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Innovative studying methods?

I see that we here, in TED, are very interested in new and efficient ways of doing all kind of things, so I wonder if some of us know or use some kind of not usual method when you need to study something.
I´m starting my thesis, and need to read and process lots of information, so, I reached the point where my usual techniques are not useful for what I need.
I know some people use to take nootropics and all kind of substances, don´t refer about that, I only want to know if you believe there´s a better way than doing maps, using colors, switching off the phone and that traditional things.

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    Jun 7 2011: I find a combination of interactive software, video, reading and discussing topics the best way of learning about them. Good food and a fine nights sleep is also appreciated.

    What exactly are you aiming at studying?
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    Mar 19 2011: One of the most important, innovative and neglected aspects of study is taking proper time to sleep after studying. This is when the information transfers from some sort of short term memory into longer term storage so that it is available later when needed. You can use all the tricks you want but if you stay up all night before the exam you might as well not have bothered.
    • Mar 27 2011: Thanks Debra, I experience this, and try to sleep 7 hours every day without exception, it´s really important!
  • Jul 13 2011: hey how about this!!?? You can teach them about different things through unconventional techniques like video games and stuff!!! You can use something like a PS3 or some other gaming media to teach them different subjects like history, science, mathematics. You can even work on their imagination!!!! suppose some kids like the beyblade serials,You could tell them something about the related principles of physics like torque, moment, forces, their simultaneous actions etc with reference to a beyblade!!!!
  • Apr 11 2011: Figuring out how your brain accesses info might help. Do you do well with names? Then organizing under topic headings might work. Do you forget names but remember actions/places? Then studying in a different location for each subject might help with recall of info studied in that location.
    • Apr 14 2011: Thanks Sharon!
      Your first sentence, is the idea of the conversation, do you have some more information about this?
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    Mar 19 2011: I watched this talk a while ago and it really showed me how by simply organizing data in a visual way your brain can process this information more efficiently than just reading texts, simply because the information now has a new meaning to you.
    • Mar 27 2011: Thanks John, It´s a hard work to do if you want to organize your personal knowledge as this talk shows, but very, very interesting.
      I wonder if some Informatic or Systems Engineer or student try this kind of things for themselves.
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    Mar 10 2011: Have a blog of your research.
    • Mar 11 2011: I thought about this, but here I refer to studying, processing info, memorizing, etc. Some way you feel is better than traditionals?
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        Jul 13 2011: Part of the issue is determining how you personally best retain information: I would argue that there is no one 'best way' to study, but rather a toolbox from which to extract different tools for different aspects of what you need to learn about. Personally, I like using mapping techniques to study (and teach) as it most easily conveys connections between various ideas and aspects as well as allowing me to review large tracts of data at one glance, yet allowing me to be able to zero in on topics and sub-topics easily, through the use of minimizing and maximising tabs and noded within the diagram (granted this is only do-able with online mapping techniques such as MindManager and XMind).