Information Mapping (when reading a Book) will save hours …

How Information Mapping when reading a Book will save hours of research/revision time

I do a lot of reading … in fact, I do so much reading that I really wish that I were paid to do the research I undertake because I would earn quite a tidy sum.   Fortunately  I thoroughly enjoy reading but, like many others I encounter the problem of remembering everything and being able to gain immediate access to a particular point or quote. 


That was my problem, until I started using Mindjet’s MindManager 7.0 Pro (free 21 day trial available) and then read Jamie Nast’s Book “Idea Mapping” which gave me the two skills I needed to combine with my Microsoft Office skills … all 3 parts came together and I have now transformed how I read / record / retrieve the knowledge from those books.

When I have a new book to read I start by creating a map (an Information Map), with the Central Theme as the Book’s title, including a photo of the jacket cover, with a link to a website about the book/author.

Each Chapter of the book becomes a main branch of the Information Map and I use colour and imagery (this knowledge came from Jamie Nast’s book, which I highly recommend) to bring to life the main emphasis of that Chapter and any sub-topics.  I learnt from Jamie that to be child-like is not childish and therefore I now use images and colour to aid my memory recall.

This takes concentration because you need to :

a)      read the words

b)      assimilate the knowledge

c)       summarise that knowledge

d)      capture “author’s quotes” (perhaps using the notes area)

e)      pause and reflect on the summarised knowledge
(is it a good enough summary to revise from or has something been missed out?)
If necessary repeat items a-e, until it is as good as it needs to be

f)       find images and colours to bring it to life to aid with future memory recall

g)      Integrate with Microsoft Office Outlook to create Tasks of action points arising

Although this requires concentration I have found that it is saving me considerable time .  True, it takes slightly longer to get through the book in the first place because of items c-g above, however, I am saving myself all that unnecessary (and frankly ridiculous) re-reading to find a suitable quote; re-reading to remember what was in the book; re-reading to prepare for revision prior to an Exam; searching for and trying to interpret the scribbled notes I had written! 

I used to re-read certain books several times if I was preparing for an Exam.  Now I know that I can use the above method to read a book just ONCE, provided that I concentrate and do items c-g whilst reading.

For anyone who needs to read and remember large amounts of information  whether for academic or business purposes, I would recommend this approach.


Below is my first attempt at this process which I developed whilst reading Jamie Nast’s book … whenever I want to recall the key points, I simply open the map and my eyes are drawn to the various images and colours … I can also filter certain topics so that I can concentrate my revision efforts on exactly what I want to review … one page containing everything I read … immediately accessible.




11 Responses to Information Mapping (when reading a Book) will save hours …

  1. Jamie Nast says:

    This is the first Idea Map I’ve seen of my book (except my own). I’m impressed!

  2. Brian says:

    Kaye: Great job! How long did it rake you do to the mind map? Brian

  3. Karl says:

    Kaye, I would like to see your mind map of Jamies’s book. I tried unsuccessfully to print your jpeg into a large 30 x 40 plot. Can I get a copy emailed to me? Thanks, Karl

  4. Brian: Thanks.

    I can’t say exactly how long the map took to create because I was doing 3 things at once (reading the book, learning MindManager 7 AND implementing Jamie’s ideas) and didn’t separate the time.

    However, if it helps, I finished the book in a week – doing approximately 2 chapters per day. The first 3-4 chapters were fairly slow to complete because I was spending so much time fiddling with the software until I had worked out how to do what I wanted to do. The remaining chapters seemed to just “fly by” … I found that I was creating elements of the map virtually at the end of each page almost without having to think about MM7.

    It was certainly one of those experiences where the effort was rewarded several times over.

    I have just started reading a book on a totally different subject and have been mapping it “on the fly” almost intuitively and I didn’t feel slowed down in any way. Far from it, I feel relieved knowing that the revision is being created as I go.

    I hope this helps.

  5. Karl:

    Thanks for your interest but I am afraid the only person who has received a copy of the Map is Jamie Nast (the author of the book) because, without her, I wouldn’t have been able to create it.

    The graphic of the map is there to simply illustrate the concept of “mapping a book” – any book – if you’d like further details about Jamie’s book specifically, you could obtain a copy of it via her website:


  6. Karl says:

    I am reading her book. I was interested in comparing my map to yours as a benchmark to provoke additional insight in mind mapping. Thanks,


  7. Kaye Nightingale says:


    Wouldn’t it be best for you to complete her book and your map before any form of comparison takes place?

    Is your interest to see how our maps differ? If so, wouldn’t it always be the case that one person’s interpretation will be different from everyone else’s, even if they use the same material as their starting point?

    If you’d like to take this forward, please contact me once you have completed your map.


  8. Vicky Everall says:

    Okay I am sold, being an anti mind mapper this still sounds like a great solution to my degree revision notes that take me so long to prepare.
    I need to see and know more, please help!!

  9. Karl says:

    Yes I agree with you 100%. Thank you, I may contact you after I read the book and complete my map. Karl

  10. […] when she realized she wanted to make a map of the book. Her blog entry tells her full story and a second posting shares the process of mapping a book. Thanks […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: