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I love mind maps. My brain is a jumble of dis and inter connected ideas, thoughts, beliefs etc. I used to struggle to capture what was going on, mainly so I could explain to others. Then I discovered mind mapping; probably pushing 20 years ago. Suddenly, my note taking or random words on paper had relevance. I could use the way my mind works to capture, assimilate and explain in a meaningful way.

They are so easy, so functional and work at every level. From initial 'brainstorming' of ideas in a single or group scenario, to informing a more structured approach to Prince2 or other project management principles, these 'maps' are the foundation.

They may not work for everyone, but I found them a revelation and over many years of applied practice in learning environment, I know many who embraced the main points. Give them a go, you have nothing to lose!
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on 1 January 2013
Finding a revision technique that works effectively can be difficult, but a number of people mentioned to me that they have used mind maps in the past, with varying degrees of success. Mind maps are meant to be a logical way of getting the key points down, while engaging the brain more than just note taking, but there's still a lot of unanswered questions regarding the specifics, that's why I read this book. Finding a well-explained, detailed description of all the key aspects has really been a revelation in my pre-exam technique.

The book covers what you would want to know about mind maps, from the different shapes and lines, to the use of color, but I think where it really outshines any other is in the additional content you wouldn't necessarily associate with mind maps. A good example is the section on how to read the mind map. The writer uses a helpful analogy to recognizing people's faces, and it is this simplicity echoed throughout the book that makes it so effective at conveying its message.

I think the reason mind maps only work with varying degrees of success, is because they aren't planned, drawn, or used correctly - certainly I wouldn't have, if let to my own devices! That's why a book that explains how, in a clear and concise manner is so vital if you want to use the technique with maximum benefit. This book excels at that, and because it covers more than just simply how to draw a mind map, even if you decide the technique isn't for you, it's still possible to take something useful away after reading it.
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on 23 April 2013
I read Mind Maps because it sounded like a helpful tool for my children to use in school, but it also explains how I can use this technique for everyday decision making, and planning projects. The book clearly and concisely demonstrates mind mapping, with specific examples for a variety of applications. There are also several helpful illustrations of mind maps that can be used as a template for my own situation. You can read it in an evening and start using it right away.

For students, the book shows the advantages of mind mapping over traditional, linear note-taking and methods. Again, there are clear examples of exactly how this is done, making it easy for anyone who wants to try it. The Mind Maps can easily be converted into outlines, speeches and research papers. Although I think it will take some time for my children to adjust to this new way of working, I can see that it will definitely be worth it.

For me, one of the main advantages of this system is that you can see the entire situation at one time and can add ideas to different sections as they come to you. This will be useful for me as I am often interrupted and need to come back to what I am working on later.

There is a fabulous bonus at the end of the book that teaches speed reading techniques. This alone was worth the price of the book! It is short and simple, and I could immediately read so much faster.

I highly recommend this book.
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VINE VOICEon 4 March 2011
As someone big on self improvement, I thought this book would be incredibly useful, particularly with its subtitle of "quicker notes, better memory, and improved learning." Who doesn't want that?

The idea of mind mapping is that it helps you organise ideas. So instead of taking notes line by line, the idea is to place the central theme or keyword in the middle of the page and add more keywords surrounding it, with lines drawn between them to represent their relationships.

According to this book (and now I know, it definitely makes sense!), mind mapping makes you more effective because this method is more compatible with the brain. This is because it matches how the brain functions biologically. Mind mapping also engages both halves of your brain at once, making you much more efficient and effective.

A key point, and one very important to me personally is that mind mapping is supposed to enhance creativity. As a writer, there are few skills which are more important! I imagine many writers would find mind mapping a very useful way of planning out their work, linking together various ideas, characters and plot points.

As the book says, it'll be difficult to break my habit of making linear notes and the mind mapping will take practice. I've only really covered how I personally will find mind mapping useful, but the book covers a wide variety of ways in which it helps people, for example; note taking, brainstorming, collaborative writing, problem resolution and more.

So if you're looking for a way to make your planning and note-taking go more smoothly and effectively, then this book is ideal.
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on 30 July 2012
This is one of the better introductions to the topic of Mind Maps. Most authors don't spend a lot of time discussing how to create a mind map in detail. They will show you an illustration of a mind map or two, and assume that just because they understand what is going on by looking at the picture, that you will too. This book takes a good amount of time going over the ins and outs of mind maps and different ways you can put them together. It understands a tactic useful in one setting will not be as useful in another. Therefore, it gives you lots to think about and consider when varying your mind map.

The later part of the book discusses different application of mind maps. I liked the discussion on how to use mind maps during a lecture. Lectures tend to be a more difficult area to take notes, whether or not you using mind maps. The reason being a lecture is live, so you have to keep up with the pace of the presenter. You can't pause a lecture so if you don't keep up, you will miss important points. There are a few tips on how to effectively take notes using mind maps in lecture and presentation type settings. I've found them quite useful.

Very enjoyable and informative from start to finish
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on 5 November 2014
I came into this book not having heard of mind maps and am leaving with a technique that can help me be a better thinker, learner, and smarter. Just as the description says, with this book you can achieve your goals in studying, writing, presenting, brainstorming, creativity, and much more. The writing is easy, yet engaging, informative without overwhelming. I found each chapter or section contained interesting ideas that were novel and beneficial. I will be re-reading the book and applying the information.
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on 25 July 2013
Mind mapping is a very valuable process if you know how to use it. I tried and gave up until I came across this book. This is a useful guide for everyone from students to professionals. It broke things down, was easy to understand, and offered interesting insights not just about mind mapping, but other learning disciplines as well.

