Mind Map concept not working for me for retention

I learned about mind maps around year 1993 from books written by Tony Buzan. I must have tried creating some mind maps that time as well as many times in the years which have gone in between. My observation was that the mind map didn’t worked for me for retention of the information. I am not able to visualise the map as an image other than just the overall shape of the thing which got created.

I always considered that I must be doing something wrong, and also to the level that mind maps are not for me for retention. I am not saying they are of no use to me. They help me organise concepts and to categorise random thoughts.

That knowledge organisation part is now taken up by my second-brain maintained in a git repository using Foam extensions in VSCode editor. So the Foam Graph is my new mind map like structure.

After reading about aphantasia threads on this forum now I am wondering whether my inability of visualising mind maps as image is coming from some issue with my brain like aphantasia

I want to know whether other learners can visualise the mind map created by them pixel by pixel so that it becomes a tool to recall?
Other than organisation of thoughts and concepts, do mind map help you in memory recall also?

For recall of information now a days I use memory palaces and they work for me, mind map has not worked for me (or I am doing mind maps in wrong way).

I would like to hear thoughts from all the readers on this forum.


I read The Mind Map Book years ago and experimented with mind maps, but I didn’t feel like they were helping me remember things. I think my brain likes information to be structured in a different way.

I like to draw pictures and diagrams in my notes, but maybe I find mind maps less memorable because all the nodes often look the same. I also like to have room to write more than just a single word in each node. (I think The Mind Map Book recommended only a single word per node.)

A lot of my recent notetaking is in markdown format on my computer. I’ve been using PlantUML for diagrams, and I do like that. There’s a live-preview plugin for vscode. Another, similar diagramming tool that I’ve been experimenting with is Mermaid. It also has a vscode plugin.

Example PlantUML code

I don’t memorize those diagrams but just use them for visualizing ideas and organizing/communicating my thoughts.

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You may be doing something incorrectly,You can watch a few videos on YouTube on how to use Mindmaps correctly,Even I made this mistake of not using Mindmaps Correctly,

I think that Mindmaps are for understanding and I think that the more a person understand the more he remembers!,

It is not necessary to remember a MindMap exactly and maybe some edits such as associated images can be added in the nodes of the MindMap doing a specific function,Maybe then our brain will remember the Mindmaps more and this is how I think that the brain works based on the things that I had read about the Human Brain although this is general information not the exact information and you can use the SCLAM technique which uses MindMaps to remember information and you can also use associated MindMaps in the Brain Shock Technique to sturucture the info that you revise it is in the Catalyst Group and the SCLAM technique was created by @ChrisMNemo who is a member of the Art of Memory Forum,


Have a Great Day.


If you can see anything, then I believe you don’t have aphantasia, so its very likely a problem with the technique and/or lack of ability, which can be trained

Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

That is the thing. What I can see is a black space, all the shapes and features I think I am seeing are concepts which I know from my open eyed consciousness. I exactly concur with the author of this article where they mention how they see the shapes.

Whatever we may call it, aphantasia or no aphantasia, the outcome for me is diminished use of mind map as a diagram.

Also it should be noted that I am using memory palaces quite effectively, as spatial recall for me is working perfectly.

I think that you are a teacher,

There are a few mind maps in education,

Such as that of The Catalyst Group and eSaral(A few mindmaps),

Did you hear about them,

And you can PM me so that I can send you some images of those mindmaps which if you want then afterwards you can try to make them yourself if you then want to !.,

Edit-Those mind maps are different from traditional mind maps with wires and boxes and @metivier has posted some brain exercises in his YouTube channel which can cure Apantasia and also improve memory and You can try them if you want.

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