How do you learn? How do you link your new learning with your memory? How do you take in any information? Of course, it comes in as data through one of your senses. The obvious ones are sight and hearing but they are not the only ones at work. You may have touched something, or it may have touched you. You may have tasted a new food. You may have noticed an unusual odor. There is also a 6th sense which means we take note of a feeling though may not be sure how or why it happened. All your senses are receptors bringing in information that your brain will record, maybe store, maybe making it easy for you to remember later.
When we pay more attention we will help our brain execute that process called memory: receive, store, be able to retrieve. It also helps to get that information through multiple senses, hence, drawing, diagraming, and writing notes, can all improve the memory.
Let’s continue to explore this set of ideas about learning and memory through this newsletter. Please comment, add ideas, and ask questions.
Unless you have a perfect memory for everything you hear and everything you read, you will need to make notes of important points you DO want to remember. By that I mean not writing everything down because you don’t know what you will want later, but instead just noting the keywords and ideas. Learning to focus and to listen to understand and parse is a worthwhile skill.
Connecting the important ideas and writing down only key words and phrases can most easily be done by taking notes as a mind map. The mind map allows you to add keywords or phrases to the topic branches as they come up.
It is also much easier to review your notes in a mind map than to reread whole paragraphs or outlines.
You will find that making notes about a topic you want to write or speak about in a mind map form allows you to organize your disparate ideas into logical branches before proceeding. You may find that if the purpose is to give a short informal talk, you can follow the mind map and give the whole talk without writing out a speech. Your talk will sound much more natural and you will appear well versed in your topic versus looking like you are reading from a document or note cards.
To learn more about how to take notes and make notes using mind maps, see my TEDx talk or contact me.