What Is A Mind Map?

what is a mind map


A mind map is a visual thinking tool that allows you to brainstorm thoughts and ideas creatively and graphically. Mind mapping can be applied to all cognitive functions such as information processing, memory and creativity. They allow you to visually structure your ideas and thoughts using keywords that can trigger associations in the brain, to spark further ideas and initiate recall and analysis.

Mind maps are laid out in the form of a diagram, with tasks, words, concepts, or key ideas built around a central concept. They can be hand drawn, or using software such as ideamapper. Mind Maps can transform a large amount of monotonous information into a colorful, image based, visual spatial arrangement. This visual, memorable and organized diagram works alongside your brain’s natural way of doing things.

How to create a mind map

Step 1: Generate a central idea. This is the foundation or starting point of your mind map and it should represent the topic you are exploring. The central idea should be reasonably sized and located in the middle of your page. This can be in the form of written words or as an image – you decide!

Step 2: Add branches to your map by developing related subtopics around your central idea. Connect each branch to your central idea with a line. These branches will be your key themes. 

Step 3: Begin to add in key words or ideas to each subtopic. Connect these key words or ideas using a line to your subtopic. 

Step 4: Keep adding ideas to your mind map in an outwards fashion with additional sub-topics, keywords and branches. 

Step 5: Color code your branches/sub-topics. Colors and images are visually appealing in comparison to black and white text, they can help create a shortcut for your brain, by associating a color or image with a certain topic or piece of information. It allows you to create more connections with the ability to remember them. This is because it channels creativity and encourages the brain to think holistically, as it is required to bring together a range of skills such as logic, numerical and creativity. The use of multiple skills allows the brain to work optimally, resulting in better recall and memory. 

Step 6: Include a variety of materials in your mind maps. These might be images, drawings or symbols. This will maximize the potential of recall and understanding, as it is draws upon a variety of learning styles. With ideamapper, you can drag and drop images onto your mind map, or select an icon from the Clipart tool bank.

what is a mind map

Here are some extra tips you can implement when creating your mind maps

  • Try varying the size, alignment and color of your text. This will provide multiple visual cues that can help demonstrate or emphasize significant information. 
  • Be as visual as possible and incorporate as many sources of information as you can. ideamapper allows you to insert text, hyperlinks and images onto your mind map, allowing you to include as much information you need onto your document.
  • Curve your branches instead of making them straight lines. This can again make it more visually appealing and enticing for your brain to process.

Keep headings as short as possible. This will make your mind map clearer and more efficient. With ideamapper, any additional texts can be typed into separate text box by double clicking on an idea.

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ideamapper System Requirements

windows Windows: 1 GHz Intel Pentium or compatible processor, Microsoft Windows 7, 8 or 10 operating system, 2 GB of RAM, 100 MB of free hard disk space, color screen with 1024x768 resolution.
apple Mac OS: 2 GHz Intel processor, Apple macOS 10.13, 10.14 or 10.15, 4 GB of RAM, 100 MB of free hard disk space, color screen with 1024x768 resolution.
linix Linux: 2 GHz Intel processor, Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS, other Linux distributions may work, 4 GB of RAM, 100 MB of free hard disk space, color screen with 1024x768 resolution.
wasm Browser Beta: Requires WebAssembly support in the browser, recent versions of Google Chrome (minimum version 57), Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and New Microsoft Edge should work. [THIS IS A BETA, PRE-RELEASE VERSION, PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE FOR MORE INFORMATION: Browser Beta Version Information.].