Posted by: wordsmithsuk | April 3, 2012

Mind Mapping as a memory tool

With a bit of practice anyone can use Mind Maps to recall information from books, films, newspapers, journals, academic papers, minutes and reports. You’ll have all sorts of information at your fingertips: numbers, names facts – the list is endless!

I created this one to help me remember details of Gustave Flaubert‘s classic novel, Madame Bovary.

How do Mind Maps work as a memory tool?

Mind Maps are a brilliant memory tool because they help you to lay out the structure of a topic as a clear ‘shape’ that you can remember easily. By seeing this shape in your mind, you can prompt yourself to remember the information coded within it.

A Mind Map can incorporate a number of hooks to aid recall: images, symbols, patterns, colour, emphasis, humour, texture, dimensions, logical structure, sequence, senses and so on. The more imaginative you are as you create your Mind Maps, the better the associations will be and the easier it will be to remember them.

The importance of review

Review is vital for long-term memory because otherwise you’ll be spending a lot of time collecting information and then allowing it to fade away. You’ll find it impossible to build up a solid basis of knowledge because you constantly have to put the same items into your brain over and over again. It becomes difficult to acquire new information and to use what you already know.

Research shows that our memory is at its best a few minutes after a period of study or reading. It is thought that this happens because during those minutes the brain is subconsciously integrating the new data with what it already knows and making lots of new associations. The bad news is that during the next month or so, we gradually lose 80 percent of the detail of what we learned during that period!

To lodge things in the long term memory, it’s important to make the most of the high points and to make sure that the low points never happen. Of course, Mind Maps are the ideal reviewing tool. You can quickly review Mind Maps that you have already created and/or you can make new ones to test and consolidate knowledge that you’ve already acquired.

I often create a Mind Map when I have finished reading a good book or enjoyed a film. This is excellent practice for making creative associations and it’s really nice to be able remember details of books and films that I have spent so long reading or watching.

Do send me examples of the Mind Maps that you have created to help you to remember things.

And if you want to develop your Mind Mapping skills – look at my website for our highly praised resources and courses.

‘Memory and Learning for Success’ is an audio learning package, which aims to help you improve your ability to learn and remember. It describes a whole set of fun techniques for improving your memory – including Mind Mapping.

Look at our website for more details:



  1. Hi Jane,

    Your article gives another good example of mind map usage for efficient memorisation and recall of information. The process of reviewing is indeed key. Thank you for your great contribution!

    My last article is also about memory, more specifically memorising a geography lesson with a mind map. I created with and for my son and it was particularly efficient. You can find it here (

    I plan to post more articles in the domain that we may discuss further.


  2. Thanks for your comment Phil. I absolutely love your Mind Map of the Belgian provinces – a Map of a map. At last I can start to understand the bewildering geo-political structure of that wonderful country!
    Look forward to seeing more of your creations.

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