What is a mind map?
A mind map is a visual diagram that provides an overview or summary of a topic or idea. The main subject, topic or idea is located in the centre, with related ideas and information branching from it in many directions. Each related idea may have further information or ideas branching from them. Both words and images can be used when creating a mind map.
How to create a mind map
There is no wrong way to create a mind map. These ideas might help:
- Put your main idea or topic in the middle of page and draw a circle around it.
- Add related keywords or phrases all around the central circle.
- Use lines to connect these ‘first level branches’ to the starting point.
- As needed, connect further keywords and phrases to the first level branches (these are called child branches).
- If needed, add further branches to your child branches.
- Use keywords and short phrases, not full sentences.
- Use images, icons and colour – these are really helpful memory triggers.
- Try to create a sense of hierarchy as you break down the information.
- Keep the mind map to one side of paper.
- Don’t worry about your artistic skills – it’s not a competition!
Why should I use mind maps?
- Mind maps help you to remember information.
- Mind maps allow you to organise information into easy to remember chunks.
- The organisation process helps you to understand and remember content.
- Mind maps help reduce information overload.
- We generally find it easier to remember images and diagrams.
- Mind maps are also full of mental triggers which help our memory recall.
- The mind map structure is similar to how our own brain stores and recalls information.
- Mind maps allow you to see everything at a glance. Seeing all the relationships and hierarchies within a mind map give you a fantastic overview of a topic and help you understand the bigger picture.
- Mind maps are concise and constrained to a single side of paper. This allows you to see all the information for that topic at a single glance, all in one place. Seeing the information in this format also helps you to quickly and easily spot connections and relationships.