I've tried, but I haven't yet made Mind Charts work for me.
Mind Charts are an effective way of using your whole brain to summarise and recall important information. Sometimes new things take a while to perfect. There is no doubt, you achieve better results when you use more of your brain!! Try working in a group and bring some humour into the Mind Chart – it's often a key.
I can't think of the right symbols to use and I can't really draw.
As far as drawing is concerned - who cares?† Personally I use stick figures.† Provided you thought about it, it is the right symbol. If you have difficulty, try this. Close your eyes, deep breath and relax. Let your mind float back through your past and recall people you love, friends, Christmas, birthdays, parties, holidays, triumphs, pets, sport, good times. Now look at your Mind Chart words. See if you can connect any past experience, thought or emotion to any of the words. Make up a simple symbol to represent this connection and add it to the Mind Chart.
What actually are Mind Charts and how do you use them
A Mind Chart is a representation of words done using pictures, symbols, colour and abbreviations.† It is simple and personal.† There is quite a bit more detail on Mind Charting in my book "Students Steps to Success" - an example is given in the book as to how to go about making a Mind Chart.† Mind Charts work on the premise that a picture is worth a thousand words and they use both sides of the brain for memory.† We are deliberately incorporating the Right Brain to be used in the process of memory as it is 400 to 4,000 times faster than the Left Brain.
Often when you need to write an essay in an exam, if the information needed has been summarised in a Mind Chart, it can come flowing right back at the crucial moment.† So prior to the exam you make a Mind Chart and put this somewhere where you can see it often.† In the exam, you easily recall the Mind Chart and in fact reproduce it.† Once you've done this, it is a simple matter to then write your essay.† Other uses for Mind Charting could be to make shopping lists or speeches, or to solve problems and challenges.† Mind Charts can be useful for most people (people with dyslexia have found them to be of enormous benefit, because of their difficulty with reading).