From mental map to mental atlas

Mental maps, cognitive maps, mind maps… Scientists and popular psychologists alike have coined all kinds of thinking maps. What’s the difference? While it may be tempting to consider some of these maps more effective than others as thinking tools, the reality is that we need a collection of maps in order to make the most …

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Productive cognitive load: make the most of your working memory

There’s only so much we can hold into our working memory—the system our brain uses to temporarily hold information while we manipulate it. The amount of working memory we use at any given moment is called the cognitive load. While both are theoretical concepts used in psychology and neuroscience, they have profound implications when it …

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Thinking in maps: from the Lascaux caves to modern knowledge graphs

What do hieroglyphs, flowcharts, road signs, and knowledge graphs have in common? They’re all thinking maps. Humans have been thinking in maps since the very first symbolic communication systems. While thinking in maps may first bring to mind the idea of cartography, a map does not need to be geographic—it can be any symbolic depiction …

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Connectedness and complex systems with Dr John L. Collins

Welcome to the fourth instalment in our interview series, where I ask highly creative and innovative people how they manage to achieve more without sacrificing their mental health. Our guest is Dr John L. Collins, a Chartered Mathematician and Chartered Physicist who holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics and Semiconductor theory from Aston University. John …

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You and your mind garden

In French, “cultiver son jardin intérieur” means to tend to your internal garden—to take care of your mind. The garden metaphor is particularly apt: taking care of your mind involves cultivating your curiosity (the seeds), growing your knowledge (the trees), and producing new thoughts (the fruits). On the surface, it’s a repetitive process. You need …

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A taxonomy of notes

Taking smart notes is one of the most efficient ways to increase your productivity and your creativity. But what kind of notes? Once you start considering all the mediums, techniques, strategies, and formats available to you when taking notes, the combinations are almost infinite.  This attempt at a taxonomy of notes was inspired by a …

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The science of mind mapping: a visual way to make sense of the world

Have you ever struggled to put your thoughts on paper and create connections between concepts? Mind mapping is one of the most effective ways to capture and connect various thoughts. A mind map is a visual diagram that helps you connect information around a central concept. You start from the centre, and then use branches …

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