Hold that thought: Mind Mapping with MindGenius

Understanding, organising and retaining information can be challenging. While studying and working we often need to compose and organise our written work, understand complex topics and retain information. Mindmapping can be an excellent tool to help us meet these challenges.

Depending on the task at hand mindmapping can be useful for almost everyone, but can be particularly useful for Neurodiverse profiles such as Dyslexic learners.

Mindmapping is a way of graphically representing a topic, concept or problem, so we can visualise it, making it easier to understand. Mindmapping is a versatile technique which can have many applications. Here are some examples:

Brainstorming

Mindmapping is a great way to brainstorm. You can use it to better capture your thoughts or start exploring a topic. You may find that it can help to stimulate and generate more ideas.

Capturing all of your ideas can reduce the load on your working memory. Once you can see your ideas together on one page, you can then edit and arrange them into a more organised structure. This is also useful for group brainstorms, try it on our large screens in the group study rooms and technobooths.

Planning and organising

Bring order to chaos. Before you start a task it’s a good idea to plan how you are going to do it. Mindmapping can help you plan written work such as an essay. With most digital mindmaps, as you build your map you can add more substantial notes to ideas. This means that when you export your finished mindmap into a Word document you have a logical outline structure and some content to get started with.

You could even use a mindmap to plan your research or literature search in an academic database, plotting out which keywords, synonyms and antonyms you are going to use.

A mindmap breaking down a keyword search of " a comparison of the effectiveness of exercising versus a health diet in reducing obesity in children".
A mindmap to plan a database search [click to expand].

Revision

Make your revision notes into a map. When trying to recall information it’s easier to remember the spatial layout of a map rather than linear notes. Add additional memory hooks, such as colour and images, which can prompt you to recall the associated concepts.

Breaking down complex ideas

Some topics are complicated such as land law, who is related to who in Wuthering Heights, or potential Brexit  scenarios, requiring flow charts and maps to make visual sense. It’s difficult to keep all that information in your head or to understand the connections when going backwards and forwards though linear notes.

A mindmap of Wuthering Heights characters and their relationships.
The characters of Wuthering Heights [click to expand].

So, how can I start mindmapping?

To me, Mindmapping has no strict rules, but there are some basic guiding principles you may wish to follow to keep your map effective:

  • Put your topic or essay title in the centre this is useful for keeping you on track or remind you to answer the question in hand.
  • Use single keywords (or very short phrases) so you can see at a glance what the map means when you come back to it. Key words are easier to digest and remember if you are using the map for revision. Keywords are also useful because at the mapping stage our ideas may not be fully formed sentences, but we can still easily capture and build on them.

Using MindGenius software

MindGenius 2019 software is now available on any City student Windows pc.
Staff can download the software onto their City staff desktop computer via the Software Centre. MindGenius is excellent for project management and has some advanced features to facilitate this, such as the ability to create a Gantt chart from your map at the click of a button.

MindGenius Functionality

The software is simple to use with “type and return” functionality to build you map. You can also:

  • Add attachments to keep the documents you are reading for a project or essay organised by linking them to relevant branches within the map.
  • Add notes: Add more substantial notes to each branch. As mentioned, this feature is excellent when planning an essay.
  • Export to Word: You can export your finished mind map to Word to create draft written work. In Word you will have a linear structure to work with along with your added notes.
  • Export to PowerPoint: You can use the software to help plan and create presentations.
  • The mental connection tool allows you to link ideas on different areas of you map and describe the relationship between them.
  • Categories and Filter: You can use colours to code or categorise ideas across your map. If your map becomes quite large and complex you can filter by category to concentrate on particular themes.
  • Templates such as the SWOT and PEST analysis can help encourage exploration of a topic and apply critical thinking to it.
  • If you’re really not sure where to start there are guided brainstorm tools, such as ‘solution finder’ and ‘question sets’.

A real life example

I find mindmapping incredibly useful for organising complex, but otherwise unordered ideas. To write this article I planned it first in Mind Genius.

I started by brainstorming in an unstructured way, getting every one of my ideas down on the page (which is very cathartic!). This reduced the load on my working memory. I also used the Who? What? Where? When? Question set to stimulate more ideas and identify gaps in my thinking.

Once all my ideas were on the page I could move on to organising and structuring the information using the drag and drop functionality to group ideas which came under the same theme.

Then I could think more critically and reject any of the weaker or less relevant ideas. i.e. in this article I’m not going to talk about other mindmapping software so I have deleted those branches on review.

A mindmap bout mindmapping, many ideas have been added with no real structure.
Stage 1. An unordered mindmap. [Click to expand]

A mindmap about mindmapping with more structure
Stage 2. An ordered mindmap. [Click to expand]
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Stage 3. Mindmap exported to Word as outline text. [Click to expand]

Need Help?

If you need help or have any questions about Mind Genius contact us. We’d like to hear what you think so please add your comments below or share with fellow students how mind mapping works for you.

New databases: EIU Country Data and EIU Market Indicators and Forecasts

We are pleased to introduce two new databases to our collection: EIU Country Data and EIU Market Indicators and Forecasts. These databases have widespread applications across the disciplines, including Economics and Journalism.

EIU Country Data is an economic indicators database covering 200 countries and 45 regional aggregates. Global in coverage, EIU Country Data includes forecasts, external trade and GDP going back as far as 1980. It can be used to research individual counties in detail or to compare criteria across regions.

 

EIU Market Indicators and Forecasts is an economic database with industry data covering 60 countries dating back to 1990. Global in coverage, EIU Market Indicators and Forecasts also includes economic and industry forecasts for the next five years.

Other databases with detailed economics data can only be accessed on site with a specialist username and password. However, EIU Country Data and EIU Market Indicators and Forecasts can be accessed from anywhere with your City username and password.

If you have any questions about using these databases please get in touch with Catie Tuttle or Samantha Halford.

New database: Activistmonitor

We’re excited to introduce a new database Activistmonitor to our collection at Cass.

Shareholder activism has become a growing concern for publicly traded companies after many businesses have had to change their strategies in response to the demands of shareholder activists, rather than the usual demands of the market. Recent reports of shareholder activism in the media make it a hot topic for further study.

Activistmonitor covers activist campaigns including past campaigns, strategies and potential targets. It aims to give users an idea of how a given shareholder campaign might play out based on the behaviour of past targets and activists.

Activistmonitor can only be accessed at Cass Learning Resource Centre on specific terminals. If you are interested in using it, please visit the Helpdesk in the LRC.

New database: Acuris Intelligence Risk

We are pleased to introduce a new database to our collection at Cass. Acuris Intelligence Risk covers financial crime and politically exposed businesses. It includes sanctions search, adverse news and country reports. It can be searched by business or individual.

Acuris Intelligence Risk is an excellent tool for those interested in investigating people and businesses for risk because unlike other business databases, which provide data that comes from a third-party on their platform, Acuris Intelligence Risk gathers the information and analyses it themselves. Its sources include legal, government and news; documentation is linked back to the original source. This means that users get a clear and outside perspective on a business or an individual on often sensitive topics, making it ideal to assess risk.

Acuris Intelligence Risk can only be accessed at Cass Learning Resource Centre on specific terminals. If you are interested in using it, please visit the Helpdesk in the LRC.

New Library resource: London Review of Books

We’re pleased to announce that Library Services now subscribes to the online edition of the London Review of Books. 

Published twice a month, the London Review of Books describes itself as ‘Europe’s leading magazine of culture and ideas’. It features essays by academics, writers, and journalists on a variety of topics, as well as reviews, poetry, and letters.

Our subscription includes access to every piece ever published via the digital archive and to the blogpodcasts and short documentaries available on the website. 

Browse the archive by issue/category or search via keyword. Once you find the article you need you’ll see options to print, cite and email content at the top of each page. 

A selection of articles to get you started:

Acess the London Review of Books via CityLibrary Search or our Databases A-Z.

If you have any questions about the London Review of Books please contact alexandra.asman.1@city.ac.uk 

Introducing World-Check Country Risk Ranking

The database World-Check Country Risk Ranking from Thomson Reuters is now available for use inside the library.

What does it do?

