Mind maps are a graphical method of taking notes. Visuals are used to distinguish words or ideas, often with colors and symbols. They take a hierarchical or tree branch format, with ideas branching into their subsections.
Mind maps differ from concept maps in that mind maps focus on only one word or idea, whereas concept maps connect multiple words or ideas.
Mind Map Guidelines
- Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
- Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout the mind map.
- Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
- Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
- The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and thinner as they radiate out from the centre.
- Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
- Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also to encode or group.
- Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
- Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
- Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.
Mind Maps can be used for:
- Problem solving
- Outline/framework design
- Structure/relationship representations
- Anonymous collaboration
- Marriage of words and visuals
- Individual expression of creativity
- Condensing material into a concise and memorable format
- Team building or synergy creating activity
- Enhancing work morale
There are a number of free and proprietary softwares for Concept Mapping and Mind Mapping. Examples of some notable free softwares for concept mapping and mind mapping are CAM editor, Compendium, FreeMind, Freeplane, SciPlore MindMapping, WikkaWiki, VUE, XMIND.
Below is an example of a mind map: