Mind Mapping/Memory Techniques Combined

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#1 20 June, 2013 - 03:22
Joined: 4 years 5 months ago

Mind Mapping/Memory Techniques Combined


Just joined today - great to see a small community dedicated to this subject.

I'm looking to develop my learning ability - until now, I've been adopting the rote memorisation method, and although it works for me and I am able to memorize my chosen topic, I know there are techniques can make life a little bit easier. I am going back to college next year, in September, so I have plenty of time to develop new techniques. I find that I can remember the material for when it is needed, but it soon fades from my memory once that requirement is no longer needed i.e. if I studied some material for an exam tomorrow, I would be able to remember the information, but after a couple of months the information would be difficult to recall - this could be just a matter of going over my notes, but I was wondering is there a way for better retention, or to make my notes simple/shorter so the process of revising is easier.

My question is in relation to mind mapping, and the combination of memory techniques.

I'm currently reading Buzan's Study Skills, and it is providing some great information - I really like the idea of reading a chapter, taking the main notes from it, and taking my notes and turning it into a mind map, and repeat the process for each chapter, and conclude by compressing the book into one mind map.

When I finish, I want to go onto reading Buzan's book on memory - he seems to cover the main memory techniques, or I might read Dominic's How to Develop a Perfect Memory Week by Week - is one better than the other?

This is my question - is it possible to combine a mind map with memory techniques? I would love to, for example, take notes from a chapter, make a mind map from the notes, and to adopt a memory technique in the actual mind map content, so i'm including a memory technique in the actual mind map i.e. loci technique is visible in the mind map.

I know one of the key things in relation to retention is revising, revising, revising - it does come up in the Buzan book that you must revise down the line in order for successful retention, but I would just like to make my studying/notes, that little bit easier.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and any advice would be greatly appreciated,.

22 June, 2013 - 15:26
Joined: 4 years 5 months ago

In regards to your question on combining a mind map with memory techniques, I would suppose it's possible. I would suppose the use would depend on context. So I can only give general advice.
You could combine memory palace with mind map like, I think, you are asking. The thing about memory palaces is that ideally you should know the place almost effortlessly. I bring that up because you would PROBABLY have to find a way to make visual imagery to make your mind map. But, that would be all about CLEAR association and clear connection.
Get creative!

22 June, 2013 - 21:50
Joined: 4 years 11 months ago

I count four questions.

* "...is there a way for better retention..."

Yes. Use mnemonic techniques and spaced repetition system (SRS)
software every single day. Memory takes practice, just as learning a
musical instrument takes practice.

I recommend the following SRS software:

1) Anki (free, cross-platform, extensible)
- I use this.
2) Mnemosyne (free)
3) Supermemo (Windows, commericial)
- Read all of their online documentation regardless of whether
you buy the program.

* [is there a way] "... to make my notes simple/shorter so the process
of revising is easier."

1) Use a mind mapping program instead of hand-drawing mind maps.
- I suggest Freeplane or Docear. (free, cross-platform)
Docear has built-in PDF management and reference
management. If you know you won't need those, use Freeplane.
- If you have an educational discount, consider MindJet's Mind

2) Use a light-weight wiki or outliner to organize, review, and revise.
- I suggest TiddlyWiki as a wiki.
- I suggest either Fargo.io or Workflowy as an outliner.
- Google Docs has outlines, but doesn't specialize in
- Word and LibreWriter also have outlines, but both conflate
outlines with styles.
- Emacs' Org-mode out-performs everything else I've listed,
even having an optional SRS! It also takes longer to learn than the others.

* "...is one [Buzan] better than the other [Dominic]?"
I judge the Dominic System (DS) slightly superior in terms of ease of
learning and flexibility.

- The Dominic System has fewer options for encoding peg words than
the Major System.

1) Fewer options makes them easier to remember.
- 98 in Dominic maps to NH.
- 98 in Major maps to BF, BV, PF, and PV.
2) Fewer options makes them harder to generate.
- 98 in DS, NH, has fewer options for links than the four
options of MS

- The Dominic System emphasizes linking different pegs (Person,
Action, Object) to create large number of peg words. The Major
System in Buzan's books just lists one thousand peg words.

- The Dominic System also emphasizes the method of locii, which
Buzan only briefly treats. I recommend Voss's "Memorize the
Faith!" as a better treatment of the method of locii than

- Voss is very Roman Catholic. His examples all come from
R.C. theology. If this will distract you, avoid his
book. Otherwise, I recommend it.

* " is it possible to combine a mind map with memory techniques?"

Yes. You can memorize a mind map, and doing so makes sense for
stable mind maps that no longer undergo drastic revision.

1) The method of locii would let you "walk" the branches of a mind
map. This emphasizes the hierarchical structure of the mind map, but
discourages "random access."

2) A memory map of the unfolded mind map would let you remember any
part of the mind map. You'd have to learn to superimpose a grid on
the mind map, and learn the technique of memorizing via memory

3) You could memorize the map via image occulsion in a SRS. I
recommend doing this. See the Anki or SuperMemo websites for
discussions of image occulsion.

24 June, 2013 - 07:52
Joined: 4 years 5 months ago

Thank you for such a detailed response.

You mention image occulsion in a SRS - can you explain this a little bit more? Is it developing a mind map and using images, within the Anki software? Or is it a different memory technique?

24 June, 2013 - 19:11
Joined: 4 years 11 months ago

1 sinewaves wrote,

Thank you for such a detailed response.

You mention image occulsion in a SRS - can you explain this a little bit more? Is it developing a mind map and using images, within the Anki software? Or is it a different memory technique?

1.1 You're welcome.

1.2 Imagine image occulsion as a "fill-in-the-blank" question based on an image.

Picture a map of Earth printed on a jigsaw puzzle such that each continent has its own puzzle piece. You could easily teach the location and name of each continent by removing one piece at a time and asking your student to name the missing continent.

See also Wikipedia's Principles of Grouping article, or a mind map version of the article here.

1.2.1 Anki

Anki supports image occulsion via a plug-in named Image Occlusion 2.0. I successfully use this plug-in, but it took some experimentation and practice. I didn't quite need to read the code for it. :)

A video tutorial entitled "Tutorial of Image Occlusion 2.0 for Anki 2.0" exists on YouTube.

1.2.2 SuperMemo

I've no experience with SuperMemo's image occulsion. I don't use SuperMemo. They call it "graphic cloze deletion." You can read a wiki page about it.

I recommend reading the SuperMemo wiki article on Flow of Knowledge in SuperMemo.

28 January, 2014 - 00:57
Iam's picture
Joined: 4 years 2 months ago

@ Jay Dugger. You'll make a good editor/organizer. I sense your memory system is well organized. Good job. I love the way you break things down I'm a hierarchical order.

28 January, 2014 - 06:41
Joined: 3 years 10 months ago

@Jay Dugger
This is brilliant information. All new to me. Must look into all this free software!!!
I think the word should be image OCCLUSION btw. (Not occulsion!) :~

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