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Are you a reluctant learner?

Are you daunted by the amount of studying you have to do?

Chances are you are not storing and retrieving information, data, facts, and figures as quickly and effectively as you have the potential to do.


This may be because of:

-   lack of motivation

-   accumulation of bad study habits

-   apprehension and anxiety about pressures of time and amount of study

-   no ‘Operations Manual’ for your Brain


Your fears and feelings of negativity are something entirely rational and totally unnecessary. I know exactly how some of you feel. I left school at 15 and felt I was really stupid because I just couldn’t learn at school.


Why is this?

Well up until now, most of us have been taught all sorts of facts, data, information, STUFF! i.e. WHAT to learn.

What we haven’t been taught is HOW to learn!


“Learning HOW to Learn is life’s most important skill”

Tony Buzan

What can you do?
Use the Buzan Organic Study Technique (BOST), which allows easy and effective access to the world of knowledge in a manner that encourages your brain to learn more and more easily as it learns more.

The core elements are:-

-    Preparation and Application

-    Speed Reading

-    Super charging your Memory

-    Mind Mapping


We need to learn how our memory works, how to read effectively and how to get the information out of our head and onto paper/software.

This was the key I was missing. When I came across Tony Buzan’s books in 1997 while struggling through part time university course, it was the key that opened up my potential.

I know it will do the same for you.

Have fun learning
Jennifer Goddard 

Study Hints and Tips

Here are some Hints and Tips, extracted from The Buzan Study Skills Handbook by Tony Buzan, to get you started.


Use the Buzan Organic Study Technique (BOST®) to develop strong study habits.

It is divided into:-


-          The Browse - Browse through material you are going to study

-          Time and Amount – Decide on periods of study time you have and what you will cover in each period.

-          Five Minute Mind Map Jotter – Jot down everything you know about the subject to get your brain primed – 5 mins max

-          Ask Questions and Define Goals – what do you want to get from the book.



-          Overview – Don’t start at page 1 – approach it like you would a jigsaw puzzle – find edges, corners and fill in bits as you go

-          Preview – skim read the text first to discover the core elements

-          Inview – Fill in those areas left – difficult areas or areas where knowledge is not complete.

-          Review – reconsider those sections you marked as noteworthy – less han 70% will actually be used. Cover any further information to achieve your goals.


Three skills areas you need to develop to study effectively are Speed Reading, Memory and Mind Mapping. Here are some Tips on how to improve all three.

Speed Reading – Address the common reading ‘problems’ by:-


1.       Sub-vocalising in your brain – hear the words in your head and SHOUT important words or concepts.

2.       Using your finger or pointer to guide your eyes as you read – will make your eyes feel much more relaxed and efficient.

3.       Breaking the habit of back-skipping. Re-reading material has been shown to make no difference to levels of understanding.


The problem is not your power of concentration,
it is the direction and focus of that concentration.

Tony Buzan

Memory – Supercharge your memory

The core memory principles are:

Imagination – The more you stimulate and use your Imagination, the more you will enhance your ability to learn. This is because your Imagination has no limits; it is boundless and stimulates your senses and your brain.


See the information you are learning in your mind’s eye. Close your eyes every now and then to imagine/daydream what you have learnt.


Association – Associate the information you are learning with something else that is already fixed and known to you. Association works by linking or pegging information to other information such as numbers, symbols, order and patterns.


Use the beginning and end of each study session effectively for revision and planning. We are more likely to remember things that happen or that are introduced:

-          At the beginning – the Primacy Effect

-          At the end – The Recency Effect


Make things stand out and associate with something we already know. We find it easier to remember things that are:

- Associated with items or thoughts that are already stored in the memory.

- Outstanding or unique – as this appeals to the imagination


Your brain is more likely to notice and recall something that has strong appeal. So link things to:-

-          Your senses – taste, smell, touch, sound, or sight

-          Your particular interests.



The more we learn, the more we remember.

The more we remember the more we learn.

Tony Buzan

  The Ten Core Memory Principles are

1.       Use your senses

2.       Exaggerate

3.       Incorporate Rhythm and movement

4.       Use Colour

5.       Number things

6.       Use Symbols

7.       Have order and see patterns

8.       Attraction

9.       Laughter

10.   Positive Thinking and Images.


Mind Maps – The Swiss Army Knife for Your Brain


Mind Maps are a graphic, networked method of organising, storing and prioritising information (on paper or computers) using key words and images. 


Mind Maps stimulate both sides of your brain by using Left cortical skills (logic, words, lists, lines, numbers, analysis) AND Right cortical skills (imagination, colour, daydreaming, spatial and Gestalt (the whole picture)  

Use Mind Maps for your note-taking because:-

  • The central idea is more clearly defined.
  • The relative importance of each idea is clearly identified.
  • The more important ideas are immediately recognisable at the centre of the Mind Map.
  • The links between key concepts are immediately identifiable – via key words encouraging association of ideas and concepts and improving memory.
  • Review of information is effective and rapid.
  • The structure of the Mind Map allows additional concepts to be added easily.
  • Each Mind Map is a unique creation – which will in turn aid recall.

Mind Maps will help you think pictorially and think in colour – the adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words is true’. A Mind Map is a picture of what you have studied and the points you want to get across in your essay or exam.


If you would like a cool Mind Map on the Laws of Mind Mapping and a one page overview of How to Mind Map, then email info@buzan.com.au to request a pdf at no charge.

How to Mind Map a Textbook


Using BOST is a sure fire way to blitz that textbook




Browse the book and create the central image of the Mind Map (10 Minutes)

Set time and targets for amount to be covered in each session (5 minutes)

Mind Map existing knowledge on the subject (10 minutes)

Define and Mind Map your goals (5 minutes).


Application – using the table of contents and elements as you read


Overview – Add main Mind Map branches

Preview – Add first and second levels

Inview – Fill in the Mind Map details

Review – and complete the Mind Map.   

Mind Mapping for Essays


Here are seven steps to do that essay.


1. Identify the essential elements of your topic in a Mind Map then use it as a road map to write your essay in a linear format. 


2. Start with a central image representing the subject.


3. Add Basic Ordering Ideas (BOIs) as your major branches/subdivisions. Pay close attention to what the topic or question is asking you to do. The wording of the essay topic usually suggests what the BOIs need to be.


4. Let your mind range freely, adding items of information or points you wish to make. Add key points as you read using a colour code to cross reference.


5. Next, edit and re-order your Mind Map into a cohesive whole.


6. Now sit down and write the first draft of your essay, using the Mind Map as the framework. Write as quickly as you can and skip over any areas of difficulty – creating a much greater flow.


7. Finally, review your Mind Map and put the finishing touches to your essay, adding cross references, supporting your argument with more evidence or quotations and modify or expand your conclusions where necessary.   

Handy Tip
Take breaks from studying every hour. Juggle or do something different for 3-5 minutes to let your brain absorb the information you have been learning.  

Where to from here

We have a number of training programs coming up that will help you with your study skills – check them out now. 


Or Grab a copy of Ultimate book of Mind Maps, The Speed Reading Book, Buzan Bites on Memory, Speed Reading, Mind Mapping  or Mind Mapping for Kids from our secure eStore on mindwerx.com




The latest book from Tony Buzan
with Buzan Centre co-founder
Jennifer Goddard

Buy a copy now!

Mind Mapping
Decors Speed Reading
Think Productively with HBDI