A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.
- A visual thinking tool to organize and understand the complexities of a problem space
- It can help generate ideas and develop concepts using the following steps:
- Identify a themed focus question to draw in the center.
- Label extensions with simple verb-noun pairs or noun clusters.
- Connect primary and secondary connections with lines to create meaning.
- Continue free associations until all relevant information is represented.
- Before declaring the map complete, reflect for a while.
- The map provides a nonlinear means of externalizing the information in our heads so that we can interpret, consolidate, communicate, store, and retrieve it.
- The map allows us to summarize and test assumptions, make and break connections, and consider alternatives while we shape data into themes and patterns.