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Converting text to mind map assists the learning
process and encourages new ways of thinking.
What can you summarize in a mind map? Anything!
Examples might be books, magazines, articles,
websites, blog posts or your own personal writing.
If this is a new concept to you, after reading this demonstration you
will be able to convert text to mind map and also see how easy it is to
do the reverse – create and plan your own writing from a mind map.
Taking a section of text and exploring the key points I have reproduced
the essence of the message within the text as I personally see it.
Doing this helps you to drink in the ideas and advice in order to recall
it and more importantly to retain it. I have kept illustrations to
a minimum here to focus on the conversion of text to mindmap and
have selected key concepts adding a few extra personal thoughts.
The text selected for the example comes from a wonderful
book by Richard Carlson (http://www.dontsweat.com/) called
“Stop thinking and Start Living” (ISBN 0722535473)
Here is the text:
“When you feel bad, you will have the tendency to come up with a theory
as to why you feel the way you do. Without knowing the actual cause, it
makes sense to create a reason. As long as you can create reasons for
your depression – your marital status, your job, your children, your
genes, your financial situation, your future, and so forth – you can
maintain the false hope that things will get better when…But you can
probably see that, in actuality, this is not true. The mindset that says
‘Life will be better when…’ will create further conditions that must be met
as soon as the initial conditions are satisfied. You need only to look at the
countless times in your life that you received what you wanted – and
happiness still eluded you – to realize that changing your circumstances
isn’t the answer to your problems. If it were, you’d already be happy!
You wanted to graduate, you graduated. You wanted a mate, you got
one. You wanted a pet, you got one. You wanted a pay-cheque, you got
one. And so on. Tens of thousands of times in your life you got exactly
what you wanted and yet you’re still unhappy!
The solution is to have the humility to admit that all along you have been
creating your own pain through your own thinking. Don’t worry; almost
everyone else is doing the same thing. The good news is that as soon as
you see that this is true, you’ll be on your way to a far better life. No
matter how depressed you have been, or how long you have been
depressed, the moment you can see that it’s only your thinking that is
holding your depression in place, you’re on your way to freedom.”
How to extract words from a section of text to create a mind map:
Methods for extracting keywords include highlighting the text,
pencil circling key ideas or simply building a mindmap as you read.
A great technique is to read through the text once then re-read it
looking for main points and keywords; look for important themes as your
main branches and consider sub-branches to expand the key ideas.
You can choose whether to keep keywords to a minimum as triggers
for recall or to explore in greater depth by adding more detail.
As you create your mindmap other words and branches are likely to be
added especially if you are exploring a subject and looking for new ideas from
an initial starting point or adding in your own words, experiences and knowledge.
If however you are trying to memorise from a specific piece of text you may wish
to extract keywords solely from the text rather than adding further words.
It really depends on the outcome you seek and the reasons you have
for summarising the text and what works best for you personally.
If mindmapping a book you might wish to create a mind map
for each chapter plus an overview mind map of the entire book.
You can quickly see the benefits of the reverse scenario
should you be planning to write your own book.
Keep in mind the simple yet very effective 5W 1H method when converting
text to mind map: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? These are brilliant
questions to clarify what you are reading and help to highlight important issues.
You instinctively look to get answers to these questions already when
reading or learning, so why not hone in directly? Even when not
mindmapping, these questions help you grasp information and tame it.
In the overview below I have highlighted the main points in the text.
When creating the mind map, I built in more detail to explore the
concepts further in order to clarify my thoughts:
Why create a mind map from text?
Creating a mind map helps consolidate learning and expand thinking.
It assists you in digesting information, retaining it and
exploring new concepts and topics in your own unique way.
After you have transferred text to mindmap several times you
quickly get a feel for extracting key points whenever you read and you
start to think in mindmap form (and 5W 1H form!) creating links and
associations, looking and reading with questions in your mind such as:
“What is the message here?”
“What are the main points?”
“What is this really about?”
“What do I wish to retain?”
“Where is the lesson here?”
“If I were to summarise what I have read
in a couple of words – what is being said?”
Keeping journals & mind maps
Keeping a physical file of the mind maps you have
created gives you a reference folder for revisiting.
Personally, I also keep a folder of inspiring mind maps to
learn from that other people have created and shared.
I recall a number of years back that on reading “Stop Thinking & Start Living”
the text I’ve mindmapped here resonated deeply with me – there
were many other pieces within the book that did the same ☺
Creating a mindmap is a great way to investigate the reasons.
Why was this piece of text so important?
What was it that was so special about it?
How come this section jumped out at me?
Top left of the mindmap I have added a two word prompt to
recall the essence of the text and the advice it contains –
This method of chunking down to a simplified prompt helps
enormously in a similar way to using acronyms. In fact, on
hindsight I could have named this mindmap “Question Thinking”
A great tip is to keep a journal of inspiring quotes and writing by recording
the moments when something resonates with you so that you can
revisit and contemplate the writing. Mindmapping quotes is also a useful
method for summarising and even kick-starting your own writing.
Here is a quick example:
“When walking or resting in nature, honour that realm
by being there fully. Be still. Look. Listen.” Eckhart Tolle
Simple mind map summary:
Ok, so I’ve created a mind map from text – now what?
Having created a mindmap from text you can revisit it to consolidate
your knowledge or simply use it once to digest information – the act
of writing and summarising creates greater meaning and understanding.
If you revisit the text that you have created the mindmap from you will see
for yourself that you instantly have a greater appreciation and
comprehension of the writing having mind mapped it out.
Reversing the process
A reversal of the text to mind map process will also prove useful:
if you notice a mind map by someone else that resonates with you
and you wish to explore it further, try writing from the mind map
and in your own words investigate and create from it. This gives you
a feel for writing from mind maps and experience in planning outlines
and structuring content. Or, better still, simply create your own
mind map and start writing in your own words!
Experimenting with text to mind map
The best way to test this further is to simply jump in
and create mindmaps from various selections of text.
Try revisiting your own writing and mindmapping it.
Try books, magazines, websites & blog posts
or any other form of study material you may wish to
learn from and compile a mind map from the text.
I hope this demonstration has helped you see how easy
it is to convert from text to mindmap and vice versa.
Here is a quick summary to recap:
How to convert Text to Mind Map
1 Read through the text
2 Reread and consider 5W 1H
3 Extract keywords for main branches
4 Expand key points to create sub-branches
5 Add your own ideas should you wish
6 Add illustrations if necessary
7 Review mind map and revisit text to check coverage
8 Contemplate, consolidate, retain & if applicable memorise
9 Store your mind map for revisiting
10 Share it if you think it might help others!
Examples of text to mind map in action:
The Power of Now Mind Map
Stillness Speaks Mind Map
Qualities of Leonardo da Vinci Mind Map
Taming Your Gremlin Mind Map
Made to Stick Mind Map created by Roy Grubb
Numerous excellent examples created by Luciano Passuello
List of online Mind Map Libraries
Mind Map Art - Showcasing artistic Mind Maps from around the World
Drawing a Mind Map from Start to Finish
How to make a Mind Map at WikIT (the mindmapping Wiki)
How to Mind Map: A Beginners Guide at IQ Matrix
Online Text to Mind Map resources:
Suggestions from Roy Grubb of Topicscape
Thanks to Roy (Twitter @roygrubb)
Mind Map Books by Tony Buzan
List of books about Mind Maps at WikIT
Original Blog Post:
To see more Mind Maps by Paul Foreman visit the
Mind Map Inspiration Website www.mindmapinspiration.co.uk
Subscribe to the Mind Map Inspiration Blog to receive
new Mind Maps, plus creativity and drawing tips.
Blog at www.mindmapinspiration.com
Mindmaps ® were invented by Tony Buzan
They help us progress from "linear" (one-dimensional) through
"lateral" (two-dimensional) to "radiant" (multi-dimensional) thinking.
For more information see his books and visit the following website:
E-Books available from http://www.mindmapinspiration.co.uk including:
In this E-Book I share how I create ideas and help guide you towards the land of infinite possibilities.
Never be stuck for an idea again!
Contents Includes the following Mind Maps:
Why simple is often best Topical Ephemeral or Practical Immortal
Fresh ideas Theory of the Brain
Use thinking – don’t let it use you Idea
Lifespan of an idea Planning Ahead and the Bigger Picture
Simplicity of an idea Sparking Ideas
Everything stems from a thought What is Original?
Planning ahead and the bigger picture Thinking Styles
Sparking ideas Thinking styles template
Random thinking styles Creativity Toolkit Mind Map
Creativity Toolkit Planetary Thinking
Outside the box outside the box 360° Thinking
Ideas don’t dry up – thoughts do Creative Focus
Constant Daily Learner Odd Combinations
Land of infinite possibilities Thinking outside the Box
Thinking outside the Box Checklist
Constant Daily Learner
Beginners guide Learn how to take your drawing to the next level
Colour wheel and use of colours in my second E-Book and discover the secrets of
Drawing Fish "How I drew my minds"
Drawing Books Including:
Using Stencils & Templates The thoughts behind the maps
Drawing Hats Mind Map structure
Mind Map Templates What products I use
Drawing Curves & Shapes Tips and tricks for drawing
Detailed breakdown of “Fantasy Mind Map” Colour placement
Enhancing Creativity through Thought Reduction Image placement
Drawing Speed Tests Detailed image analysis
Drawing Faces Illustration walkthrough step by step
Lettering Fast sketching
Photo to Cartoon transfer Idea generation
Drawing Tips and Tricks From a simple line and curve to an image
Doodleboards Overlap and 3D
Mind Maps Plus a few surprises!
“Happiness Beyond Thought” 85 Page illustrated E-Book - Including Mind Maps £5.99
Happiness is your primary state
Happiness is inside you
Discover true happiness and inner peace Go Within
Learn how to stop incessant thinking Organisation – Inner & Outer
and take control of your thoughts Coming back to now (Present Moment Awareness)
Learn how to meditate, relax your Includes the following Mind Maps:
mind and body and foster inner calm
Happiness is your primary state
How to stay in the present moment Stop Thinking Tips
Happiness is inside you
How to let go, find simplicity and Go Within
transform your life for good Meditation
Simple tips and strategies for Present Moment Awareness
a harmonious and stress-free life Positive Acronym Your Name
Plus a Bonus Mind Map
“Mind Map Game Boards” 46 Page E-Book Plus 8 Large JPEG Image Set £5.99
Choice Maker Game Board Theme Maker Game Board
Use the Choice Maker Game Board as a Random Choice Create ideas and storylines from the images within the
Selector for idea generation, fun and more Theme Maker Game Board
Choice Maker Blank Version “My Favourite” Mind Map
The Blank version allows you to create unique Choice Outline your personal favourites for a snap shot of your
Maker Game Boards of your own unique personality
Boredom Buster Game Board
Select random hobbies, ideas, pastimes and interests; for Bonus Mind Maps
occasional daytrips, days out, or lifetime pursuits
Two Bonus Mind Maps
Chore Choice Game Board
Add a fun element to sharing out or selecting chores using
the Chore Choice Game Board Mind Map Game Board Image Set
(8 Individual Large Size JPEG Images)
Positive Thinking Game Board
You can print the images out in whichever size you wish
Enhance your mood and create a positive thinking and even laminate them for longevity
environment with the Positive Thinking Game Board