In its simplest form, a Mind Map is the product of brainstorming on paper. It consists
of a central idea (normally represented by a large circle), related ideas (smaller
circles), and lines connecting them together. They are sometimes referred to as Concept
or Cognitive maps.
Minds Maps encourage a more creative approach to problems, so they are helpful when very
complex issues arise and need a solution that is not immediately apparent. Mind maps are
also good when collaborating on projects with team members because they lend coherence to
ideas that might seem otherwise unrelated.
- The central idea. Determine the central or main idea for your Mind Map. Start by drawing a large circle in the center of the page, leaving plenty of room on all sides. Next, write the central idea or problem in the circle.
- Brainstorm. Every time a thought about your central idea comes to mind, write it down on the page, and draw a smaller circle around it.
- Connect the thoughts. As you brainstorm add lines to connect circles that are related. If the idea is directly related to the central idea, connect them with a line. If the idea is related to a sub idea, then draw a line between them.
- Analyze. Once you have brainstormed for a while, analyze the mind map. Having organized your thoughts may cause a pattern to surface.