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Why mind maps work so well

The graphical structure

Mind maps display hierarchy and relationships between topics visually. Their two-dimensional structure enables you to make out connections easily and never to lose focus of the actual subject / goal / question, since it is located right in the middle of your map.

The overview

Mind maps allow you to view all the contents of a subject at a glance. That is because mind maps, in opposite to linear texts, never stretch across multiple pages. A paper mind map is always fitted onto one sheet of paper, a mind map drawn on a black board is confined to the edges of the board, and a digital mind map is displayed on one single worksheet. This means that you don’t have to jump back and forth between multiple pages but can retain a clear picture of the contents at all times.

The Spartan wording

While linear notes encourage you to almost blindly gather content, that is, to copy as much of the information you read or hear as possible, mind maps almost force you to actively think about what you note down and what can be left out. They foster a reduced, almost “Spartan” writing style, where every word counts. You don’t clutter your notes with unimportant information and save time while you write, read and study.

Colors and Icons

Mind maps encourage you to make good use of colors and icons, both of which can help you greatly in structuring your content. Color codes and icons can not only show you even more detailed connections between and joint possession of topics, but also trigger your memory and thus speed up the recall process.

The Pictures

Pictures are a great way to add value to your mind maps and trigger your memory with personalized drawings. Digital mind maps usually also allow you to support your arguments with statistical diagrams, show screenshots, add photographs or any other kind of image.

MindMeister allows you to add notes and files to your topics, which can be stored and displayed inside the map. You can also link to articles, websites or other mind maps, thus creating an interlinked map structure around a subject too big for one mind map.

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