News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Taking Notes With ConceptDraw MINDMAP

Aggghhh. September! School bells ringing, books-a-buying, and mad rushes for necessary supplies for classes….

If this time of year means anything to you, there is a good chance you are a student or teacher of some sort. It also means lots of reading, studying, homework, projects, and study groups. All of these tasks have one thing besides hard work in common. Notes.

Notes are necessary when reading textbooks or other course material, attending a class or lecture, studying for an assignment or test, brainstorming or getting projects started, and when working in study groups.
With so many students obviously taking notes as part of their academic career, it’s a wonder why so many times, notes go unread, are hard to read, fail to have any structure or organization, and sometimes… are just incomplete.

Some basic principles on effective and traditional (boring) note taking:

• Always be prepared with necessary tools to take your notes.
• Use visual effects to help the brain interact and store information.
• Leave blank spaces so you can add comments or notes later.
• Use abbreviations and symbols whenever possible. Phrases are also better than sentences.
• Highlight or underline unfamiliar terms or concepts as a reminder to look them up later.
• Pay attention to content, especially information that is repeated, written on the board, or is followed by charts or diagrams.
• Review and edit your notes frequently.

These are really useful tips, but wouldn’t it be absolutely fabulous if there was a magical software program, catered for academics, tailored for note taking, and contains functionality to organize and enhance information?

There is!

With ConceptDraw MINDMAP you can easily take notes, brainstorm ideas, and facilitate study groups using images, links to other documents, mind maps, and websites, graphs, and the use of sub-topics.

ConceptDraw MINDMAP is an effective tool for creating, managing, and sharing notes in the form of learning maps, otherwise known as mind maps.

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.

If you are not familiar with mind maps, ConceptDraw MINDMAP is an easy tool that doesn’t take long to get used to. Before you know it, you will be taking notes faster, retaining more information, and have more time to spend… reading more textbooks.

Here are some (exciting!) tips and hints for effective and easy (awesome) note-taking using mind maps:
• Determine the central theme of your mind map. For example, if you are reading or in a class lecture about Economics, your main topic might be “Fair Trade Movement”.

• As you continue reading or listening, add sub-topics to your main topic. You can even add notes to your sub-topics, add links to websites and other documents.

• You can add images, icons, and change fonts/colors as you go along or when you are done. Who says notes can’t become pieces of art (or at least enjoyable to look at!).

• As you continue reading, brainstorming, or paying attention to a lecture, you can add more sub-topics to other sub-topics.

ConceptDraw MINDMAP has tons of features and functionality to make your mind map and brainstorming sessions as interactive and functional as you want. But don’t take our word for it! See for yourself here.

Contact the ConceptDraw Sales Department at  1-877-441-1150 x 3, for special pricing for students and faculty!

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