A mind map is a way in which you are capture your thoughts in a visual way.

There are a vast number of ways in which you can be guided into creating your own mindmap and these are our guidelines:

  1. take a blank sheet of paper
  2. use colours – it is suggested that you should use at least 3 different colours.  You can decide what colour to use for what reason i.e. the most important thought you want to capture is in a bold and bright colour, while a thought which is a ‘maybe’ or not so important can be in a colour that is not so bright.
  3. start in the center with either a word describing, or an image of the topic.
  4. it is suggested that you can use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map; but often mindmaps are a collection of words written as you think them.  Taking our topic of environment, here are three different examples that you can use as a start to your mindmap:
  5. select your key or important words and print them onto your mindmap using your selected colour and it is suggested, using upper or lower case letters.
  6. as you review your mindmap later, you will find it simpler and easier to review if each word/image is alone and sitting on its own line.
  7. the lines should be connected and should start from the central image.
  8. use multiple colours throughout the mind map.  This gives you visual stimulation and can also be used for levels of importance, or specific topics in specific colours, or related words in a specific colour.
  9. it’s important to recognise that everyone has their own personal style of mindmapping.  Just because you have seen someone else’s or been taught to mindmap in a specific way does not mean that what you are doing with your mindmap is wrong.
  10. link associations on your mind map.
  11. keep your mind map clear.  Use one line for one train of thought.

Although mindmaps can be computer generated, your thoughts will flow more easily and quickly if you just pick up a pen and a blank sheet of paper and start capturing your thoughts.

© 2014-2015 Barbara J. Cormack MNMC, AFC, AFM, CIAC

Below are some generic examples: