Join Paul Nowak for an in-depth discussion in this video Mind mapping while reading, part of Note-Taking for Business Professionals.
- In this video, we're going to discuss an effective process for taking notes while reading. Have you ever taken notes that ended up looking something like a jumbled up mess? It's very difficult to review notes like this. How do you find specific pieced of information? The notes you see on your screen right now are linear based notes. Outlines are also very linear in that they assume roman numeral number two comes after roman numeral number one. These notes are most appropriate for information that runs in a specific sequence, like history, or for instructional information that may contain a step one, step two and so on.
But for many other topics, the information is non-linear. Meaning it doesn't have to be in a set specific order. The topics of business, law, physics, medicine, are all non-linear in that you don't have to follow one specific order to understand them. They might be presented in a certain order, but for you to understand the information, you don't need to remember it in a set order. You just need to know that all of the concepts and details are associated with a single topic. A great way to organize non-linear information is to take notes visually.
Mind maps are a great example of this. Mind maps consist of a central idea in the middle. If you were taking notes while reading, this might be the title of your chapter with nodes extending from that central idea. Their surrounding boxes or bubbles could be headings and subheadings within your chapter, or main points from the material you were reading. Mind maps can include color and other visuals to help you remember even more effectively. It's kind of having a bird's eye view of the information, and later if you need to review the information it's very easy to see the structure and detail.
And also how the information is associated. The reason that mind maps are so effective at helping you remember things is because they reflect the way your mind really works. Just make sure your note taking reflects the way in which the information is structured. Regardless of how you end up taking notes, the most important thing to remember is that note taking aids your memory, and if you really need to remember what you are reading you probably should be taking notes in a manner that you feel is most appropriate.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Exploring the keys to active listening
- Focusing on the ideas
- Capturing an action plan
- Taking notes while reading
- Creating to-do lists, project plans, and meeting notes