TheBrain for studying Part 2

This is a continuation from part 1 (link). Since the previous post, the learning continued.

Developments since the first set up:

  • Started using the currently in beta TheBrain 7.
    • Since its a pro version the icons were easier to implement
    • the curved lines are very smooth
    • the link highlight is useful when tracking links.
  • More thought types
  • Some added branches from the start
  • Strict ‘best practice’ rules that have to be obeyed throughout my mind map to keep the structure solid and workable.
  • More reference material for the study but also mind mapping. I want through Tony Buzan’s The Mind map book (link) and had some interesting insights.
    • Single word thoughts prove valuable
    • Its very normal to go trough some iterations of mind map design
    • Pictures are good, so all thoughts have icons.
  • After doing 2 more chapters (total of 3) more thoughts and more relations have appeared.
  • More learning, naturally. 😎

I will call this the second iteration or brain evolution for ease of reference.

Main thought and first branches

The main thought is the course name “Elektriciteitsleer” which translates as “Electrical engineering”.

From their I make child thoughts of the main areas I encounter during the course. These are:

  • Begrippen (Definitions, explanations of ..)
  • Formules (Equations / specific calculations)
  • Componenten ( Components, like a transistor, resistor, battery.
  • Mensen (People, like Volta, Tesla with a little history information)
  • Schakelingen (Circuit diagrams)
  • Grootheden – Eenheden en symbolen (Units and symbols)

Jump thoughts

  • Best practices, this is where I note how to configure and structure the thoughts in this brain. This has also become a default pin so I can check it quickly.
  • Realisaties (Realisations) I make notes here when I realise something that could or could not be done with the information I pick up in this course (future planning).
  • References (This is where I store interesting websites I encounter during my subject research on the web)

Parent thoughts

  • Thoughts on what do to, homework related or planning wise.

The previous set up is still valid with the following remarks:

Everything is tagged, something unrelated to a chapter has a dot . as a tag in blue so it is not that visible against the background. This is to help me find any untagged thoughts that I might have let slip.

In addition it is interesting to note that after doing three chapters the amount of thoughts per chapter is around the ~65.

Thought types

The thought types I use are currently the following:

  • Afbeelding (image) Images of something, images are then put in the notes area.
  • Begrip, previously definition (definition)
  • Component (component), things like transistors, battery etc
  • Eigenschap (property)
  • Extra info (additional nice information) From the textbook or what I found online.
  • Ezelsbruggetje (exact translation: Donkey bridge, proper translation: Mnemonic)
  • Formule (Equation) To easily provide all equations with a icon I made a type for this.
  • Gedrag (Behavior) certain components or definitions have a certain behavior
  • Reminder (reminder) for schedule related homework things.
  • Schakeling (circuit diagram) for easy icons to all circuit diagrams
  • Soort / Variant / Type / Ras (Species / Variant / Type / Race) for different types of something.
  • Toepassing (application / practical related things)
  • Variabelen (variables) For in equations
  • Verder uitwerken (Needs more work ie edit later)
  • Vraag (question) For questions to my instructor. that I want to ask.
  • Werking (how it works information)

Branch specific, equations

I make equations thoughts (the name) and below that the actual equation. Naturally equations can be constructed in different ways to calculate a certain variable. I add all different possibilities in here. The name of the variable I will calculate is linked to a definition. The equation name thought is connected trough jump links with any definitions or circuit diagrams that illustrate the child equations.

When selecting a certain equation this is jump linked to all the variables it contains in the unit branch. For easy reference those have a Wikipedia page as attachment. Any interesting theory that is mentioned in the textbook is attached as a child thought. Sometimes certain generic graphs illustrate an equation very nicely. These are added in the notes section.

Branch specific, units

The units and symbol branch has a jump thought to derived unites (milli / nano / pico) and to constants, for other things it contains see below.

Some  redoing was in order since I used the Pi symbol for my variables.. Pi is a constant as we all know. 😕  Note that the variables still link to wikipedia pages, the X symbol icon overwrites the W.

Branch specific, definitions and components

The definitions and component branches are rather large, importantly they hold the summary of what something is. Its workings, its properties, its diagram symbol, a picture if its an object. A Condensator is a Capacitor in English.

The idea is to have the main thought as the focus and then by hovering over the other thoughts its connected to seeing the information in the notes area. For example when I hover over capacitief gedrag (capacitive behavior) I see the following:

Experiences of using the brain for studying this way

Previously I wrote:

Currently I have done only one chapter, so the long term effects cant be measured yet. What I have noticed is:

  • It actually took me less time to go trough this chapter then what I had with other chapters. This time it took me about 4 hours (2 evenings), this even includes the creation and setting up of the brain.
  • I found myself in a flow state where I studied from about 7 to 9:30 without even noticing the lapse in time.
  • I was even looking up additional information on the web concerning my course, something I rarely do.
  • Mini breaks in the form of looking up a nice looking icon for a certain thought was rather nice…
  • More thoroughly thinking about the subject matter, how it is structured (how I wanted it structured in my brain) and how it relates (what thought can I link this thought to in other parts of my brain?)

I will be continuing to study this way (for now).

In addition after doing now in total 3 chapters and some more research on mind mapping in general I have concluded the following.

  • Some organizing iterations are always in order, as the brain expands and more thoughts are added you want to keep some form of overview.
  • I have experimented somewhat with the one direction links in thebrain 7 but have not found a use form them.
  • There is a lot of information on mind mapping for study purposes. Link: – Visual Organization
  • Tony Buzans mind mapping book was very informative and provides some insights. The visual aspect of a normal mind map versus TheBrain’s information management is noticeably different however I keep in mind that Personalbrain is not a mind map tool.
  • All previously stated experiences are still in valid.

That was it for now, feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

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