Transform teamwork with Confluence. See why Confluence is the content collaboration hub for all teams.  Get it free

  • The Workstream
  • Project management
  • Mind mapping

What is Mind Mapping And How to Use it

Browse topics.

Mind mapping is like turning your thought process into a visual adventure. At the center is your main idea, and then, like branches on a tree, you draw lines to other related thoughts, creating a map of your brainstorming journey.

This technique of mind mapping reshapes how we visualize and organize our thoughts. It's all about connecting a central idea with its relatives in real-time, making it both organized and spontaneous. It's super handy for team brainstorming, as it lays out everyone's thoughts in a clear, visual way.

So, whether using an online mind map maker, mind-mapping software, or a simple mind map template, this approach offers a structured yet flexible way of kickstarting a brainstorming session . This guide examines what a mind map is and how it can revolutionize your team's creative process.

What is a mind map?

A mind map visualizes ideas and concepts, providing a systematic way to capture and organize thoughts. It helps users understand concepts by breaking them down into their component parts. It helps teams generate ideas and better understand and organize existing information. 

The flexible structure of idea mapping offers an expansive and adaptable framework. It helps you think about and understand how information works.

What is mind mapping used for?

Mind mapping has diverse applications across various fields. It enhances the way teams and individuals structure their ideas and approach tasks. Mind mapping can be used in several ways, including:

  • Brainstorming and ideation: Mind mapping sparks creativity in a cross-functional team , allowing free-flowing thought generation.
  • Project planning and management: Essential in project management phases , mind mapping assists in outlining your project design , the project timeline, and the project life cycle .
  • Note-taking and knowledge management: Mind mapping simplifies complex information, aiding project documentation .
  • Creative writing and content creation: Writers use mind maps to structure their ideas and develop characters.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making: Mind mapping can be used as a strategic tool for dissecting issues and finding innovative solutions.
  • Personal organization and goal setting: Idea mapping helps set clear, achievable objectives.

Who uses mind maps?

Mind maps have become a universal tool, embraced by a wide range of users.

From corporate boardrooms to classroom settings, here's a look at how different groups are making the most of this innovative technique:

  • Business professionals employ mind maps for strategic planning , managing meetings, and collaborative brainstorming .
  • Students and educators use them for note-taking, summarizing information, lesson planning, and creating classroom activities.
  • Project managers use mind maps to outline project scope , tasks, timelines, and resource allocation.
  • Writers and content creators use mind maps to visualize thoughts, plot narratives, and structure content.
  • Anyone seeking personal organization can benefit from mind maps for goal setting, weekly planning, or career mapping.

5 key characteristics of mind mapping

Mind mapping is a great way to lay out information in a structured format. It makes digesting, understanding, and building upon your ideas easier. Five key characteristics make this technique both effective and widely adaptable.

Central theme or topic

Every mind map begins with a central theme placed at the center of a blank page. It represents the core idea, subject, or focus of the map, such as a problem or a thought. For instance, if you're brainstorming for a marketing campaign, the central theme might be "Product Launch."   Visual imagery often accompanies the central theme to help with idea association, such as picturing a colorful bunch of balloons when thinking of a birthday.

Associations, or branches, radiate out from the central theme, capturing related subtopics or ideas. They’re typically drawn as curved lines to guide the eye smoothly from one idea to the next. These associations can be first-level (directly from the central theme), second-level, third-level, and so on, forming a hierarchical structure.

Mind maps use single keywords instead of sentences to summarize information. A single word per association allows for more freedom, creativity, and clarity in the mind-mapping process. It simplifies the presentation of ideas, making them more accessible and easier to remember.

Hierarchy of ideas

Mind maps visually display the hierarchy and relationships among different ideas. The proximity of associated words or images is vital. The length of a word ideally matches the length of the curved line. This places related concepts in close proximity.

Mind maps typically have many first-level associations. The mind can only grasp about seven at a time,  so simplicity and clarity are key.

Color or images

Using color and images enhances memory retention and learning. Like keywords, mind maps use images as visual stimuli. A single picture can convey complex ideas instantly and effectively.

How does mind mapping help idea exploration?

Mind mapping and whiteboarding both shake things up from the usual way we take notes, making brainstorming more dynamic and less linear. Think of whiteboarding as a brainstorming jam session where ideas flow freely and without much order. 

Mind mapping, though, is like orchestrating those ideas into a neat, visual symphony. It's a real game-changer for teams, especially when different departments are involved. It lays out thoughts in an organized way that makes seeing connections between ideas a breeze. It's less about the chaos of brainstorming and more about weaving those thoughts together in a way that makes sense, which is something you just don't get with old-school note-taking.

By laying out thoughts in a mind map, teams can identify relationships between seemingly unrelated concepts, enhancing the decision-making process . This visual representation of ideas mirrors a flowchart , where each step or decision leads to another. This forms a cohesive structure that helps team members make more informed decisions.

Is mind mapping effective?

Mind mapping is highly effective for a variety of purposes. It's not just about organizing your thoughts or learning new material—it's a versatile tool that extends far beyond these basic uses. 

In business settings:

  • Developing marketing strategies
  • Breaking down complex business strategies into manageable steps
  • Onboarding new employees with an overview of processes
  • Facilitating software and product development for timely delivery

For personal use:

  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Writing and note-taking
  • Studying for academic or personal growth
  • Planning events and organizing personal projects

This tool's ability to simplify complex ideas and connect various pieces of information makes it a powerful asset in both professional and personal contexts.

Create mind maps with Confluence Whiteboards

Confluence Whiteboards offers a dynamic platform for team brainstorming, planning, and project execution. It enhances team collaboration and project flexibility with features like stickies for idea organization, stamps and stickers for feedback, and tools for mapping relationships. 

Additionally, it integrates with Atlassian tools, converting brainstorming into actionable items. Its comprehensive content integration, including the ability to transform stickies into Jira issues and Confluence pages, streamlines the transition from ideation to project development. This makes Confluence Whiteboards an essential tool for efficient and structured project evolution.

Brainstorming with Confluence Whiteboards seamlessly connects with Atlassian tools for structured, efficient project evolution. Try Confluence Whiteboards today and bring your team's ideas to life.

Mind map: Frequently asked questions

What is an example of mind mapping.

Start with a central idea, such as creating a visual plan for a product launch . Expand into related areas, such as market research and marketing strategy. Your mind map, created using tools or a mapping template, helps organize and connect various components. It ensures a comprehensive approach to the project.

How do I create a mind map?

Begin with a core theme at the center of your workspace. Draw branches to represent main ideas or tasks. Then you can branch out to include subtasks or related thoughts. Use keywords for clarity and navigation. Idea mapping organizes thoughts and illustrates the connections between concepts.

How can I improve my mind map?

Prioritize clarity and creativity. Incorporate colors and images to distinguish and emphasize ideas. Use different shapes or borders to establish a visual hierarchy. For group projects, consider mind-mapping software with collaboration features.

You may also like

Project poster template.

A collaborative one-pager that keeps your project team and stakeholders aligned.

Project Plan Template

Define, scope, and plan milestones for your next project.

Enable faster content collaboration for every team with Confluence

Copyright © 2024 Atlassian

We use essential cookies to make Venngage work. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Manage Cookies

Cookies and similar technologies collect certain information about how you’re using our website. Some of them are essential, and without them you wouldn’t be able to use Venngage. But others are optional, and you get to choose whether we use them or not.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are always on, as they’re essential for making Venngage work, and making it safe. Without these cookies, services you’ve asked for can’t be provided.

Show cookie providers

  • Google Login

Functionality Cookies

These cookies help us provide enhanced functionality and personalisation, and remember your settings. They may be set by us or by third party providers.

Performance Cookies

These cookies help us analyze how many people are using Venngage, where they come from and how they're using it. If you opt out of these cookies, we can’t get feedback to make Venngage better for you and all our users.

  • Google Analytics

Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set by our advertising partners to track your activity and show you relevant Venngage ads on other sites as you browse the internet.

  • Google Tag Manager
  • Infographics
  • Daily Infographics
  • Popular Templates
  • Accessibility
  • Graphic Design
  • Graphs and Charts
  • Data Visualization
  • Human Resources
  • Beginner Guides

Blog Graphs and Charts What is a Mind Map? Definition, Uses, Benefits and Templates

What is a Mind Map? Definition, Uses, Benefits and Templates

Written by: Aditya Rana Apr 03, 2024

what is a mind map? definition, use cases, and benefits

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by information overload?

You’ve got work projects (or school) to deal with, things going on in your personal life, and events and vacations to plan. Is there any escape from it all?

I’m sure you’ve tried notes and to-do lists in vain, but that is more work.

If  only  there were a way to make sense of it all. It would help if you had a mind map to help organize information and make sense of everything.

In this post, I’ll show you how to use a Free Mind Map Maker Tool and mind map templates to bring your ideas to life.

Click to jump ahead:

What is a mind map?

  • Features of a mind map
  • 7 benefits of mind maps

Understanding the mind map concept

Mind mapping techniques and tips, using venngage as a mind-mapping tool, mind map templates, mind map examples.

Mind maps help you organize information and ideas in the same way that our brains make connections.

Here’s an example of a mind map.

Free Pink Mind Map

Mind map definition

A mind map is a visual diagram representing ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central concept using a non-linear graphical layout.

Mind maps help visualize and classify ideas and are great tools for studying, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Key features of a mind map

Why are mind maps an effective tool for capturing and organizing your thoughts? To understand, we’ll need to understand its structure.

Central concept

Mind maps feature a central concept or topic in the middle of the page, often represented as an image or word.

This mind map explains the “Four P’s Copywriting Formula”, with the central idea prominently placed on the left (the main theme doesn’t always have to be in the middle of a mind map!).

4Ps Copywriting Mind Map

From the main idea should extend multiple branches, which include information on sub-topics linked to the central idea.

This mind map shows how a central concept can be explored in depth by branching the main idea (in this case, team communication strategies) into more specific or actionable items.

Simple Team Communication Strategies Mind Map

Mind maps often use visuals, including images, icons, graphics, and symbols, to enhance memory and engagement.

This mind map uses visuals to illustrate the job hiring process. Each step is color-coded and includes an icon or graphic representing the described step to enhance memory recall and engagement through visual cues.

Job Hiring Mind Map


With mind maps, there’s no structure or right or wrong way to create the end product. You’re free to add ideas and explore connections organically.

This mind map is non-linear and multidirectional, reinforcing the idea that there’s no right way to organize information. Connecting items in a mind map depends on how you think about the relationship between concepts.

Pastel Chemistry Concept Map

7 benefits of using mind maps

Mind maps help us think in ways we’re not used to, which means you can expect many benefits. Let’s explore each in detail.

Aids with memory recall

Mind maps help you better remember and recall information. According to one research on its benefits in education, mind maps enhanced  retention by 10-15%. 

This mind map, such as this example on the reasons for jealousy, taps into our visual-spatial memory, making it easier to recall the information later than if we had just read it as text.

mind map project definition

Helps you better understand ideas and concepts

Mind maps help you better understand ideas by visually breaking down and categorizing information in an easy-to-grasp format.

This mind map mirrors how our brains naturally make sense of information (by connecting dots and forming patterns), making it much easier to understand a concept like corporate communication.

Corporate Communication Mind Map

Boosts creativity

By encouraging you to explore relationships between ideas in a free-flowing manner, mind maps make it possible to get creative and innovative.

This mind map branches out into different categories of marketing strategies, with further subcategories to encourage you to dig deeper. The overall shape also looks like an ‘8’, which could serve as a visual reminder or represent the continuous cycle of creativity and feedback essential in marketing.

Marketing Strategies Mind Map

Increases productivity

Mind maps can improve productivity by providing a clear visual outline of your tasks and goals, which makes it easy to identify priorities and allocate resources.

This mind map offers a structured overview of the project management process and can help transform complex project information into an accessible and actionable visual format.

Project Management Tasks Mind Map

Leads to better communication

Mind maps improve communication skills by promoting a better understanding of information, processes, and tasks among individuals.

This mind map visually presents critical strategies crucial during business interactions. It serves as a quick reference guide and improves one’s ability to negotiate and interact effectively in a business environment.

Light B2B Communication Mind Map

Cultivates critical thinking skills

Mind maps improve critical thinking skills by letting you see a problem from various angles, which helps establish connections between what may initially seem unrelated.

This mind map aids in critical thinking by laying out the basics of total quality management in a manner that requires interpretation, understanding, and application to real-world organizational challenges.

Total Quality Management Mind Map

Improves problem-solving ability

Mind maps can help you solve problems effectively by enabling you to brainstorm solutions and evaluate the best course of action in a clear and structured manner.

This mind map lays out the career paths one could pursue with a sociology degree. It allows people with this degree to problem-solve career planning and make informed decisions about their future.

Sociology Degree Career Mind Map

Mind maps are effective because they mimic how the human brain organizes information and makes connections.

British psychology author Tony Buzan popularized mind maps in the 1970s during a TV show where he revealed how to use mind maps to harness our cortical skills — words, images, numbers, logic, rhythm, color, and spatial awareness.

Of course, mind maps are not that new, though.

They can be traced back to ancient times, with the first mind map attributed to Porphyry of Tyros from the 3rd century, who mapped the relationship between material and immaterial things.

3rd century bc mind map example

Mind mapping techniques refer to strategies and methods to organize information and create a mind map.

Though there are several mind-mapping techniques, I’ll guide you through one that’s fail-safe.

Choose a central idea first

Start by defining a clear idea that represents the main theme or topic. Place it in the center of your page with a circle or box around it. This is the ‘heart’ of your mind map.

Can you guess the central idea of this mind map? If you guessed company policies, you’re bang on the money!

New Employee Training Mind Map Template

Describe key ideas to support your central theme

After you have a central theme, it’s time to create branches to contextualize the topic you are mapping.

These branches act as the pillars of thoughts and should be defined through text, visually, or both!

This mind map template expands on the main topic with five critical pillars described with text and visuals and color-coded for easy recognition in the crowd of circles.

Strategy Mind Map

Draw sub-branches to refine information further

From your main branches, draw additional branches to represent sub-topics that break down complex ideas into more manageable chunks.

This mind map is an excellent example of each branch being split into specialized sub-topics that provide a more detailed understanding of the central concept by dissecting it into parts.

Energy Mind Map

Use color to categorize information

Colors are a great way to differentiate between ideas, themes, or categories and make mind maps visually appealing.

Another bonus of using colors in mind maps is that they provide a creative way to organize information and make it easier to remember.

This mind map template uses colors strategically to differentiate between business objectives, action plans, and problems.

Company Action Plan Mind Map

Use symbols and images to make mind maps appealing

Icons and symbols are visual tools that make your mind maps visually appealing.

More importantly, images are mnemonic devices that can improve recall and make mind maps a practical study or brainstorming tool.

This mind map shows various health categories such as exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management. But you could tell that immediately without reading and looking at the imagery.

Healthy Lifestyle Mind Map

Use cross-linkages

Cross-linkages show connections between different ideas or branches on a mind map, revealing how different concepts relate to each other and enhancing overall understanding.

Here are some other mind-mapping tips:

  • Use single words or uncomplicated phrases.
  • Use printed words, which are easier to read than joined-up or indistinct writing.
  • Use the right tool to create a mind map. Though you can draw a mind map manually using pen and paper, using a digital Mind Map Maker is better because it lets you be more flexible, add visuals, and add easily share your creation.
Want to learn more about mind maps? Check out our other resources! 15+ Mind Map Examples to Organize Your Team and Inspire New Ideas 40+ Mind Map Templates To Help You Visualize Ideas How to Use a Mind Map for Note Taking During Business Meetings

Though pen and paper can be a great way to quickly create a basic mind map, it’s not the best method for creating one that is visually engaging and easy to share.

I recommend using a digital  mind mapping tool  like Venngage to create mind maps in seconds. And don’t worry—you don’t need any design skills since the tool has a drag-and-drop interface.

Here’s how to create mind maps with Venngage.

Step 1 – Sign up for a FREE Venngage account

Sign up for a free Venngage account using your email, Gmail, or Facebook account.

venngage sign up

Step 2 – Pick a mind map template from our templates page

Go to our  templates page  to see our entire library of templates. Select the  mind map templates  on the left side panel to filter for mind maps.

mind maps template category

Here, you’ll see all our mind map templates. PS: You can further even more for different types of mind maps such as business, concept, marketing, etc.

mind maps template page

Step 3 – Edit one of our mind map templates

Once you find a template, click the “Create” button. This will take you to the sign-in or sign-up screen if you haven’t created an account.

New Employee Training Mind Map Template

Once signed in, you’ll have access to the  mind map maker  tool, where you can customize mind map templates.

Pretty straightforward so far, right?

venngage mind map editor tool

Here’s a quick overview of some nifty customization options within Venngage.

  • Click any node and use the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ to add or delete it.
  • Change the text, icons, or graphics within the template.
  • Add your  brand colors  to your mind map with a single click using  My Brand Kit (available only for Business users).

Once you’re happy with a design, you can download it in PDF, PNG, and other formats (for Business plan users only) or share a link to your mind map for free.

You’ve seen plenty of mind map templates by now, but why should you use one?

The benefit of mind map templates is that they help you save time and provide an easy starting point.

I mean, why create mind maps the hard way, where you’ve got to come up with design, layout, and graphics, when you can use a template where the hard work is already done for you?

You’ll find no shortage of  mind map templates  online (do a quick Google), but I recommend using Venngage templates, which have been created by professional designers.

Some of our mind map templates are free to use, while others require a small monthly fee. Sign-up is free, as is access to Venngage’s online drag-and-drop editor.

In business, success relies on good ideas, and brainstorming is a great way to uncover them, as seen in this ecommerce marketing strategy mind map.

Vibrant Editable Brainstorm Mind Map

If you’re responsible for figuring out how to improve a process at the workplace, the best way to start is by brainstorming.

This mind map is great for process improvement as it focuses on three key areas and then breaks each down further, enabling discussion of what is possible.

Simple Corporate Brainstorm Mind Map

If you’ve worked for a corporate job, you’ll surely have seen mind maps before, like this strategy mind map explaining the company’s communication plan.

mind map project definition

Mind maps are also great educational tools that can explain complex concepts quickly. Is there any other way you’d want to learn about different real estate types?

Types of Business Real Estate Mind Map

Students can also benefit from mind maps, especially before tests when they have to memorize a lot of information. Creating a mind map is a great way to cement connections!

Creative Intelligence Mindmap

Conclusion: Transform the way you organize information and plan processes with mind maps

With a million things going through our heads every day, it can be challenging to organize ideas and even more challenging to get others to understand them.

Not with mind maps, though. Until technology becomes so advanced, we can read each other’s thoughts.

Mind maps are the best way to map ideas, take notes, and share your thoughts. Start making your mind map today for free with Venngage (no design experience required).

Discover popular designs

mind map project definition

Infographic maker

mind map project definition

Brochure maker

mind map project definition

White paper online

mind map project definition

Newsletter creator

mind map project definition

Flyer maker

mind map project definition

Timeline maker

mind map project definition

Letterhead maker

mind map project definition

Mind map maker

mind map project definition

Ebook maker

What is a mind map?

Mind map in Miro

Table of Contents

Understanding mind maps.

Mind maps are simple yet powerful diagrams for quickly jotting down your ideas and expanding on them. And with the right tool, they can be the perfect outlet for any brainstorming or ideation session. We’ve prepared the ultimate guide to what a mind map is, including all its key benefits and how you can get started.

Let’s dive in.

A mind map is a simple but powerful diagram that outlines your ideas in a visual format. Creating a mind map adds structure to your thoughts, giving you a clearer picture of every idea and how they relate.

Mind maps usually contain a central idea placed in the middle of the diagram, which you can break down and expand on using branches — typically represented by lines. This simple format makes mind mapping especially great for brainstorming and ideation.

For example, let’s say you’re creating a mind map about product development. You’d write ‘Product development’ in the middle of your map, and probably add branches that each point to one of the following sub-ideas:

New features

Customer feedback

Market trends

Competitor analysis

You might also want to connect some of your subtopics to each other. For instance, if you have customer feedback about a new product feature that aligns with trends in the marketplace, you could connect these two ideas to highlight their relationship.

mind map project definition

Why use mind maps?

We know what a mind map is — but what makes them so effective? Simply put: the way a mind map is structured mirrors how the human brain works. Every time a piece of information enters your brain, it gets added to a complex neural network made up of central nodes connected by smaller branches.

In other words, it’s exactly what a mind map is.

Unlike note-taking, for example, which requires you to list your thoughts out linearly, mind mapping makes it easy to process your thoughts holistically — just as your brain does. It allows you to identify multiple thoughts at once and instantly draw connections between them, making it ideal for activities like brainstorming and ideation.

We’ll cover the specific benefits in more detail in the next section.

What are the benefits of mind mapping?

Mind mapping offers numerous benefits that can enhance learning, productivity, and creativity. Learning about these advantages helps form a more solid understanding of what a mind map is. Let’s take a look:

Generate new and creative ideas

Mind mapping is a great way to encourage innovative thinking and develop new ideas. The visual format encourages teams to break free from conventional thinking patterns and venture outside the box. It also helps teams generate new ideas by building on top of contributions from other team members. For example, if someone suggests an idea for a new software feature, it might spark a new idea for someone else.

Make complex ideas easier to understand

A mind map is a simple way of breaking down a complex idea into smaller, more manageable parts. Think about a website launch as an example. There are many complex and technical elements to planning a website launch, but a mind map helps you break it down and visualize how all the different parts work together.

Effective planning

Mind maps are excellent tools for planning projects, outlining articles, or creating strategies — providing a visual roadmap that helps communicate the entire scope and sequence of a project.

Improve collaboration

Mind mapping is an excellent place to start boosting team collaboration. It helps teams work together by encouraging open communication and discussing new ideas. Collaboration becomes even easier if you use the right mind mapping tool . Miro, for example, comes with powerful live and async collaboration tools. You can tag team members in comments , upload visual notes , and easily add your mind map to presentations.

mind map project definition

What type of projects are mind maps used for?

Mimicking the way our brains naturally associate and connect ideas is what a mind map’s design is all about. This makes them an effective tool for brainstorming , problem-solving, and strategic planning . Below are some common scenarios where using a mind map is helpful.

Project ideation

Use a mind map to generate new ideas for upcoming projects. You can discuss what type of projects you should run, why they’ll benefit the business, and what those projects should involve.

Process improvement

Mind maps help you identify new ways to improve your existing processes. Think about HR processes as an example. You could use a mind map to figure out how to improve onboarding or streamline the hiring process.

Product development

Mind mapping can help you generate new ideas for product development. You discuss new product features, upgrades, and other relevant improvements to your current product line.


If you and your team are facing a problem, using a mind map can help you find new ways to solve it. For example, if you have a high customer turnover, you can use a mind map to identify the cause of the problem and devise a solution. Because mind mapping encourages creative thinking, it also helps teams develop solutions they might not have thought of otherwise.

mind map project definition

Concept map vs. mind map: What’s the difference?

To properly cover what a mind map is, it’s important to consider what it isn’t. And it’s common to confuse mind maps with concept maps. That said, there are key differences.

A concept map focuses on the relationships between concepts, while a mind map focuses on a single core idea. Teams use concept maps to define how ideas relate to each other and to understand complex subjects.

Let’s use software development as an example of how a concept map helps teams to understand complex topics.

For teams to understand how to improve a piece of software, they need to know how it operates, which is where a concept map helps. It shows all the elements of the software and how they connect in a clear structure. As a result, teams can understand how the system works and identify areas of improvement.

Concept maps also use a hierarchical structure. The core concept sits at the top of the diagram, with related ideas underneath. The concepts are connected with lines or arrows, which are labeled to explain the relationship between them.

Tip: Think you need a concept map instead of a mind map? Save time with our free and customizable Concept Map Template .

Create a mind map with Miro

Mind maps are valuable tools for generating new ideas and adding structure to your thoughts. For teams, they’re a great way to encourage collaboration and help team members think outside the box.

If you’re considering running a mind mapping session, dive into Miro’s Mind Map Template , or use the mind map creator to start from scratch for your next project. With automated diagramming tools at your fingertips, you can effortlessly expand your mind map and connect related ideas in seconds. Plus — with our powerful collaboration tools, your team can easily build a detailed mind map even if you aren’t in the same room.

Learn more about how to make a mind map and get started for free.

Discover more

What is a concept map?

How to make a concept map?

A guide to Venn diagrams

Bubble maps: Everything to know about this visual tool

Get on board in seconds

Join thousands of teams using Miro to do their best work yet.

What is a mind map? Tips, examples, and templates

A colorful illustration of a mind map

Producing new ideas can be a challenge. If you place a blank page in front of your team members, give them a prompt, and ask them to produce something awesome, there will likely be a lot of frustration. It’s intimidating to jump straight into a fully formed, innovative concept. 

Mind maps can help ease that intimidation factor and get you and your team unstuck. Whether you’re brainstorming ideas to solve a specific problem, trying to put together big-picture plans, or just want to get those creative juices flowing, mind mapping is a great place to start.

What is a mind map?

A mind map is a brainstorming technique used to visually organize information into a hierarchy. They feature one main idea as the central point of the diagram, with subtopics branching out and connecting to supporting ideas. First popularized by Tony Buzan, an author and educational consultant, mind maps are a visual way to generate new ideas and solve complex problems. Individuals or teams start by naming a problem or central topic and then adding relevant subtopics.

Mind map diagrams follow a hierarchical structure where the most important ideas are the closest to the center, and each additional tier rolls up to the one before it. This structure helps you see a broad overview of the concept, understand its complexities and connections, and make decisions effectively.

What makes mind maps so powerful is not just the diagrams themselves, but also the process that goes into creating them. The inside-out structure makes it easy to get all your thoughts and ideas down in one place and draw connections between them. They encourage lateral thinking, pushing you to explore and investigate a topic from every angle.

A mind map diagram created in Mural

Mind maps vs concept maps

You may hear people conflate mind maps with concept maps, and it’s easy to understand why. Both are diagrams that use nodes and links to visualize how ideas are connected. The key difference is that mind maps are hierarchical, while concept maps are not. 

While a mind map has one central theme, a concept map illustrates how a variety of different topics or ideas are connected, with no tiers or levels.

When to use a mind map 

Mind maps are best suited for creative thinking and brainstorming that happens in real time. However, there are other ways that mind maps can be useful throughout your workday. These include:  

  • Brainstorming and ideation : Mind maps help you quickly create associations and map out related ideas in a way that can spark new, creative ideas. 
  • Note-taking during meetings : A mind map helps you quickly add and organize thoughts in a visual way that is easy to refer back to and build upon. 
  • Project management and planning : When you have a big project, you can break down complex tasks into smaller components to better visualize the steps needed to achieve your objectives.
  • Decision-making : Mind maps can help you weigh the pros and cons of a decision or lay out all of the possible options and then narrow down to your ultimate decision.  
  • Presentations and educational materials : A mind map can be a visual aid during presentations or when teaching people something new. It helps make complex information more accessible to the audience.

However you use mind maps, you’ll find that they allow you to discover hidden complexities and connections to facilitate better brainstorming, exploration, decision-making, and project planning.

Benefits of mind mapping 

The obvious benefit of mind mapping is that it’s an effective brainstorming technique. It helps you generate new ideas or solve complex problems and makes your job easier when you’re stuck on a challenge. But there are a few additional benefits of mind mapping that can positively impact your whole team and work performance.

  • It reduces the pressure or stress that can occur when problem-solving or trying to develop creative ideas.  
  • It increases memory retention and recall due to the visual and spatial arrangement of the mind map. 
  • It gives you a holistic view of your project or thought process. 
  • It reduces information overload and keeps things organized. 
  • It enhances communication and clarity as visual representations are more engaging, flexible, and direct. 
  • It helps you think more critically and analytically .

How to create a mind map: A step-by-step guide

Before you get started building out your mind map, you’ll need to choose a mind mapping tool. If you’re working with a team, use a digital whiteboard or mind mapping software so your team can contribute and access the mind map after the working session . The important thing is to not to let the blank space scare you; your mind map will naturally grow once you get going.

1. Identify the primary topic

In the middle of your workspace, add the main topic for this exercise. It could be a single word or a short phrase like “improving team morale,” or it could be a central idea like “work culture.” You could even use a central image or graphic to inspire ideas. 

For example, say your team is working on a new product. You could include an image from a competitor whose work you admire and want to build on or outperform. You could also add a few short phrases or words to describe the goal.

2. Branch out into subtopics

Next, identify subtopics and smaller themes related to your central concept — we recommend starting with three to five. These will be the starting branches for your mind map. Then, you can continue branching out and adding additional layers of related ideas. Ultimately, there aren’t any limits to the number of levels you can include in your mind map.

Remember, these ideas don’t have to be fully formed or polished, just associations that you’ll later build off of or develop further.

3. Connect related topics

Next, draw lines or use colors to connect related ideas. This visual representation allows you to see patterns and connections that might have been less apparent in a traditional linear outline or list. Examine your ideas and identify categories or themes that pop up. Add sticky notes, images, or text, or use different colors to illustrate these common themes. 

Taking our team building example, your team may notice that there are many ideas having to do with getting out of the office and participating in activities in nature. To produce a coherent theme, you might then highlight these as part of an overall theme called “nature retreats.”

4. Select the top themes and categories

Determine which themes are the most relevant and beneficial to your main objective. Then reorganize your mind map to reflect these categorical choices and steer your ideas in a specific direction.

5. Delve deeper into niched-down ideas 

Next, expand and refine each idea with more research and detail. Add important context and resources to make the mind map more informative for your team and external stakeholders. Each idea or piece of information you add ensures that no critical details are overlooked.

Mind mapping tips and techniques

The process of creating a mind map is simple enough, but it takes some practice to get the most out of it. Use these tips and techniques to improve the mind mapping process and make it easier to draw conclusions from your diagram.

Mind map design

Because mind maps are such a visual medium, it’s helpful to focus on how you design them. You by no means need to be a professional designer to make good-looking, easy-to-use mind maps — you just need to keep these tips in mind. ‍

Colors and shades ‍

Use a different color for each branch off your main point to make it easy to see different sections at a glance. You can also use lighter shades of that same color for subsequent levels as you continue to build out the branches of your mind map. ‍

Lines and arrows

Consider using different line widths to indicate how strong the connection is between certain elements. You can also use different colors, dashed or dotted lines, and other visual cues to indicate the relationship between ideas. If you’re sharing your mind map with others, make sure you include a key so they can understand how to read it. ‍

Images and icons

Don’t be afraid to play around with photos, drawings, icons, emojis, and other visuals. They can help you communicate abstract ideas, orient the viewer, and provide inspiration as you go through the mind mapping process.

Collaborative mind mapping

When it comes to mind mapping as a team, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Collaborating in real-time makes it easy to get into a flow of free associations and building upon each other’s ideas — something that’s tough to do asynchronously. Here are some quick mind mapping guidelines for more impactful collaboration.

  • Start with a warmup to get everyone in a creative mindset
  • Timebox the activity to add some positive pressure
  • Keep an open mind and a non-judgmental attitude
  • When brainstorming, think quantity over quality
  • Set aside time to build on each other’s ideas
  • End the session with clear takeaways and next steps ‍

Mind map examples and templates to get you started

Rather than starting from scratch, use one of these templates to jumpstart your mind mapping process.

Basic mind mapping

Organize your ideas into a structured diagram to see an overview of the concept, understand its complexities and connections, and make decisions effectively. This basic mind mapping template gives you space to brainstorm, collaborate, and visually structure your ideas. It includes handy tips as well as different examples of mind maps, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

‍ Get started with the mind map template ‍

Basic mind map example

Collaborative mind map example in Mural

Mind map brainstorming

Use this mind map template to brainstorm big ideas, identify new patterns, or quickly organize your thoughts. ‍

Get started with the mind mapping brainstorm template

Mind map brainstorming example

Screenshot of a mind map in Mural

A sitemap is a specialized type of mind map that serves a critical purpose in every website build or redesign project. It helps to visualize the website’s structure to optimize navigation, map the user experience, and determine page hierarchies. It can also be used to identify gaps in content or accelerate the design process.

Get started with the sitemap template

Sitemap example

mind map project definition

Also called a hierarchy chart, an org chart is the perfect way to show the organizational structure of your company. A visual representation helps people quickly understand where they fit in the organization, what tasks they need to accomplish, and key stakeholders for projects. ‍

Get started with the org chart template

Organization chart example

mind map project definition

Collaborative mind mapping made easy with Mural

So, now that you’re ready to get started on mind mapping, do you have the right tools to make it happen? There are so many mind map examples out there, but it’s important to find one that works for everyone in your business, whether you work remotely or in-office. A mind map you can customize for your needs is crucial for an innovative brainstorming session.

With Mural’s mind map template , you’ll not only spur creativity within your team but also simplify complex ideas and concepts. You can then transform your mind maps into infographics that communicate ideas more effectively with stakeholders. Get started today with a Free Forever plan , and invite your whole team so everyone can get involved in your next brainstorming session.

Get started with mind mapping and diagramming in Mural.

About the authors

Shauna Ward

Shauna Ward

Tagged Topics

Related blog posts

mind map project definition

10 Brainstorming Techniques for Developing New Ideas

mind map project definition

What is a flowchart? — tips, examples, and templates

mind map project definition

How to Facilitate a Brainstorming Session

Related blog posts.

mind map project definition

How to write a sprint goal (with examples)

mind map project definition

The ROI of teamwork: How to quantify the value of better collaboration

mind map project definition

20 top strategic planning tools and frameworks [templates & examples]

  • Reviews / Why join our community?
  • For companies
  • Frequently asked questions

What are Mind Maps?

Mind maps are visual diagrams that structure information around a central idea, with linked ideas branching out. Designers use them to organize thoughts, analyze information and develop creative solutions. Mind maps give a clear structure and hierarchy of thoughts and make complex concepts easier to understand. They include a central idea, topics and subtopics showing as nodes, and branches connecting these nodes. 

A diagram showing mind map guidelines.

Mind maps are a helpful way to clearly flow out ideas and build on them.

© Nicoguaro. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 3.0

Why are Mind Maps Important in UX Design?

In user experience (UX) design, effective organization and a clear understanding of information are essential. Designers and design teams depend on this clarity to help create user-friendly products and services. One powerful tool that designers can utilize is a mind map. Psychology Author and Television Presenter Tony Buzan coined the term “mind mapping” in 1974 as a form of brainstorming. Mind maps—or spray diagrams or spider diagrams—provide a visual representation of information. This makes it easier to navigate and comprehend complex concepts from a high level as well as in finer granularity.  

Mind maps play a crucial role in UX design, project planning and many other areas, such as working with market research. They help designers organize their thoughts, analyze information and develop creative solutions from a big-picture vantage point. Such maps can also incorporate color coding and icons to aid comprehension and navigation. Here are some key reasons why these maps are important:   

1. Enhanced Information Organization

Mind maps enable designers to visually structure and organize information clearly. By representing ideas and concepts in a hierarchical way, designers can easily achieve several things: They can identify relationships, prioritize information and create logical flows within their designs. This enhances the overall organization and clarity of the UX design process.  

2. Improved Problem-Solving and Creativity

These maps stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving as they allow designers to explore different possibilities and connections. When designers visually map out ideas, they can generate new insights, identify patterns and uncover innovative solutions to design challenges. The visual nature of mind maps encourages out-of-the-box thinking and helps the design team generate creative ideas in brainstorm sessions. 

Author and Human-Computer Interaction Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains thinking outside the box in this video: 

  • Transcript loading…

3. Clear Communication and Collaboration

The maps serve as effective communication tools. They enable designers to present complex information in a simple and visually appealing format that’s easy to understand for other team members, some of whom may not be as much of visual designers. These maps facilitate effective collaboration among design team members, stakeholders and clients since they provide a shared understanding of design concepts and project goals. Mind maps are deliverables that are easy for design teams to share, review and modify. This quality promotes a collaborative and iterative design process. 

4. Enhanced User Understanding

Mind maps help designers gain a deeper understanding of the users' needs, goals and preferences. As designers organize user research findings and insights this way, they can identify user patterns, customer touchpoints, pain points and motivations. This understanding informs the design process early on and long before usability tests of the mobile apps that teams might design, for example. It enables designers to create user-centered experiences in digital products and services that meet users' expectations and goals.  

5. Efficient Project Management

These maps assist in project management since they provide a visual overview of the design process. Designers can use mind maps to plan and track project milestones, allocate resources and set priorities. The visual representation of tasks and timelines helps streamline the project management process. This streamlining helps to ensure efficient workflow and timely delivery of design projects. 

An image of a mind map.

This mind map presents a big problem or main idea for a design team to address with questions.

© Magda Mihalache, Fair Use

How to Create Mind Maps

Designers can employ mind maps at various stages of the design process to organize information, generate ideas and structure designs. Designers can follow this step-by-step process where they:  

1.   Define the central idea or main topic of the mind map. This should be a concise and clear statement that encapsulates the purpose or objective of the design project. 

2. Identify key themes and subtopics related to the central idea. These can be broad categories or specific areas of focus within the design project.  

3.  Create nodes for each key theme or subtopic. These nodes will serve as the main branches stemming from the central idea.  

4.  Add branches that connect each node to the central idea. These branches represent the relationships between the main topic and the subtopics.  

5.   Expand subtopics to make them more detailed. For each subtopic, designers further expand the map by adding additional nodes and branches. These represent more specific ideas, concepts or features related to each subtopic.  

6.   Use color coding and icons to enhance the visual clarity of the mind map. Designers assign different colors to different themes or subtopics, and use icons to represent specific ideas or concepts.  

7.  Review and refine the mind map to ensure it accurately represents the information and relationships the designers want to show. They should refine the structure, wording and visual elements as needed to improve clarity and readability. 

An illustration of a mind map.

This mind map represents the workings of Netflix’s UI, as well as the flow involved when a user logs onto the app or website.

© EdrawMind, Fair Use

Tips to Make Effective Mind Maps

Designers can follow some best practices for mind mapping techniques, such as: 

1. Keep It Simple

Use concise and clear wording for nodes and branches. Avoid lengthy descriptions or complex language that may hinder understanding.   

2. Use Visual Elements

Incorporate icons, symbols and images to enhance the visual appeal and understanding of the map. Visual elements can help convey information more effectively and engage viewers.   

3. Prioritize Information

Arrange nodes and branches in a logical and hierarchical order, with the most important information in a prominent position. This ensures that the most crucial concepts and ideas are easy to access and understand.   

4. Foster Creativity

Allow for flexibility and creativity in the map. Encourage the exploration of different ideas and connections, even if they seem unconventional at first. These maps are a tool to help generate innovative solutions and think outside the box.   

5. Iterate and Refine 

Mind maps are not static; they evolve and adapt as the design process progresses. Designers should continuously review, refine and update mind maps as new insights and ideas emerge.   

What are Helpful Tools for Mind Mapping?

Here, in no particular order, are some of the best programs that UX designers commonly use:  

1.   MindMeister: a popular online mind mapping tool that offers a user-friendly interface and collaborative features. It allows for easy creation, editing and sharing of mind maps, making it suitable for team collaboration. 

Image of a mind map using MindMeister.

A MindMeister mind map diagrams a launch meeting.

© MindMeister, Fair Use

2. XMind: a versatile mind mapping software that offers a range of features. These include various templates, advanced brainstorming tools and seamless integration with other productivity tools. 

An image of a mind map using Xmind.

XMind supports diagram formats in addition to mind maps, such as logic charts, brace maps, org charts and tree charts.

© Built In, Fair Use

3. EdrawMind: a full-featured cross-platform tool for mind mapping, brainstorming, outlining and presentation.

This EdrawMind map displays branches.

4. Coggle: a web-based mind mapping tool that provides a simple and intuitive interface. It offers real-time collaboration, customizable themes and the ability to add images and links to mind maps. 

An image of a mind map using Coggle.

A work-in-progress Coggle mind map; the quick-keys guide is open (right-hand side).

5. Miro: a digital collaboration platform that offers a wide range of tools, including mind mapping. It provides a collaborative workspace where teams can create, edit and share mind maps in real-time.  

An image of a mind map using Miro.

This Miro mind map charts processes and sub-processes in Agile software development.

© Miro, Fair Use

6. Lucidchart: a cloud-based diagramming tool that includes mind mapping functionality. It offers a drag-and-drop interface, collaboration features and integrations with other popular tools. 

A template of a mind map using Lucidchart.

This template from Lucidchart can help designers and teams grow and flow ideas.

© Lucidchart, Fair Use

It’s important for designers to consider several factors when they select a mind mapping software program. These include ease of use, collaboration features, customization options and integration capabilities with other tools used in their design process.  

Examples of Mind Maps

Such maps can take various forms and have uses in a multitude of contexts. Here are some examples used in UX design:    

1. User Journey Map

A mind map can visually represent the user's journey through a product or service. It can highlight key touchpoints, pain points and opportunities for improvement. User journey maps and customer journey maps are important UX deliverables in any case, so it’s valuable to have this visualization in place early on. 

CEO of Experience Dynamics, Frank Spillers explains how to map a user journey for a service in this video: 

2. Information Architecture Map

A mind map can help organize information and define the structure of a website or application. It can show the hierarchy of pages and their relationships. As such, it can serve as a kind of foundation or wireframe for what the design team have in mind.   

3. Concept Ideation Map

A mind map is an excellent tool to brainstorm with and explore different design concepts. As it facilitates such creativity, it allows a design team to generate and organize ideas for a new product or feature. 

Watch our video on brainstorming for insights into this powerful group activity: 

4. Content Strategy Map

A mind map can help a design team plan and organize content for a website or application. It maps out the various sections, pages and content types such as the best material for a landing page.   

The versatility of mind maps lets designers adapt them to their specific design needs and objectives. In a similar way to how user personas help bring qualities and needs of a target audience to the surface for the design team to work with, mind maps help bring ideas to life for designers and developers and others associated with a project. 

Remember the power of UX design mind maps as tools to foster collaboration regarding how to understand potential customers, feel out content ideas for ideal customers and users, identify types of content that best suit business goals, and much more. Mind mapping for design thinking is particularly effective, and it’s important to leverage mind map templates. With the right map, a team can drive innovation and help create user-centered design experiences and product designs that truly resonate with their target audience.  

Learn More about Mind Maps

Take our course on Design Thinking: The Ultimate Guide .  

Consult our piece The Principles of Information Visualization for Basic Network Data . 

Read Figma’s resource How to Mind Map for additional information. 

Consult 20 Best Mind Mapping Software For Visual Collaboration In 2024 by Ben Aston for more insights.  

Read A mind map for gaining clarity in UX research by Magda Mihalache for further details.   

Questions related to Mind Maps

When designers create mind maps, they often encounter several challenges, including information overload, organizing complex data and ensuring collaboration. To address information overload, designers prioritize data by focusing on the most critical user needs and design objectives. This approach helps in filtering out less relevant information and maintaining clarity within the mind map. To organize complex data effectively, designers use colors, symbols, and branches to categorize and link related ideas. This visual differentiation helps to navigate the mind map and highlights relationships between different concepts. For instance, to use distinct colors for different user groups or design elements can make the map easier to understand at a glance. To ensure collaboration among team members can also pose a challenge, especially in remote settings. Designers tackle this by using digital mind mapping tools that allow for real-time collaboration. These tools enable team members to contribute simultaneously, share insights and provide feedback, which ensures that the mind map reflects a collective understanding of the project.  

To start a mind map for a UX project, first, choose a central idea or concept related to the project. Write this idea at the center of a blank page or digital canvas. From there, draw branches that represent main categories or themes related to your central idea, such as user needs, design elements or functionalities. For each main category, extend further branches to break down the categories into more specific aspects or tasks. Remember to keep your mind map clear and organized by using colors, icons or symbols to categorize or prioritize information. This visual organization helps to identify relationships between different elements of the project and fosters creative solutions. Finally, ensure to review and update your mind map as the project evolves. This dynamic tool adapts to the changing needs and insights of your UX project, which makes it an invaluable resource for brainstorming, planning and communication among team members. 

Take our Master Class Harness Your Creativity To Design Better Products with Author and Human-Computer Interactivity Expert, Professor Alan Dix. 

Mind maps serve as powerful tools for understanding user needs in UX design. As mind maps visually organize thoughts and ideas, they allow designers to see connections and patterns that might not be obvious at first glance. When you create a mind map, you start with the user at the center, and from there, branch out to different aspects of their experience, such as challenges, motivations and goals. This method highlights the hierarchy and relationship between different user needs, which makes it easier to prioritize them in the design process.  

Furthermore, mind maps facilitate collaboration among team members. They provide a clear and accessible overview of user needs, and ensure everyone understands the user perspective. This shared understanding helps in generating more targeted and creative solutions. Additionally, mind maps are adaptable. As new insights emerge from user research, you can easily update them, and ensure the design process remains user-centered. Overall, mind maps are invaluable for distilling complex user data into a cohesive understanding, which guides the design process towards more intuitive and user-friendly solutions. So, they can serve as valuable deliverables within case studies where teams have worked their way towards winning design solutions. 

