Advantages of Mind Maps
The Brain Book
Peter Russell's highly acclaimed book on memory and learning, with many examples of mind maps, how to make them and use them.
Disadvantages of traditional linear notes:
Energy and time wasted writing down superfluous words.
Other information may be missed while noting down one idea.
Take longer to read and review.
Associations and connections between key words and ideas not readily apparent.
Attention wanders easily.
Lack of color and other visual qualities handicap memory.
Traditional notes aid forgetting not memory.
Mind maps work the way the brain works -- which is not in nice neat lines.
Memory is naturally associative, not linear. Any idea probably has thousands of links in your mind. Mind maps allow associations and links to be recorded and reinforced.
The mind remembers key words and images, not sentences -- try recalling just one sentence from memory! Mind maps use just key words and key images, allowing a lot more information to be put on a page.
Because mind maps are more visual and depict associations between key words, they are much easier to recall than linear notes. (For example, although you may not have studied it in depth, see how much of the Home Mind Map of this site you can recall in your mind's eye.)
Starting from the center of the page rather than top-left corner allows you to work out in all directions.
The organization of a mind map reflects the way your own brain organizes ideas.
Mind maps are easy to review. Regular review reinforces memory. Best is to try reviewing in your imagination first, then go back and check on those areas that were hazy.
We remember what stands out (where were you when John Lennon was shot?). Visual quality of mind maps allows you to make key points to stand out easily.
Clickable Mind Map of earlier version of this site's home page