What are they?
Mind maps are a sketch of your knowledge on a topic. They have a clear central subject. Ideas or associations radiate outwards in branching links. Size can be used to emphasise importance. Colours, symbols and images help memory. One or two words, per connection help associate additional ideas. Capital letters keep things more readable.
How can I make one?
A piece of paper (best turned to landscape orientation) and some coloured pencils are sufficient to create attractive, informative, and memorable mind maps. They don’t need to be perfect works of art – the act of drawing them is a large part of their effectiveness.
You can also use software or mind map apps if you’d rather have an electronic version. Inspiration is the easy to use software on the University of Portsmouth network but there are others freely available or to purchase.
Sometimes you will hear the term concept mapping. Although similar, they’re not quite the same as mind maps. Concept maps label the links between ideas to show relationships more clearly. They can be easier to read for those who didn’t create them but need more work to design.
- Buzan, T. (2010). The mind map book: unlock your creativity, boost your memory, change your life. Harlow: Pearson. 153.1/BUZ
- Buzan, T. (2014). Mind maps for business: using the ultimate thinking tool to revolutionise how you work. Harlow: Pearson. 658.406/BUZ
- Jankowska, M. (2014). Concept mapping: a tool of multiple purposes in research. London: Sage. 551.4608/DIL & ebook
- Mauldin, S. K. C. (2015). Data visualizations and infographics. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. 020.222/MAU
- Rustler, F. (2012). Mind mapping for dummies. Chichester: Wiley. 153.14/RUS & ebook