Take our Master Class A Guide To Hassle-Free Designer-Developer Collaboration with Szymon Adamiak, Co-Founder, Hype4 Mobile. 

In UX design, colors and images play crucial roles in enhancing mind maps, making them not only more visually appealing but also more effective as tools for communication and idea organization. Colors help to categorize and prioritize information, allowing designers to quickly differentiate between various themes or concepts at a glance. For instance, if designers use a distinct color for each user need or design challenge, it makes it easier to identify and focus on specific areas of interest. 

Images, on the other hand, serve as visual shorthand, enabling designers to represent ideas quickly and intuitively. They can symbolize complex concepts or emotions that might take longer to describe with words. So, they speed up the understanding and brainstorming process. Also, the use of images makes mind maps more memorable and engaging, which can be particularly useful in collaborative settings, and ensure that key insights stand out and that team members or stakeholders won’t overlook them. 

Together, colors and images transform mind maps from simple outlines into dynamic, informative and inspiring visual tools. They facilitate deeper understanding and creativity, and help UX designers to effectively explore and address user needs, while also fostering a more collaborative and inclusive design process. 

Arielle Eckstut, Author and Co-Founder of The Book Doctors and LittleMissMatched, and Joann Eckstut, Color Consultant and Founder - The Roomworks, explain color and its importance in this video: 

Take our Master Class How To Use Color Theory To Enhance Your Designs with Arielle Eckstut and Joann Eckstut. 

To convert a mind map into a UX design prototype involves a few structured steps. First, review your mind map to identify the main user needs and design concepts. These elements form the backbone of your prototype, guiding the layout and functionality. 

Next, prioritize the features or ideas in your mind map based on user needs and project goals. This step helps you decide what to include in the initial prototype. Begin sketching wireframes or using digital tools to create basic layouts that represent your prioritized ideas. These wireframes serve as the visual blueprint for your prototype, and show how users will interact with the design. 

After you sketch, select a prototyping tool that suits your project needs. Transfer your wireframe sketches into the tool, refining them into interactive prototypes. At this stage, focus on usability and user flow rather than detailed aesthetics. 

Finally, test your prototype with users to gather feedback. Use insights from this testing to refine your design, and iterate until it meets user needs effectively. This process turns the abstract ideas in your mind map into a tangible and user-centered design prototype, ready for further development. 

Professor Alan Dix explains the importance of and need for prototyping in this video: 

Mind maps significantly support the creation of user personas as they provide a visual framework to organize and analyze research data about potential users. When you start with a central concept, like a specific user group or project goal, you can branch out to include various characteristics of your target users. These branches can represent demographics, behaviors, needs, goals, frustrations and preferences. 

As you add layers to the mind map, you categorize and connect different pieces of information, which helps you identify patterns and insights. This process makes it easier to see the common traits among potential users, and guides you as you create detailed and accurate user personas. These personas then act as reference points for design decisions, and ensure that the product meets the real needs of its users. 

Watch this video as UX Strategist and Consultant, William Hudson explains the significance of user personas in design: 

Copyright holder: Benoît Prieur. Appearance time: 10:32 - 10:36 Copyright license and terms: CC BY-SA 4.0. Modified: No. Link: _ Berthelot -_ machine_ pour_ entrer_ dans_l%27h%C3%B4tel.jpg

Take our Master Class How To Create Actionable Personas with Daniel Rosenberg, UX Professor, Designer, Executive and Early Innovator in HCI. 

To keep a UX design mind map focused and organized, start by defining a clear central theme or question. This theme acts as the anchor for all subsequent ideas, and ensures the mind map remains relevant to your project goals. Next, use branches to categorize information logically, and group related ideas together. This structure helps to maintain clarity and prevents the map from becoming cluttered. 

To employ colors and symbols is another effective strategy. Assign different colors to various categories or priorities, and make the map visually organized and easier to navigate. Symbols can represent specific types of information or actions, adding another layer of organization. 

To limit the amount of text on each branch encourages simplicity and focus. Instead of long descriptions, use keywords or short phrases that capture the essence of an idea. This approach keeps the mind map clean and accessible. 

It’s crucial to regularly review and refine the mind map. As the project evolves, some ideas may become less relevant, while new insights emerge. Update the mind map to reflect these changes, and remove outdated information and add new findings. This practice ensures that the mind map remains a useful, focused tool throughout the design process. 

Consult our piece The Principles of Information Visualization for Basic Network Data . 

To present a mind map to stakeholders in a UX project requires a clear and structured approach. First, ensure that the mind map is visually appealing and easy to understand. Use colors, symbols and clear labels to organize information logically. This visual clarity helps stakeholders quickly grasp the main ideas and their connections. Start the presentation by explaining the central concept or goal of the mind map. Then, guide stakeholders through the main branches, highlighting key insights, user needs and design considerations. Focus on how these elements relate to the project objectives and the decisions they inform. Be prepared to zoom in on specific details or branches as questions arise. 

Stakeholders might be interested in particular aspects of the project, such as user pain points or design solutions. When you have a flexible presentation style, it lets you address these interests directly. Additionally, emphasize how the mind map has facilitated the design process. Share examples of how insights from the mind map have influenced design choices or strategies. This demonstrates the value of the mind mapping approach in driving user-centered design decisions. Finally, invite feedback and suggestions. To engage stakeholders in a dialogue about the mind map can provide valuable perspectives and foster collaboration. It’s an opportunity to refine your understanding of user needs and project goals based on stakeholder input. 

Take our Master Class Win Clients, Pitches & Approval: Present Your Designs Effectively with Todd Zaki Warfel, Author, Speaker and Leadership Coach. 

Mind maps help do this by providing a visual and intuitive way to capture complex information. When you use a mind map, you start with a central theme related to your research, such as a specific user behavior or project goal. From this central point, you branch out to include different categories of findings, like user needs, pain points and preferences. This branching structure helps you logically organize data, which makes it easier to see connections between different observations. For example, you can link user needs directly to design recommendations, and create a clear pathway from research insights to actionable solutions. Also, mind maps enable you to prioritize information.  

When you use different colors or symbols, you can highlight key findings or urgent issues, and ensure they stand out and receive appropriate attention during the design process. Mind maps also facilitate collaboration. By presenting research findings in a visual format, you make it accessible to team members who might not be familiar with the details of the research. This shared understanding helps align the team’s efforts and supports a user-centered approach to design. Overall, mind maps transform the complexity of UX research findings into a structured, understandable and actionable format. This makes them an invaluable tool in the UX design process. 

Watch as William Hudson explains user research and why it is so important in this video: 

To incorporate user feedback into a UX design mind map involves a few key steps to ensure that the design process remains user-centered. First, gather feedback from users through methods such as interviews, surveys or usability testing. This feedback should cover various aspects of the user experience, including usability, satisfaction and any difficulties users encountered. 

Next, review the feedback to identify common themes, problems and suggestions. This analysis helps in understanding the user's perspective and the areas that require improvement or reevaluation. 

Once you have identified these key insights, update your mind map to reflect this new information. You can add branches to represent user feedback, categorizing it by themes such as usability issues, feature requests or user satisfaction. Use colors or symbols to highlight feedback that requires immediate attention or has a significant impact on the user experience. 

To incorporate user feedback into the mind map not only helps in visualizing the changes needed but also ensures that the design process adapts to meet user needs. To regularly update the mind map with new feedback keeps the design team aligned with user expectations and improves the overall design outcome. 

Take our Master Class How to Get Started with Usability Testing Webinar with Cory Lebson, Principal and Owner of Lebsontech LLC. 

1. Farrand, P., Hussain, F., & Hennessy, E. (2002). The efficacy of the 'mind map' study technique . Medical education, 36(5), 426-431.  

This study was one of the first to empirically investigate the effectiveness of mind mapping as a study technique among medical students. The researchers found that mind mapping led to improved long-term factual recall compared to traditional note-taking methods. This study has been highly cited and has contributed to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of mind mapping in educational and professional settings.  

2. Eppler, M. J. (2006). A comparison between concept maps, mind maps, conceptual diagrams, and visual metaphors as complementary tools for knowledge construction and sharing . Information visualization, 5(3), 202-210.  

This paper provides a comprehensive analysis and comparison of various visual mapping techniques, including mind maps, concept maps and conceptual diagrams. It explores the unique characteristics, strengths and applications of each technique, highlighting their complementary nature in knowledge construction and sharing. This work has been influential in clarifying the distinctions and relationships between these visual tools, guiding researchers and practitioners in selecting the most appropriate technique for their needs. 

Buzan, T., & Buzan, B. (1996). The Mind Map Book: How to use radiant thinking to maximize your brain's untapped potential . Plume.

This seminal work by Tony Buzan and Barry Buzan is considered the foundational text on mind mapping. It introduced the concept of radiant thinking and provided a comprehensive guide on how to create and use mind maps to enhance learning, creativity and problem-solving. The book has been highly influential in popularizing mind mapping as a powerful cognitive tool and has inspired numerous subsequent studies and applications in various fields. 

Literature on Mind Maps

Here’s the entire UX literature on Mind Maps by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Mind Maps

Take a deep dive into Mind Maps with our course Design Thinking: The Ultimate Guide .

Some of the world’s leading brands, such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and General Electric, have rapidly adopted the design thinking approach, and design thinking is being taught at leading universities around the world, including Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. What is design thinking, and why is it so popular and effective?

Design Thinking is not exclusive to designers —all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering and business have practiced it. So, why call it Design Thinking? Well, that’s because design work processes help us systematically extract, teach, learn and apply human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way—in our designs, businesses, countries and lives. And that’s what makes it so special.

The overall goal of this design thinking course is to help you design better products, services, processes, strategies, spaces, architecture, and experiences. Design thinking helps you and your team develop practical and innovative solutions for your problems. It is a human-focused , prototype-driven , innovative design process . Through this course, you will develop a solid understanding of the fundamental phases and methods in design thinking, and you will learn how to implement your newfound knowledge in your professional work life. We will give you lots of examples; we will go into case studies, videos, and other useful material, all of which will help you dive further into design thinking. In fact, this course also includes exclusive video content that we've produced in partnership with design leaders like Alan Dix, William Hudson and Frank Spillers!

This course contains a series of practical exercises that build on one another to create a complete design thinking project. The exercises are optional, but you’ll get invaluable hands-on experience with the methods you encounter in this course if you complete them, because they will teach you to take your first steps as a design thinking practitioner. What’s equally important is you can use your work as a case study for your portfolio to showcase your abilities to future employers! A portfolio is essential if you want to step into or move ahead in a career in the world of human-centered design.

Design thinking methods and strategies belong at every level of the design process . However, design thinking is not an exclusive property of designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. What’s special about design thinking is that designers and designers’ work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn, and apply these human-centered techniques in solving problems in a creative and innovative way—in our designs, in our businesses, in our countries, and in our lives.

That means that design thinking is not only for designers but also for creative employees , freelancers , and business leaders . It’s for anyone who seeks to infuse an approach to innovation that is powerful, effective and broadly accessible, one that can be integrated into every level of an organization, product, or service so as to drive new alternatives for businesses and society.

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website .

All open-source articles on Mind Maps

Introduction to the essential ideation techniques which are the heart of design thinking.

mind map project definition

  • 3 years ago

Ideation for Design - Preparing for the Design Race

mind map project definition

The Principles of Information Visualization for Basic Network Data

mind map project definition

  • 5 years ago

Open Access—Link to us!

We believe in Open Access and the  democratization of knowledge . Unfortunately, world-class educational materials such as this page are normally hidden behind paywalls or in expensive textbooks.

If you want this to change , cite this page , link to us, or join us to help us democratize design knowledge !

Privacy Settings

Our digital services use necessary tracking technologies, including third-party cookies, for security, functionality, and to uphold user rights. Optional cookies offer enhanced features, and analytics.

Experience the full potential of our site that remembers your preferences and supports secure sign-in.

Governs the storage of data necessary for maintaining website security, user authentication, and fraud prevention mechanisms.

Enhanced Functionality

Saves your settings and preferences, like your location, for a more personalized experience.

Referral Program

We use cookies to enable our referral program, giving you and your friends discounts.

Error Reporting

We share user ID with Bugsnag and NewRelic to help us track errors and fix issues.

Optimize your experience by allowing us to monitor site usage. You’ll enjoy a smoother, more personalized journey without compromising your privacy.

Analytics Storage

Collects anonymous data on how you navigate and interact, helping us make informed improvements.

Differentiates real visitors from automated bots, ensuring accurate usage data and improving your website experience.

Lets us tailor your digital ads to match your interests, making them more relevant and useful to you.

Advertising Storage

Stores information for better-targeted advertising, enhancing your online ad experience.

Personalization Storage

Permits storing data to personalize content and ads across Google services based on user behavior, enhancing overall user experience.

Advertising Personalization

Allows for content and ad personalization across Google services based on user behavior. This consent enhances user experiences.

Enables personalizing ads based on user data and interactions, allowing for more relevant advertising experiences across Google services.

Receive more relevant advertisements by sharing your interests and behavior with our trusted advertising partners.

Enables better ad targeting and measurement on Meta platforms, making ads you see more relevant.

Allows for improved ad effectiveness and measurement through Meta’s Conversions API, ensuring privacy-compliant data sharing.

LinkedIn Insights

Tracks conversions, retargeting, and web analytics for LinkedIn ad campaigns, enhancing ad relevance and performance.

LinkedIn CAPI

Enhances LinkedIn advertising through server-side event tracking, offering more accurate measurement and personalization.

Google Ads Tag

Tracks ad performance and user engagement, helping deliver ads that are most useful to you.

Share Knowledge, Get Respect!

or copy link

Cite according to academic standards

Simply copy and paste the text below into your bibliographic reference list, onto your blog, or anywhere else. You can also just hyperlink to this page.

New to UX Design? We’re Giving You a Free ebook!

The Basics of User Experience Design

Download our free ebook The Basics of User Experience Design to learn about core concepts of UX design.

In 9 chapters, we’ll cover: conducting user interviews, design thinking, interaction design, mobile UX design, usability, UX research, and many more!

Take that same information and view it in Mind Map. You can now overview the information much faster and recall the data much more easily.

Mind Map - Vacation Planning

   Mind Mapping is perfect for:

  • Brainstorming and visualizing concepts
  • Presenting and communicating ideas
  • Graphic organizers and electronic note books
  • Running meetings more effectively
  • Outlining reports and documents
  • Simplifying task and project management
  • Writing essays

Visual thinking with Mind Maps

If you're looking for Mind Mapping examples , or software to create a Mind Map, be sure to check out this Mind Mapping software review .

Theory Behind Mind Maps

When you study the brain's functionality and memory system, you will realize the extraordinary extent of its capacity and potential. The Mind Map is a tool used to entice, delight, stimulate and challenge you. You will discover some astonishing facts about your brain and its function, and you will take the first major steps on the path to freedom of the mind.

Mind map collage

How Mind Maps Harness the Brain's Power

A Mind Map is a highly effective way of getting information in and out of your brain - it is a creative and logical means of note-taking and note-making that literally 'maps out' your ideas.

All Mind Maps have some things in common. They have a natural organizational structure that radiates from the center and use lines, symbols, words, color and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts. Mind Mapping converts a long list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain's natural way of doing things.

One simple way to understand a Mind Map is by comparing it to a map of a city. The city center represents the main idea; the main roads leading from the center represent the key thoughts in your thinking process; the secondary roads or branches represent your secondary thoughts, and so on. Special images or shapes can represent landmarks of interest or particularly relevant ideas.

The Mind Map is the external mirror of your own radiant or natural thinking facilitated by a powerful graphic process, which provides the universal key to unlock the dynamic potential of the brain.

   The Five Essential Characteristics of Mind Mapping:

  • The main idea, subject or focus is crystallized in a central image
  • The main themes radiate from the central image as 'branches'
  • The branches comprise a key image or key word drawn or printed on its associated line
  • Topics of lesser importance are represented as 'twigs' of the relevant branch
  • The branches form a connected nodal structure

The Brain's Natural Architecture and Foundation of Mind Maps

Almost the moment Mind Maps came into use another major piece of scientific research confirmed their validity as a brain-compatible thinking method. In California, Dr. Roger Sperry, who won a Nobel Prize for his research, confirmed that the evolutionarily latest part of the brain, the 'thinking cap' of the Cerebral Cortex, was divided into two major hemispheres, and those hemispheres performed a comprehensive range of intellectual tasks, called cortical skills. The tasks included: Logic, Rhythm, Lines, Color, Lists, Daydreaming, Numbers, Imagination, Word, Gestalt (seeing the whole picture).

Basic Mind Map Tree

Sperry's own research confirmed that the more these activities were integrated, the more the brain's performance became co-operative, with each intellectual skill enhancing the performance of other intellectual areas. When you are Mind Mapping®, you are not only practicing and exercising the fundamental memory powers and information processing, you are also using your entire range of cortical skills.

The Mind Map is made even more powerful by the use of all the left and right brain-thinking tools, which enhance the clarity, structure and organization of your thinking. And because the Mind Map constructively uses the tools of Imagination, Association and Location, as well as the tools of the left and right brain, you can consider the Mind Map the ultimate thinking tool that incorporates all the significant and potent ways of thinking into its own structure.

The Power of Images

In 1970 Scientific American magazine published Ralph Haber's research showing that individuals have a recognition accuracy of images between 85 and 95 percent. There is a well-known quote, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

Mind Map - Exam Preparation

We associate and remember images because they make use of a massive range of your cortical skills, especially imagination. Images can be more evocative than words, more precise and potent in triggering a wide range of associations, thereby enhancing creative thinking and memory. These findings support the argument that the Mind Map is a uniquely appropriate tool. It not only uses images, it is an image.

Tony Buzan and Mind Mapping

Although people have been creating maps using an image-centered radial graphic organization technique for centuries, British psychology author Tony Buzan has made a claim to the origin of the Mind Map. He argues that 'traditional' outlines require that the reader scans the information from left to right and top to bottom, whilst the brain's natural preference is to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion.

Buzan also uses widespread assumptions about the cerebral hemispheres in order to promote the exclusive use of Mind Mapping over other forms of note making. Tony Buzan has several registered trademarks on Mind Map and Mind Mapping.

Tony Buzan and Mind Mapping

Is Mind Mapping Effective?

A Johns Hopkins study indicates that students who utilize Mind Mapping increase their grades by 12%.

It is also proven that Mind Mapping is helpful for dyslexics and autistic students to better understand concepts and strategies. In fact, The British Dyslexia Association states, "Dyslexics struggle with their spoken and/or written language, following instructions, poor concentration and carrying out analytical or logical tasks. Strategies such as Mind Mapping are recognized as valuable learning tools."

mind map project definition

Create your mind map today!

Key features:.

  • Professional Mind Mapping
  • MS Office Integration
  • Built-in Gantt Chart & Timeline
  • Templates & Tutorials
  • Get started
  • Project management
  • CRM and Sales
  • Work management
  • Product development life cycle
  • Comparisons
  • Construction management
  • updates

What’s mind mapping? A simple guide

mind map project definition

If you’re reading this guide, then you probably asked Google, “What is mind mapping?”

Maybe you’re a student looking for ways to improve your learning. Perhaps you’re a business professional trying to simplify your ideas. Or maybe you’re just curious about mind maps.

In this simple guide, we’ll take a look at the definition of mind mapping, the process for mind map creation, and some practical examples of mind maps in action.

What is mind mapping?

Mind mapping is the process of representing ideas visually and finding relationships between those ideas.

People typically use mind maps during a brainstorming session, but they have different use cases, including:

  • Memorization (e.g., summarizing books, articles, or concepts)
  • Problem-solving (e.g., finding a solution to a difficult social issue)
  • Presentations (e.g., turn a dull PowerPoint presentation into a more dynamic one)
  • Content creation (e.g., come up with new ideas for videos or blog posts)

Plus many more.

In short, mind mapping is a diagram-like thinking tool that helps you analyze your thoughts, logically structure those ideas, and come up with additional points.

A typical mind map might look something like this:

Mind map example

( Image Source )

You see, this is super helpful.

Our brain tends to rose-tint our ideas. In our minds, they seem better and clearer than they really are.

You might believe you understand something, but only when you try to explain it to others do you realize how messy your ideas are.

Mind mapping is a solid way to put all that information into a single place and organize it, so:

  • You can make sense of it
  • Others can understand it.

Said simpler, mind maps help you put your ideas in order and make the complex simple.

But that’s just one of the benefits of mind mapping. Let’s cover some others.

What are the benefits of mind mapping?

Mind mapping is more than just putting your ideas onto paper. Evidence shows this activity brings many benefits to the table.

For instance, studies have found that mind mapping provides a significant difference in critical thinking skills compared to those who don’t use it — especially in young children.

Some other benefits include:

  • Better reading comprehension: with the help of mind maps, students better understand what they read, according to this research .
  • Enjoyable learning: mind maps can turn an otherwise dull activity into a more interactive, amusing experience.
  • Increased creativity: by structuring information in the form of a mind map, you can think of new ideas you wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.
  • Find ideas for improvement: spot ways to improve existing processes, products, or projects.
  • Spot potential threats: find problems, bottlenecks, and threats you might be ignoring.

How do you create a mind map?

Now that you understand how mind maps work, let’s talk about how to create yours.

In practice, it’s easier than it might seem.

To make the process a bit more understandable, we’ll turn this blog post into a mind map, following the 3-step process outlined below.

Step 1: Define the central theme

First, you should determine the main purpose of your mind map and write it down. Then, place the main idea in the middle of your page.

In this blog post, the central concept is “mind mapping.”

So we’d start like this:

Central idea for a mind map

Step 2: Build associations

Our brains are wired to think by imagination and association. So, once you have the main idea in place, it’s time to associate it with keywords and ideas.

To do it, we use 2 elements:

1. Branches

In a mind map, branches help you understand the relationships between ideas and organize the information in a hierarchical way.

These branches will represent your subtopics.

So, outline all the possible related topics and associations you can come up with.

In this case, we’ve got 4 subtopics:

  • Alternatives

Our initial mind map structure might look something like this:

Mind map branches example

You can also create more branches from your subtopics and repeat this process until you can’t think of more ideas.

2. Keywords

The whole point of mind maps is to summarize information, making it simpler. So, instead of sentences, you use single words or key phrases.

You’ll use a keyword to represent each subtopic.

Finshed mind map

Step 3: Use visuals

This step is kind of optional, but it can make your mind map more appealing and easier to understand.

By adding colors and visuals to your mind maps, you’ll start associating ideas with specific images, which can increase retention.

For example, instead of using words to describe our subtopics, we could use a visual representation.

A mind map with visuals instead of keywords

Just remember: these rules aren’t “written in stone.” You should create something that works for you.

Some people prefer lots of pictures and images. Others like to keep it simple and use words only. Others might look for something in between.

3 practical mind map examples

As we stated earlier, you can use mind maps to brainstorm different activities.

To make it even clearer, let’s show you some real-life examples of mind maps in different industries.

Example 1: Project management mind map

Let’s say you’re a project manager training your team on project planning. In that case, a mind map like this could help your team better understand the process:

Project planning mind map example

You could even hang this mind map in your office to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Example 2: Business value mind map

Sometimes, communicating the value of your startup to investors might be hard — especially when you’ve got to do it in just a couple of minutes.

That’s why so-called “elevator pitches” work so well.

When done right, a mind map can help you communicate such a pitch more effectively.

Here is a great example:

Business idea mind map example

Example 3: Event planning mind map

Mind maps are a great way to not only structure your event, but also come up with out-of-the-box ideas to make it better.

In this example, we can see how the author used a mind map to find creative and unusual ideas for the event location.

Event planning mind map example

You can also use a mind map for each activity at your event and think of ways to improve them.

Are mind maps enough?

There are many different ways to organize information. You can use a mind map, a concept map, a flowchart, and more.

Though these tools work great for general brainstorming, they lack the power to structure complex processes which involve multiple variables.

If you’re looking to manage a project , organize a large event, or streamline your business operations, a simple mind map might not be enough.

Here’s where can help.

How can you create a mind map with

First, isn’t mind mapping software — it’s more of a “clay-like” Work OS that you can shape at will to build exactly what you want. offers great features to structure your information, organize processes, and even automate repetitive tasks.

Let’s discuss some of these features:

  • Customizations: use dozens of drag-and-drop building blocks to structure your processes at will.
  • Templates: get access to multiple ready-to-use templates for different industries and use cases.
  • Visualizations: visualize your data from different angles and perspectives with accuracy.
  • Automations: automate hundreds of thousands of human tasks in minutes.
  • Integrations: integrate some of the tools you already use and bring that information to a central place.

However, you can also see any template in the form of a mind map with our mindmap view  feature.

mind mapping with

In addition, with our collaborative whiteboards, you can brainstorm ideas and design mind maps with speed. Simply bring your team to the platform and start collaborating in real-time. To get a step-by-step walkthrough on how to use our whiteboard, we suggest you read this guide.'s collaborative whiteboard in action

Use mind maps to organize ideas and spark creativity

A mind map is a simple diagram of visual connections that helps you wring more use out of the information you’ve got.

In a way, every part of is built for that same purpose.

We strongly believe that organizing information isn’t just about storing it. It’s about putting information to work.

Check out today, and start building more creative workflows.

Send this article to someone who’d like it.

  • Professional Services
  • Creative & Design
  • See all teams
  • Project Management
  • Workflow Management
  • Task Management
  • Resource Management
  • See all use cases

Apps & Integrations

  • Microsoft Teams
  • See all integrations

Explore Wrike

  • Book a Demo
  • Take a Product Tour
  • Start With Templates
  • Customer Stories
  • ROI Calculator
  • Find a Reseller
  • Mobile & Desktop Apps
  • Cross-Tagging
  • Kanban Boards
  • Project Resource Planning
  • Gantt Charts
  • Custom Item Types
  • Dynamic Request Forms
  • Integrations
  • See all features

Learn and connect

  • Resource Hub
  • Educational Guides

Become Wrike Pro

  • Submit A Ticket
  • Help Center
  • Premium Support
  • Community Topics
  • Training Courses
  • Facilitated Services
  • Collaboration

Mind Maps: How-to Guide With Examples

April 22, 2022 - 7 min read

Maria Waida

What is a mind map, and how can it help organize ideas in our brains? A mind map is a highly effective tool used by creatives, marketers, and project managers to inspire their teams. In addition to sparking  employees’ creative juices, mind maps organize “timelines, dependencies, and responsibilities.” Furthermore, mind maps can serve as the initial step in your project planning process. 

Although it may sound like a far-fetched business tool, chances are you've used mind maps throughout your life. Whether it's a so-called "spider diagram" at school or planning out an essay in college, mind maps are very common. In fact,they even date back to the philosophers of ancient Greece and Leonardo da Vinci during the Renaissance.

While we all learn differently, many of us are much more attuned to visual learning, and mind maps use this to help us retain information more effectively. A 2002 study found that mind mapping improved the long-term memory of factual information in medical students by 10 percent, while another from the Mind Mapping Software Blog found that mind mapping can boost productivity by up to 23 percent.

Read on to discover what a mind map is, why it’s important, and how to use it to improve projects. Additionally, modern mind map tools like Miro can be seamlessly integrated with collaborative work management platforms like Wrike, ensuring a smooth transition from idea generation to project execution.

What is a mind map?

A mind map is an illustration with a keyword or phrase in the middle, lines connecting the middle to a main idea, and even more lines connecting the main ideas to details. Building out from the center, mind maps are often said to look like sunbursts or spiderwebs. Mind maps can have more than three levels (middle, main ideas, and details), but most stick with this model. 

Human brains don't organize all information into one strict hierarchical tree. Instead, associations radiating out (or in) from different connection points help our minds navigate a vast information pool to make decisions quickly. When written down, these associations create a mind map, a powerful communication and creativity tool used by many marketing project management teams. 

Mobile image promo promo

How to make a mind map

You may already be familiar with this tool if you’ve ever gone to public school, written an academic essay, or been diagnosed with dyslexia . 

Here’s how to create a mind map in five simple steps: 

  • Choose the topic of the mind map and place it in the middle of the drawing 
  • Come up with three to five main ideas, then evenly space them in a circular formation around the mind map topic 
  • Draw a line from the mind map topic to each main idea 
  • Brainstorm supporting details such as ideas, tasks, and questions for each main idea 
  • Draw lines connecting each main idea to its supporting details 

Once the first draft is finished, add each main idea as a phase to your project management software. Create related tasks with due dates and assign them to team members. Add any questions or related ideas to individual task notes. 

Mind mapping examples

Effective brainstorming is all about starting with a clear purpose. In the following mind mapping examples, we’ll go over a couple of ways this tool can be used and the specific categories each team used to get the job done. 

1. Hello Digital Marketing

Creative agencies can use mind maps to develop a holistic business strategy that aligns marketing with customer service, productivity, and other key departments. In this mind mapping example, Hello Digital lays out three topics connected vertically, with their main ideas and details branching out to the right of the illustration. Here are the components the marketing agency uses in the productivity section: 

  • Topic 1: Productivity
  • Main idea 1: Project management
  • Details: Wrike and other tools they use
  • Main idea 2: Office tasks
  • Details: Supplies, cleaning, and maintenance
  • Main idea 3: Environment
  • Details: Collaborative, cubicle, by department

Thinking of their marketing, customer service, and productivity as pieces of one big puzzle and mind mapping it out accordingly allows Hello Digital to connect action with impact so everyone can understand it at a glance. 

2. Inside Out: The Film

Independent filmmakers use mind maps to brainstorm “scenes, characters, ideas” as well as financing, production logistics, and target audiences. In this mind map example, the author builds their protagonist using one topic (the character’s name) and multiple main ideas, including: 

  • Romantic life
  • Personal style
  • Personality type
  • Family history 

The author says that the ideas formed here are easy to add to project management tools, which turn these inspirations into bite-size, accomplishable tasks. 

What are the benefits of mind maps?

In project management, creative brainstorming is key to solving problems, coming up with clear roadmaps, and generating unique outcomes, all of which are easy to do with mind mapping. 

Other mind map benefits for creative project management include: 

  • Making meaningful connections between ideas
  • Collaborating with teams virtually or when spread out across the globe
  • Giving every team member space to contribute and have their voice heard
  • Having a visual and easy-to-understand subject map
  • Organizing a wide range of data, dependent projects, and related tasks 

What are the challenges of mind maps?

Mind maps are one of the most effective ways to encourage your marketing team’s best ideas , but they can be challenging to use at first. When learning how to mind map, it’s important to remember that this tool can be used for everything from big-picture business goals down to individual tasks within a subproject. Before your team begins brainstorming, agree on the mind map’s scope. If this isn’t clarified from the beginning, the mind map could be far too broad, narrow, or confusing for those who have to follow it later. 

How to inspire your creative team to use mind maps

If your team is feeling rundown or uninspired, give their creativity a boost using the B.U.I.L.D. model . The B.U.I.L.D. model is an acronym that stands for: B eing bored, U nwinding with a drink, I nspiring with color (i.e., using the psychology of colors and visual inspiration boards), L istening to music, and D rawing on paper. Doing these five actions in a row will help teams get out of their funk and develop better ideas for their mind map. 

Next steps: Put your mind map to work with Wrike

Now that you've discovered the potential of mind mapping to enhance creativity, foster better communication, and create foolproof project plans , it's time to find the perfect tool to streamline this process with your team. Wrike is your go-to solution for turning idea generation into seamless project execution. With powerful integrations like Miro , Wrike allows you to consolidate all your ideas into a neatly organized chart, making it easy for the entire company to visualize the project, tasks, and outcomes they're collectively working toward.

Maria Waida

Maria Waida

Maria is a freelance content writer who specializes in blogging and other marketing materials for enterprise software businesses.

Related articles

Introducing the 5 Whys Technique of Problem Solving

Introducing the 5 Whys Technique of Problem Solving

The five whys technique is a problem-solving method that helps you get to the root cause of a problem. Here’s how to use it to benefit your projects.

A Guide to Project Controls

A Guide to Project Controls

What are project controls and why are they a smart strategy for project managers? In this guide, you’ll discover the key benefits of the project control process.

Tips on How to Overcome Mental Blocks

Tips on How to Overcome Mental Blocks

What is a mental block, and why does it happen? Here are some helpful tips for overcoming mental blocks at work and improving your productivity.

Get weekly updates in your inbox!

Get weekly updates in your inbox!

You are now subscribed to wrike news and updates.

Let us know what marketing emails you are interested in by updating your email preferences here .

Sorry, this content is unavailable due to your privacy settings. To view this content, click the “Cookie Preferences” button and accept Advertising Cookies there.

For enquiries call:



  • Project Management

Mind Mapping in Project Management: Benefits, Use Cases, Tips

Home Blog Project Management Mind Mapping in Project Management: Benefits, Use Cases, Tips

Play icon

Project managers are in charge of planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and evaluating entire projects. Each of these stages involves many different aspects. As project leaders, we need to be good team leaders, motivators, organizers, and more. Being able to see creative ideas from all team members helps us succeed. PMP Certification programs online   help us stay organized and manage timelines, dependencies, and responsibilities effectively. We’re also responsible for keeping our team members motivated, engaged, accountable, and involved. 

Mind mapping in project management provides us with the means to stimulate individual and group thought processes, maintain a creative flow, and establish teamwork. Then, we enjoy the extra advantage of mind map project management software , which is the capability to quickly and easily create presentations in any format we desire for team members, clients, management, or anybody else. If this sounds interesting to you, let me help you under this concept better. Read on! 

What is Mind Mapping in Project Management?  

Mind mapping is a visual way to organize information in project management. It offers a volition to direct design planning, allowing design directors to organize their studies to form an original, realistic idea. Analogous to a person’s natural inclination to produce associations, mind charts allow design directors to let one idea lead to another, ultimately performing in a new process or resulting in a design challenge. A mind chart also encourages design directors to transfigure an expansive design into practicable tasks. 