World-Check Country Risk Ranking provides a current ranking of countries based on political, economic and criminal factors from hundreds of independent sources and international organisations, including the World Bank, Financial Action Task Force, OECD and World Economic Forum.

World-Check Country Risk Ranking screenshot
World-Check Country Risk Ranking screenshot

Risk factors include:
• Type of governance
• Political stability
• Armed conflict
• Human Rights
• GDP
• Debt
• Credit Sovereign Ratings
• Fraud
• Human trafficking
• Corruption

World-Check Country Ranking risk factors breakdown
World-Check Country Ranking risk factors breakdown

Ranking is updated when new source material is published. Ratings are transparent and linked directly to their sources.

World-Check Country Risk Ranking risk factors
Political factors

 

How can we get access it?

World-Check Country Risk Ranking can be accessed on networked computers at Northampton Square Library or Cass Learning Resource Centre. Users should ask at the helpdesk to get access. Please note only one user at a time can access it at each site.
Questions about World-Check Country Risk Ranking can be directed to Samantha Halford (samantha.halford.1@city.ac.uk) or Catie Tuttle (catie.tuttle.1@city.ac.uk).

New Resource – Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford DNB) is the national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century.

The Oxford DNB includes 60,000 biographies, 11,000 portraits and 250 podcasts. The biographies are concise, up-to-date and written by named, specialist authors. It is overseen by academic editors at Oxford University and published by Oxford University Press. The advanced search functionality lets you search by occupation, gender, and time period and life event and the database is updated regularly throughout the year.

Mary Queen Scots

Some highlights include:

Listen to a life

The Oxford DNB podcast can be accessed via the main database or downloaded via ITunes (where it’s called ‘Oxford Biographies’). An episode is released each week and lasts between 10 and 20 mins.

Mo Mowlam

Popular episodes include:

 

If you have any questions about Oxford Dictionary of National Biography please contact library@city.ac.uk.

The Practising Midwife: online access

The Practising Midwife, a key peer reviewed journal for students and staff working in maternity services, is now available to read online via the Library website.

Screenshot of the front cover of the latest edition of The Practising Midwife
The Practising Midwife

Individual full-text articles can be discovered using CityLibrary Search, or you can browse to a specific issue via our Journals A-Z: simply log-in using your City Username and Password and then select ‘Our Journals’ from the top menu of the journal’s website.

Access is provided from 2013 onwards, with the latest edition for July/August 2018 available now.

Online access to this journal comes in addition to the print version which continues to be kept on Level 5 at the Northampton Square Library, with more volumes dating back to 1998 available on request from the Library Store.

And don’t forget, if you see a title which you think we should have access to, please contact us with your suggestion: email library@city.ac.uk or contact your Subject Librarian to make a recommendation.

New online resource – Times Higher Education (THE)

THE LogoLibrary Services are pleased to announce that all City staff and students now have access to the Times Higher Education (THE) online.

The THE contains global higher education coverage including world university rankings, news, opinions and features. Read online articles, digital editions and download the app to your device.

To set up your Times Higher Education account, go to www.timeshighereducation.com, click the person icon in the top right corner and register using your City email address.

The Times Higher Education app is also available to download from your app store provider on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire.

Update to PI Navigator

On Monday 21st May, PI Navigator was retired for a new database: Filings Expert.

How does this change affect you?

  • From Monday 21st May, PI Navigator is longer accessible, and login credentials for PI Navigator  will no longer work.
  • If you need to access PI Navigator in (or indeed a database with company accounts), please refer to Filings Expert.
  • There is no longer a need to use a generic username and password. You can now login to Filings Expert with your City username and password from the City Library website.

How is Filings Expert different to PI Navigator?

Filings Expert retains all the core functions we knew and loved about PI Navigator, including original documentation of: M&A transactions, debt and equity and annual reports, which can be downloaded into Excel, and adds the following exciting new features:

  • International Private Company Accounts for the top 500 companies in 17 jurisdictions
  • Investor presentations and transactions for over 26,000 companies
  • Predictive text searching
  • Advanced text searching
  • Alerting capabilities for text search results.

Want to have a look? Login to Filings Expert with your City username and password to get started.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact Cass Library Services on CassLibrary@city.ac.uk.