The human brain retains everything it understands much better. When memorizing concepts or developing ideas that surround a project, the use of a mental map it can help you to keep the information better.
You have surely experienced the chaos that forms in your brain every time you have ideas for a new project flow. How to put in order all this which, a priori, seems important and relevant?
Today I want to talk to you about mind maps, so you can tidy up any project or complex concept. As we have already done with him concept mapWe will also see how you can create your own and I will show you some examples that will help you better understand this effective tool.
What is a mind map?
A Mental map or mind map, is a graphic representation that starts from the origin of a central idea or concept and develop other ideas complementary to the main one, in a hierarchical manner and throughout the representation of the diagram.
The main concept is represented in the center of said map, and the the secondary ideas associated with it are placed around it in a radial fashion.
In turn, the secondary ideas can also continue to diversify into other new concepts that define them until the maximum explanation of each of them is completed.
To create it you can use whatever format you feel most comfortable with, keywords in a bubble, color coding for different depth levels and / or types of ideas, designs or images that represent the ideas you develop in the mind map graphic, etc.
the The objective of this tool is to visualize the association of ideas that develop the central concept. This way, it is much easier for the brain to retain information and even learn and remember concepts.
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What is a mind map for?
Using a mind map helps to keep or memorize information in a much simpler way.
It is based on the functioning of our brain, which is programmed to recognize patterns of short-term memory. For example, when you smell flowers, your brain associates it with spring, good weather, sun, walks, etc.
Through the idea bubbles that make up mind maps, we classify information visually. These connections between graphic representations and ideas help us retain information better, promoting learning and the transmission of thoughts.
Here are some reasons to help you understand what a mind map is for:
- Result very useful for making a presentation a new product, a new industry or any idea you want to develop in your business.
- It’s a very visual way of clarify complex ideas difficult to explain in writing.
- It helps you sort all ideas surrounding the main concept.
How to make a Mind Map step by step?
You already know that the graphic representation of a mind map starts from the main concept, to create secondary ideas around it.
Here are the steps to follow to create your own:
1º Make a schematic summary
Read all the content you want to turn into a mind map, and create a summary that differentiates ideas principal of secondary.
One way to do this is to do a calm, analytical reading of the content. Try to find a keyword or idea in each paragraph you read. This will help you better visualize the structure of your mind map.
2º Write the ideas on a blank sheet of paper
Tony Buzan, the creator of the mind map tool, advises taking a blank sheet of paper and laying it horizontally on the table.
Write the main concept in the center of the page and write around those keywords that you take in reading the content that you want to describe.
Take it as brainstorming and don’t worry about jotting it down too much. When you have them all, you yourself will realize which ones are left and which ones you need to add.
The interesting thing is that you write the ideas in bubbles so that you start to see the diagram. Try to link those that are related, joining them with lines. It helps you strengthen the relationship between them, while also strengthening the points in your mind.
3º Establishes the hierarchy of all concepts
Once you’ve managed to summarize the main and secondary ideas in a nutshell, putting them in speech bubbles as I explained in the previous section, it’s time to create the mind map.
To do this, write the main concept in the center of the sheet. Then write down the secondary ideas around join them in the center by lines.
In case the secondary ideas also have their own hierarchical graphical representation, with additional explanations, place them around them clockwise and join them with thinner lines than the previous ones.
4th Plasma the whole design graphically
Now that you’ve prepared your entire diagram, it’s time to give it a design that makes it easier for you to understand. To do this, you can help yourself with different tools that allow you to assemble it as a infographics The diagram.
6 tips for creating more effective mind maps
The key to the success of a mind map is not only in the right choice of concepts and their hierarchy, but also influence the format of the different elements that make it up.
Here are some tips and recommendations to help you improve the effectiveness of your programs:
- Take care of the visual appeal: Creativity is a determining factor when creating a map. Try to maintain the balance between the composition and the harmony of the elements that compose it. A garish design with colors and designs that distract you from information isn’t good, and something flat and unformatted doesn’t look good.
- Keep it simple: Avoid overcomplicating yourself by combining many concepts and creating other hierarchies from the ideas that surround the central concept. Consider creating a mind map so that everyone can read and understand it.
- Avoid using sentences: remember that you are describing the development of the concepts that make up your mind map. It is best to use any visual element, such as drawings, graphics, or images, before writing a sentence.
- Use colors: they promote visual stimulation and help group ideas. In addition, ideas and concepts grouped under the same color are much easier to remember.
- Highlight key ideas help you with upper and lower case letters.
- Keep it balance in your ideas: the lines that connect the main concept to the secondary ideas must be the same length.
And if you need to categorize secondary ideas, use thinner and shorter lines, but they should all be the same.
3 tools to create a mind map
When creating it, you can start from scratch, take a blank slate and start designing and connecting all the ideas, or you can help yourself from one of the many apps we can find on the web.
I have selected 3 tools for you to make mind maps which will help you in its creation by bringing you many design ideas. So that you focus only on the content of it.
Let’s see what they are.
Master of the mind
Master of the mind. This popular tool has a free version which allows you to create up to three mind maps. You can do them collaboratively, add more people to the project, and also be able to chat with each other.
you have a wide variety of mind map templates that you can use in your work. In the paid version, it also allows you to turn them into a presentation, something very interesting to share with your company team or to show to your customers, for example.
WiseMapping. Is the tool is 100% free and it has a number of very interesting functions. Besides the fact that you can use it for free and without restrictions, it allows you to share them with other people to work on projects.
You can export your works in different formats, and this also allows you to embed them in your webpage or blog.
All you need to do is sign up to start developing your creativity by creating the best mind maps.
GoConqr It is a tool whose free version is really worth it. Besides creating idea cards, this tool allows you to create cards, diagrams or notes that can help you in the creation process.
He has a library with over 25 million resources which you can share with your team and use to adapt them to your own mind maps.
4 Examples of mind maps
Next, I will share with you 4 example mind maps with different formats and themes.
The human brain
This mind map starts from an image where the main concept, the brain, is located, and in the secondary ideas it has also classified other explanatory concepts.
States of matter
In this case, the concepts are placed in balloons where he develops the secondary ideas with a very schematic short explanation.
A mind map of ethics
See how they used the colors in this mind map. Through geometric figures we can see the ideas that develop the central concept, without lines.
Here you have a clear example with three levels of hierarchy.
A mind map is a great tool to help you sort out any brainstorming that comes up around a project.
Part of a central concept that develops secondary ideas through a hierarchical graphic representation. This visual way of explaining any concept or project greatly facilitates understanding.
Cover image by Freepik.
Do you use mind maps on a daily basis? How did they help you?
Let us know about your experience in the comments.