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Newsletter 261
October 30, 2012

In This Issue...
Review Strategies
Mind Maps
Learning Styles
The Lean Turnaround
Dealing With Anxiety
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  Three Steps to Effective Learning

If you're ambitious, you'll always be striving to build on your knowledge. Here are three ways to do this more effectively...

First, with our featured article on Review Strategies, find out how to commit what you've learned to long-term memory.

We then look at how Mind Maps help you take notes more effectively. Plus, find out how to get even more from your learning activities by understanding your preferred learning style.

Enjoy these articles!
  James & Rachel
  James Manktelow and Rachel Thompson
MindTools.com - Essential skills for an excellent career!
Featured Resources at Mind Tools
Review Strategies
Committing Learning to Long-Term Memory

Use these strategies to remember important information more effectively. All Readers' Skill-Builder
Review Strategies
Mind Maps
A Powerful Approach to Note-Taking

This article and video teach you how to draw Mind Maps - these help you take notes, brainstorm complex problems, and think creatively. All Readers' Skill-Builder
Mind Maps
Learning Styles
Understanding Your Learning Preference

By understanding your preferred learning style, you can learn and communicate more effectively. All Readers' Skill-Builder
Learning Styles
... And From the Mind Tools Club
The Lean Turnaround: How Business Leaders Use Lean Principles to Create Value and Transform Their Company, by Art Byrne Speaker

This book looks at how you can reduce waste and improve productivity in your organization, by using "lean" strategies. Find out more about it here. Premium Members' Book Insight
Train Your Brain for Success
Dealing With Anxiety
Coping With Stress and Worry

Learn about the various types of anxiety, and find out how you can cope with them successfully. All Members' Skill-Builder
Dealing With Anxiety
How to Avoid Decision-Making Paralysis

Do you spend so long trying to find the "perfect" solution that you never actually get round to making a decision? Learn about some great tools that help you make better decisions.
All Members' Bite-Sized Training
How to Avoid Decision-Making Paralysis
Mind Tools Apps
Free Business Tools
on the Move

Download our free iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, and access more than 100 of our tools - in a format that's ideal for busy people.

Download Now
Mind Tools Apps
Editors' Choice Article
Review Strategies
Committing Learning to Long-Term Memory

Have you ever taken a training course, read a business book, or learned a new skill, but then forgotten almost everything about it within a few weeks?

When you don't have the chance to apply new knowledge, it's easy to forget what you have learned. This is why it's so important not only to take notes, but also to review what you have learned regularly, so that you can remember it for the long-term.

In this article, we look at the benefits of reviewing information, and we explore several strategies that you can use to do this effectively.
Review Strategies
Review what you've learned to increase retention.
© iStockphoto/IvelinRadkov
Why Review Information?

When we learn new information, we remember it best immediately after we have learned it. We then forget details as time passes. Even after a few days, we may be able to recall only a little of what we initially learned.

To remember what we've learned over the long-term, we need to move information from short-term memory (what we're currently thinking about or aware of) into long-term memory.

To do this, we need to review what we've learned, and we need to do this often. It takes time to commit information to long-term memory, and reviewing information helps us do this.

As well improving your learning, these strategies are also useful in day-to-day business situations, such as when you want to remember client details or recall information for a presentation.

How to Review Information Effectively

We'll now look at some simple strategies that you can use to remember information over the longer term.

1. Review Immediately

Begin by spending a few minutes reviewing material immediately after you've learned it. This helps you confirm that you understand the information, and reduces the time needed to "relearn" it when you review it again in the future.

As you re-read material, use effective reading strategies to make sure that you're reading efficiently and intelligently. For instance, if you've just read a chapter in a business book, you may only need to review section headings and the conclusion to start fixing information in your memory.

2. Rewrite Materials

Another great way to review information is to rewrite and reorganize your notes.

This might seem like a waste of time at first. However, rewriting can be a very effective method for reinforcing what you've learned. Research shows that the act of rewriting notes helps us clarify our understanding.

One way to do this is to put the information you have learned into Mind Maps. These are especially good for rewriting notes, because they force you to make connections between concepts and themes.

You can also simply jot down key points in bullet form, or tidy up any original notes.

3. Schedule Reviews

Remember - it takes repeated effort to move information into your long-term memory. So, it's important to review information frequently.

It's best to carry out a review after a day, after a week, and after a month; and then to review your notes every few months thereafter.

Make sure that you schedule time for your reviews, otherwise they will get pushed aside when urgent issues come up. Also, put these reviews into your To-Do List, or into your Action Program.

Again, you'll also find it useful to write notes during these regular reviews. Try jotting down what you can remember about the subject, and then compare these notes with your original ones. This will show you what you've forgotten, and will help you refresh your memory.

Tip 1:
Reviewing learned information is the final step in the SQ3R process. SQ3R (which stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recall, and Review) is a particularly potent method for getting the greatest benefit from your reading.

Tip 2:
Sleep also helps your memory - research shows that we remember more when we get a good night's sleep.

Key Points

To remember what we've learned, we need to commit information to our long-term memory. A great way of doing this is by reviewing information regularly.

To review information, revisit learning material straight after you've learned it, using an effective reading strategy.

Also, write notes about what you've learned using tools such as Mind Maps, and then review this information one day, one week, and one month later. You can then revisit the information every few months.
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A Final Note

Whether you're reading a business book or attending a short training session, the techniques that we've discussed here will be extremely useful - make sure that you apply them! :)

We're looking at how you can improve your public speaking and presentation skills in next week's newsletter.

See you then!

James Manktelow

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