If you’ve been going through our Sejarah course short-notes, you’ll notice that we’re really big on mind maps. Heck, our entire Sejarah Show is basically a super mind map.

While it’s easy to dismiss mind-maps as ‘extra’ or an Internet age trend, mind-mapping as a thinking tool as actually been around for many years. Renaissance era artist Leonardo da Vinci was famous for his use of mind-mapping so if this technique is good enough for him, it should be good enough for you.

Why are mind-maps so effective as a study technique?
Mind-maps are an effective method for practicing visual thinking; a learning technique that helps learners understand and retain complex information through linking lots of different ideas to a central theme.

Wanna give mind-mapping a go?
Let’s try out mind-mapping using one of our the Sejarah Show videos. Pick out a chapter/video that you’re most interested in learning and try creating your own mind-map.

  1. Decide what the central theme of your selected video is. Then write down this main topic in the middle of your paper and draw a circle around it. This is your main topic.
  2. Now keep watching until you come to what you consider the first major sub-topic. Jot down a key phrase that summarizes this sub topic. Now draw a line connecting it to the main topic, indicating a relationship between the main topic and the sub-topic.
  3. Every time you come to a new sub-topic, repeat this process. Soon it will start looking like a bicycle wheel with spokes, with many sub-topics surrounding one major topic. Pay attention to the narration of the video and concentrate on how the sub-topics you highlighted are related to the central topic.

Most importantly, bear in mind the following three rules:

  • Use short keywords. Tak tau lukis pun takpe. The information you want to remember should be prompted by short, memorable words with meaning – not paragraphs of prose!
  • As we know, association is an important way to improve memory. Mind Maps not only encourage association, the connections between your ideas will also be laid out clearly on the page as a visual reminder.
  • Use colours and images to stimulate your imagination. Imagination is the key secret to improve memory, and the visually exciting nature of a Mind Map full of colours, images and symbols will kick your visual thinking into high gear!

Clear? Now, go ahead and mind-map away.

Note: If you still prefer to study using your computer rather than pen and paper, you can still create mind-maps with web apps like mind42. Check it out!