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Note Mapping

by edgab

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Ever go back to look over your notes and find yourself reviewing a blur of information?  Pages of notes consisting of a bunch of terms and sentences that don’t seem to fit together can be overwhelming and discouraging.  Create easy-to-read, clear notes that allow you to quickly understand relationships among different ideas with note mapping.  By using note maps, you can see the different components of a subject.

Note Mapping is an innovative study strategy that uses the techniques of mind mapping (AKA Concept Mapping, Spray Diagrams, and Spider Diagrams) with a twist!  Rather than using sentences, a note map draws information in diagrams creating a clear, visual picture.

The process of creating a note map helps maintain interest and focus in your learning–two things essential for learning!  The visual image sticks in your memory, helping you recall information quickly and when it’s important, such as during an exam, discussion, or paper. While it benefits all students, note mapping is especially helpful for visual learners, creative thinkers, and those who struggle with organizing thoughts.

How to Create a Note Map

Create a note map by using different shapes, figures, and lines to connect corresponding ideas and topics to the one explored.

  • To begin, start with one main topic, possibly the title of a chapter, course lesson, or lecture, this is the starting point to which all other ideas and topics connect.  It’s often placed in the center of a page to provide adequate space for expanding on it.  Using straight lines, dots, zigzags, or even branches, connect important key terms, phrases, and big ideas to this main topic.
  • Continue adding more subtopics as you see fit.  Write each topic in a bubble, rectangle, on a line, or in a cloud.  Choose the shapes and formatting that works best for you.  Select the minimalist route with lines and words to design a map quickly.  Feeling creative?  Use colored pencils, drawings, markers, or magazine clippings.  Soon you will have a clear, visual picture of a book chapter or lecture!  Check out our Mind Mapping PDF on our Tips & Strategies Page for a step-by-step refresher.

Mind mapping software available on your personal computer can be used to create note maps.  Our favorites are mindmeister and mindjet.  These sites have elaborate maps and software for you to use.

Note: “Mind Map” is a trademark of the Buzan Organization

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