At the start of the book, mind-mapping is described as being much like our minds making connections. It's the linking of these ideas and the visual aspect of it that led to the process. The process of mind mapping is a bit more involved than regular note-taking, but can be used for a number of projects and as a writer, I'm looking forward to applying what I've learned. Within a few pages, I was already planning to pitch mind mapping as a project management process for my office and now we are working on one using the techniques learned here.

Interestingly, the book touched briefly on other techniques to enhance learning such as speed reading. You'd think speed reading is a digression from mind mapping, however, for me, it actually enhanced the concept. The speed reading technique shown works in line with the theory behind mind maps and how our mind process sight quicker than other forms of data.

I also realized th at the reasons I gave up mind mapping before was because I didn't practice. Like everything, practice does make perfect and now that I'm feeling more encouraged to try it again, I've been mind-mapping a list of everything I'd like to organize. It's a different thought process I'll admit, but it is worth it to try.
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on 31 March 2014
Fantastic read, so glad to have come across this book. It explains how to apply a system of note taking called mind maps. I had never heard of it before so I was a bit hesitant, thinking it would be very complicated or require a lot of effort. Although it takes some practice, it's surprisingly easy and simple to learn.

Even though the tool is quite easy, there is a lot one can do and accomplish with it. Just about any activity can be improved or made easier with mind maps. First and foremost, it's great for learning, helping users to better absorb and digest material. It works really well when trying to organize your thinking such as in writing, planning, or research. The most beneficial aspect of mind maps is in managing complex tasks like project management or learning a foreign language.

I found this book to be both a concise and comprehensive description of mind mapping. The reading is very comfortable, with plenty of real world examples. In fact, every use the author suggests is followed with an illustrative example, making learning the system natural and fluid. There is never any confusion or doubt about what to do or how. You can tell the author has done his homework on the subject.

I strongly recommend to anyone to complement their daily life.
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on 14 May 2013
My 12 year old son is quite lazy when it comes to reading and note taking, with this in mind you can probably guess how great his test scores are. Not great. While searching the internet for some kind of relief and help to our situation I came across Mind Mapping. I am truly impressed with this book on many different levels.
This is more of a detailed step-by-step how-to guide for unleashing the capabilities of your brain and memory that most of us probably thought we never had. Beginning with an informative presentation about the history of the mind mapping technique and progressing seamlessly into the advantages that the technique carries with it, I felt compelled to grab a pencil and paper and give it try. However, being that I was only on the first chapter I felt that further reading was necessary.
One of the few disadvantages that the author mentions is breaking the habit of Linear Thinking to Radiant Thinking.I found that because of the simplified way that the information is presented in the book, the transition to radiant thinking was quite easy for both my son and myself. It is extremely helpful how the author incorporates scientific facts concerning the impact that mind mapping has on the human brain, this helped in understanding why this technique is useful to my personal situation.
Chapter two details the process of how to create a mind map by mapping the book itself. In a colorful diagram, the author brings together all of the important facts of this book which really gives the reader a clear and concise understanding of how to begin their own mind map. I especially appreciated that this came early on in the book, making it very easy to apply the rest of the information detailed throughout the remaining chapters.
The book goes on to explain many different and very effective ways in creating mind maps that will fit any situation regardless of educational background, age or occupation.It was beautifully written, well researched and clearly answers any questions that the reader may have in great detail. My son and I both have our marked up copies on our desks to refer back to at any time. It definitely was a saving grace for my son and his test scores. I sincerely believe that this technique should be taught in all schools and this book would make a great textbook for student reference.
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on 25 April 2013
Thoroughly interesting and informative, a `Mind Map' is basically a diagram that you create which organises your thoughts on one page. This book takes you through step by step processes to create your own and shows you every day applications for them.

Allow me to quote from the first paragraph from the book - "We live in the information age, which means that our problem is less one of obtaining information and more one of retaining and organising all the quantities of information that we are required to ingest-both during our studies and afterwards."

This is so true of my life. I feel that my brain is so cluttered with so many muddled thoughts that I can't easily access things I need and am left feeling confused and disorganised. Mind Maps is a tool that will enable me to use both sides of my brain rather than one; thus enabling my brain to perform 5-10 times more effectively. Show me a person who doesn't want that in their life! It simplifies complicated information by breaking it down into a diagram that delivers the information in a quick glance `map' rather than long laborious lists which are hard to digest.

I can see that it would have great uses for students, writers or anyone giving a presentation. I personally am non academic and live on a homestead farm; for me in everyday life I can see several uses for planning my garden and renovation projects and to solve problems that crop up therein. I can also see it would be beneficial to estimate a timescale to these events. At the moment I seem to have list upon list of countless tasks that now seem insurmountable. I plan to sit down with a large sheet of paper and create my own Mind Map this very evening.

The book also includes access to free software. One is web-based, so with a quick click of a link, I was able to start using it right away. The other options are nice as well, though you have to download and install them on your computer. Since they are all free, they pay for the book several times over.

Many thanks for such a helpful read!
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