success with using mnemonics with mind-maps. I have had some success in converting mind maps to outlines and then memorizing those via cloze deletion or graphic deletion in an SRS system such as Anki. You could do something like this by assigning a hierarchical numbering to the nodes of your mind map.

Central image (unnumbered, hope it’s memorable)

  1. Main Topic or branch
  2. Main topic or branch
  3. Main topic or branch

You’d then assign each main topic to a peg or a locus in your PAO system or to a spot in your memory journey.

For subtopics (or sub-branches) you’d do something like this. First, convert them to a hierarchical arrangement.

  1. Main Topic or branch
    1.1 Secondary topic or sub-branch
    1.1.1 Tertiary topic or sub-sub-branch
    1.1.2 Tertiary topic or sub-sub-branch
    1.2 Secondary topic or sub-branch

Make the numbers memorable as follows.

  1. Locus #1
    1.1 At Locus #1 you see Person #1 (from your PAO)
    1.1.1 At Locus #1 you see Person #1 (from your PAO) doing Action #1 (from your PAO)
    1.1.2 At Locus #1 your see Person #1 doing Action #1 (from your PAO) to Object #1 (from your PAO)
    1.2 At Locus #1 you see Person #2 (from your PAO)

The essential idea converts the nodes of your mind map into a hierarchical digit string, which you can then memorize as you please: PAO, PAO-Journey, Journey, Peg List, etc. I used a straight peg list for memorizing the Classes and Divisions of the Dewey Decimal System.

I hope this helps!

metivier 13 November, 2014 - 15:15

gamebitt: Thanks for posting your research links. :slight_smile:

Chyawanpunk 13 November, 2014 - 20:33

Jay Dugger: Thank you! It seems like a wonderful technique . Just exactly what I needed. I’ll practice this upon a few days, and report back upon my progress :grade:

marceltella 25 April, 2015 - 06:29

Hello! Jay, thank you for your technique, I will try it definitely. But there is something that I don’t fully understand. By reading things from Ramon Campayo, Tony Buzan, and in general people that encourages to use mind maps, their argument is that for instance, if you are in a city, you can orient yourself geographically very easy and by passing a couple of times through each location you can gain very quickly a notion of where is everything, actually memorising the place. Well, I though that through mind maps something similar should have happened to me. However, it didn’t. I was thinking as an idea, taking games or structures (printing an image of a place) and trying to place the content of the mind map into a place, like a memory palace. But it seems to me a bit difficult to find the correct rooms as branches. Because I thought that what is missing in my mind maps are the paths, so I can’t really walk from a part of a mind map to the other part.

So here is one of the mind maps that I tried to memorise, and which, with a lot of efford, the memorisation was quite poor to be honest. So, sure, I am going to try your method! I am very interested in being able to recall the whole map, it is very useful for dead times like waiting in the underground or so!

If someone has done also mind maps, I am interested in see them and see how effective they are, I think that it is a very interesting topic and also it could help to a lot of people with their studies. Personally, since I have seen that memorising the mind maps takes me a lot of times, I have decided not to do it until I find a suitable strategy. What I do is, in each review, I only use the mind map, and I go through it, also using the hands (as if I were painting) and going through each branch. Then I read my summaries quickly to confirm.

[broken image link removed]

BTW: I have tried to attach the image, but it seems that even with the link does not show. Is there any way that I don’t know? I have hosted the image in

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