Use a mind map to visually organize related ideas and concepts. Mind
maps help you come up with ideas quickly and creatively, so you can think about
things in new and different ways. When you begin to see the connections and
associations between your ideas, you can start to better understand the central
concept, or "big picture" view, which in turn, can lead to solutions to help
you reach your goals.
Watch this video to learn more:
On a mind map, ideas and concepts branch from the center of the diagram in
a circular pattern.
Answers the questions:
What is the "big picture", or
main area of focus, among a large group of related ideas and concepts?
What are the associations
between the "sub-areas", or more narrow areas of focus, that emerge from the
What problem am I trying to
When to Use
Brainstorm potential projects and project areas.
Throughout a project
Explore the entire problem space, find areas of focus, generate
creative solutions, present information, collaborate with others.
Mind maps always have the
central topic at the center of the map.
Affinities radiate directly
from the central topic.
For clarity and
comprehension, try not to exceed 7 first-level affinities.
Limit ideas to single
keywords or short phrases, not sentences, to promote creativity and clarity.
Closely associated keywords
are in close proximity of each other. Words that are far apart look and feel
Color-coding can reinforce
how ideas are related or represent shared characteristics.
Enter a central topic in the
center of the mind map.
Add shapes to the central
topic to help you organize your ideas. Do not worry about the order in which
you enter your ideas because you can reorganize them at any time.
Continue to add shapes until
you run out of ideas. Elaborate on your ideas by creating sub-ideas.
Logically arrange the ideas
to create associations between them.
Make sure the most important
information is close to the central topic. Keep specific details farther away
from the central topic
Add color to represent
different levels of thought or to separate ideas into categories.
Quickly brainstorm ideas in the brainstorming list and click-and-drag
them to the diagram to create associations between related ideas. For more
information, go to
Generate a brainstorm list.