When taking notes, most people linearly organize the information and use headers, sub-headers and so on. Mind maps are another note taking method. They can be faster, simpler, more effective and tons of fun. To make a mind map you use colored markers or pencils and your creativity and drawing skills.
The map is composed of a center image or figure with the title or subject of the mind map. For each different topic there are main branches extending from the center. Attached to these ‘topic’ branches are the sub-branches, or twigs, which in turn have smaller and smaller ones for the details. When making mind maps, you are supposed to put one idea, through a word or symbol, on each branch of the map. This causes you to extract the main ideas and key concepts from the lecture or lesson.
Here are two videos which explain the basics of mind maps:
Here are two of my mind maps. They are on Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. I love to use mind maps especially for history. They are so much fun with all the different colors and pictures. They also give me all the information I need to write a successful essay and they are great for studying.