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There are many complex topics in school that are not always understandable at first glance. Nevertheless you have to learn it somehow for a class assignment. If you have a problem like this often, then a mindmap will help you – what it is exactly and how it can help you learn, you can find out here.
Table of contents
What is a mindmap?
The word "mindmap" comes from the English language and is composed of the words "mind" and "map". "Mind" can be translated as "mind", "thought" or "head". "Map" means "map" – in the sense of a map or city plan. Put together, a mindmap is a map or a plan of thoughts.
So much for the word – more important is of course what a mindmap really is. You are much more interested in this anyway.
A mindmap is a graphical representation of a topic, process or association. Mostly there is one word (topic) which is in the center. From this center go several connections to other topics, from which in turn go further connections.
It will look something like this:
You can find a proper mindmap for a school topic below.
Advantages of a mindmap
A mindmap can help you to structure a complex topic and to present it clearly.
If you learn with index cards, you might miss the overview of the big picture. The same applies to bullet points that are simply written one below the other – the relationship between the individual points is often lost there.
With a mindmap you can build a bridge between single terms by connecting them and thus you can easily recognize the connections.
If you suddenly think of another point to a topic, a mind map can easily be extended so that you don’t lose any information.
Another big advantage of a mindmap is that you can recognize when you don’t know much about a topic yet. Then one area of the mind map remains rather empty and you immediately recognize that there are still gaps in your knowledge.
In summary, the advantages of a mindmap:
- Structure topics clearly
- Organizing complex tasks
- Easily expandable
- Reveals knowledge gaps
How to create a mindmap? 5 steps to a mindmap
- Write the main topic centrally on a sheet of paper.
- Think about which subtopics belong to the main topic and arrange the subtopics around the main topic.
- Draw colored connections from the main topic to the subtopics. Note that each subtopic gets its own color.
- Add terms that belong to the subtopic and connect them to the subtopic. Use the same color for this as for the connection from the main topic to this subtopic.
- Repeat the steps until you have all the important aspects of a topic completely on your mind map.
Here is an example of how a mind map on any topic can look like. There are almost no limits for you. You can also draw little pictures to make the topic and subtopics even more memorable.
How does a mind map help you to learn?
A mind map has many advantages that can help you learn, as it appeals to many senses at the same time. When creating a mind map, you become active yourself and deal with the topic – this alone has a small learning effect. This is like writing a crib, you will also learn something in the process.
It’s hard to create a mindmap without knowing something about a topic. Therefore, you need to review the information you got from school. Then you divide the information into smaller packages and arrange them around the big topic. Step by step you create a picture of your thoughts. It’s easier to recall this image later than writing a block of information from top to bottom.
By presenting the topic in a picture you can learn easier and remember important things better.
Free tools to create a mindmap
There are countless programs on the Internet that you can use to create a mind map. Some programs you have to download and install on your computer, others you can use directly from your browser, they don’t need any installation. We limit ourselves here to 4 programs, which all have one thing in common – they are all free of charge!
Mind map online
At Mind-Map-online you can start directly without installation. Just open the page and off you go. The program is very intuitively designed and works wonderfully to create your first mindmaps. You can also print your mindmaps or save them as PDF files. If you want to save the mindmap online, you have to register – but this does not cost any money.
Wisemapping is also a tool that you can use online, and works similar to Mind-Map-online. Practical with Wisemapping is that small emoticons and symbols are already available in the tool. It allows you to assign icons to subtopics, which will help you remember them better.
You need to download this program and install it on your computer to use it. FreeMind is an open source software and free to use. It offers a lot of possibilities to create a mindmap for different topics.
Many people like to work on their tablet or smartphone and there is also the possibility to design mindmaps here. The app Simplemind is available for Apple IOS and for Android operating systems. The free version of the app can already do everything to create a nice mindmap. The full version with many more features is not for free.