There are numerous useful uses for mind maps in project management. Mind maps can specifically assist project managers with the following: 

  • Make tasks: To break down the scope of a project and assign responsibilities to each phase, utilize a mind map. You can give each task a deadline by using a mind map. 
  • Handle teams: Mind maps can assist you in figuring out a team’s organizational structure. For instance, to determine each team member’s direct reports, make a mind map. 

Rules of Mind Mapping 

There are 3 rules of mind mapping, which are as follows: 

First Rule: Begin From the Middle 

Users should construct notes using the Buzan mind map technique in a way that makes sense to their brains. It makes sense to organize your knowledge on paper in this way since it makes it simple to add new ideas and details. Put your theme in the middle, give it a name, and draw it. Additionally, Mr. Buzan recommends that the map’s center should be eye-catching and sizable, with at least five colors. It must be something you are interested in examining. Looking back on the ideas in this way will make them much easier to remember, and your brain will process them more effectively. 

Second Guideline: Include Ideas in the Middle 

Next, begin with the instigative part. Tony Buzan says that all you have to do to update the chart with your data is draw a small line from the middle, drag it out, and then write your data or picture on the line. Make sure the line appears below the entire word or image. That’s how you enter data. This is characteristic of mind mapping in the Buzan approach. 

Third Rule: Make Use of Colors, Text, and Images 

Here’s where the real difference arises when contrasting various mind mapping   techniques. The issue is with Tony Buzan’s mind map models. You must include this in your next idea mapping session. Mr. Buzan stresses the importance of forming the mind map for a project with a variety of images, colors, and text as the final tool. Make the most of visuals to engage your entire brain. Normally, one would speak. These cause left hemisphere brain activation. Images and colors stimulate the right hemisphere. Thus, incorporate these into your map to make sure you are making the most use of your entire brain. 

When to Use: With Examples & Templates 

A mind map could be the perfect tool for you if you’re trying to plan a project, brainstorm ideas, or arrange your thoughts. Mind charts are visual plates that help you connect ideas and studies, identify connections and patterns, and produce a further comprehensive understanding of content. In this composition, we will explore some exemplifications of mind maps that you can use for different purposes 

1. Conducting meetings 

2. defining project scope , how to use mind mapping  .

The following are some applications for mind maps: 

1.     Brainstorming Ideas:  If you’re having trouble coming up with fresh concepts, lists, or answers, consider mind mapping. This will assist you in quickly coming up with a wide variety of ideas. 

2.     Arrange Information: After coming up with a list of concepts, you can arrange them according to certain categories. This makes it simple to review your concepts and decide which ones fit into which circumstances. 

3.     Work Further Effectively:  If you are working on a design that requires collaboration, mind mapping PMP   can help you stay concentrated by keeping everyone on the same runner. 

4.     Develop Creative Allowing Chops: Mind mapping ways can help you develop creative thinking chops. This means you will be able to think outside the box when diving problems. 

5.     Ameliorate Communication Chops:  Because mind mapping PMP   helps you fantasize complex generalities, it can help ameliorate your communication skillsets. 

Disadvantages of Linear Note-Taking 

  • Acquiring Knowledge and Maintaining It:  We don’t learn or remember as much when using linear notes because the brain gets bored with them very quickly. According to studies, children who use images and color learn more and retain information for longer. 
  • Brainstorming:  When we write an essay to communicate with direct notes, we’re inhibited and confined. Gobbets of our capability to suppose and concentrate are used up on our attention to the alphabet, punctuation, judgment structure, and other gratuitous embellishments. 

Benefits of Mind Mapping  

Mind mapping for Project Management Professional (PMP) certification offers several benefits: 

  • Visualization: Mind mapping allows for the visual representation of complex project management concepts, making it easier to understand and remember key principles, processes, and knowledge areas required for the PMP exam. 
  • Organizational Tool: Mind maps are effective organizational tools for structuring and categorizing information related to PMP exam topics, enabling candidates to create comprehensive study plans and track their progress effectively. 
  • Creativity Enhancement: Mind mapping encourages creativity and brainstorming, allowing candidates to generate new ideas, connections, and insights related to project management concepts, which can be beneficial for problem-solving and critical thinking skills needed for the PMP exam. 
  • Memory Retention: The visual and hierarchical nature of mind maps aids in memory retention by associating information with visual cues and organizing it in a structured format, which can help candidates recall key concepts during the exam. 
  • Time Management: Mind mapping helps candidates prioritize study topics and allocate time efficiently based on each concept’s relative importance and complexity, ensuring comprehensive coverage of exam content within the available study time. 
  • Collaborative Learning: Mind maps can be shared and collaboratively developed with study groups or mentors, fostering peer learning, discussion, and knowledge exchange among PMP aspirants, which can enhance understanding and retention of exam material. 
  • Adaptability: Mind maps are flexible and can be customized to suit individual learning preferences and study styles, allowing candidates to create personalized study resources tailored to their unique needs and preferences. 

Mind Mapping in Project Management  

Project Management courses , including mind mapping, are useful for many projects, especially those where you have a goal but are still figuring out how to get there. To apply mind mapping in PMP, take the following actions: 

1. Describe the project:  With mind mapping, you can move from a general objective to a specific action plan. Start by outlining the project’s components and participants. Consider the team members, stakeholders, resources, and any other elements that might be required to finish the project.  

2. Develop a plan of action: Once you define the design, develop a plan of action to execute the design from launch to finish. Using project management mind mapping   for specific design pretensions and conditions is also helpful when creating a high-position product plan. You can use a new mind chart to outline several design-specific ideas visually and consider each one before opting for a stylish course of action. 

Mind Mapping Tools and Software  

Many businesses have created software for mind mapping for project management   in today’s digital world. Some of the best are listed below: 

1. EdrawMind 

With the help of the robust mind mapping application EdrawMind, you can arrange your ideas and thoughts visually. You can make mind maps that are tailored to your requirements and tastes, thanks to its customizable interface. Work together in real-time, ensuring everyone is in agreement and adding to the idea-generating process. 

2. MindManager 

MindManager is a comprehensive project management mind mapping   tool that offers a wide range of features. It has an intuitive interface and allows you to organize ideas, tasks, and systems. It also features a timetable and advanced design operation tools. 

3. MindMeister 

MindMeister is a pall-grounded mind-mapping software that allows you to unite with others in real-time. It offers a wide range of features, including task operation, note-taking, and design collaboration. 

Tips for Creating Effective Usage of Mind Maps  

To help you make the most of mind mapping, consider the following advice: 

  • Keep it simple:  Mind mapping is designed to be a rapid method of organizing your ideas. Avoid making things too complicated by including too many details or subtopics. 
  • Make use of images and keywords: Use images and keywords to help your mind map become more memorable for each idea or subtopic. 
  • Make use of images and keywords:  Use images and keywords to help your mind map become more memorable for each idea or subtopic. 


Mind mapping in project management technique is useful for arranging your ideas and thoughts in an understandable and visual manner. Mind mapping in project management is a long-standing technique utilized by professionals, students, and creatives alike. KnowledgeHut’s best PMP training can help you become more proficient in communication, problem-solving, and memory retention, whether professional, student, or creative. Making efficient and memorable mind maps will be easy for you if you use the advice and resources in this article. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Business owners who want to write an engaging and thorough business plan. Project managers search for efficient means of communicating their ideas to the team clearly and concisely.

The mind mapping tool offers visualization of complex PMP concepts, aiding in the organization, prioritization, and memory retention of key exam topics. It also facilitates collaborative learning, creativity enhancement, and personalized study plans, enhancing overall exam preparation effectiveness.

Mind mapping aids PMP exam preparation by visually organizing complex concepts, enhancing memory retention, facilitating efficient study planning, and helping candidates grasp key principles and knowledge areas effectively.

To create your first mind map for PMP study, start by identifying key PMP exam topics such as project management processes, knowledge areas, and formulas. Then, organize these topics into main branches and subtopics using a central theme and add relevant details, examples, and connections to facilitate understanding and retention of exam material.


Kevin D.Davis

Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

Avail your free 1:1 mentorship session.

Something went wrong

Upcoming Project Management Batches & Dates

Course advisor icon

Project Management Mind Map Explained with Examples

Edraw content team, planning a mind map for project management.

EdrawMind is a powerful tool used by project managers to create mind maps. Check project management mind maps guides and learn how to implement mind maps during your project development cycle. Just try EdrawMind for free now!

In huge corporate companies, we see how different project managers are assigned to handle different projects from stakeholders. Sometimes one project manager overlooks multiple projects as per their expertise. The information gathered from different project management frameworks can be a little overwhelming. For such scenarios, companies work on different mind maps for project management. As the name suggests, project management mind maps help different team members identify the roadblocks and develop the solution that accelerates the project's delivery.

In this elaborate guide to understanding project management mind maps, we will walk you through different project management templates created in EdrawMind. However, before we discuss more project management examples, let us help you understand some of the benefits of creating a mind map for project management.

1. What is a Mind Map?

Mind mapping is a diagramming activity conducted by several project managers to visually organize the information pertaining to the projects that they are handling. A project management mind map shows the hierarchy and relationships among different pieces (or subtopics) of the whole. Mind Maps came into effect in the 1970s when an educational consultant Tony Buzan created mind maps to organize related topics around a core concept. The core idea behind a mind map is to write down the core concept or topic in the middle and add different subtopics that radiate outward from it.

In a project development cycle, a mind map can represent different tasks, concepts, and other items in a colorful, highly-organized, and memorable way. This segmentation of the entire information flow helps the project management team to easily look at the facts and figures, solve problems, and lead a team much more efficiently by integrating such mind maps into different projects. For instance, rather than worrying about a pile of paperwork or documentation, a mind map instantly lets the project manager know about the deliverables, the tech they are planning to use, the team who will complete the project, and more.

2. Benefits of Mind Map

A project management mind map involves writing down the core theme and thinking of new and related ideas that radiate out from the center. This way, a project manager can identify the core issues and quickly work on them. Some of the most important benefits of creating a mind map for project management are:

  • Memorization: When a project manager handles a project, they deal with a magnitude of information, like the client's details, the assigned team, deliverables, milestones, and more. They will retain more information once they work on a mind map for project management. With the help of images, icons, and shapes, project managers can quickly recall the topics they previously discussed.
  • Associations: It is often seen that most projects have interconnections or details that they share internally. When the project managers create a mind map, they draw branches that grow from different topics. This way, they can easily notice certain links between different groups or categories that they might have missed out on earlier. This characteristic of mind maps even allows project managers to interpret project-related information effectively.
  • Tackle Complex Issues: Most project managers work on Agile methodology as it breaks down complex deliverables into different smaller milestones. A similar activity can be performed by creating mind maps. By using mind maps to visualize different problems and then breaking them down into smaller subtopics, project managers can easily find a way to tackle such complex issues.
  • Enhances Creativity: Creating a project management mind map is a great way to enhance your creativity. If you were creating a list, you would only outline different steps of the project's development. However, if you go ahead and choose to create a mind map, you can add different media content to elaborate your topic in a better format. Even if you face issues while coming up with different topics, mind maps can be a good exercise to fuel creativity, as it brings out different ways to visualize the content.
  • Go Deep: By creating a mind map for project management, project managers can dig deep into the details without losing track of the project as a whole. When a project manager breaks down the entire project into smaller prices or tasks, one still needs to identify the primary topic or the core concept. Mind Mapping here is the best technique that not only notices small things but ensures that you as a project management team do not divert from the core topic.

3. When to use: Examples & Templates

Now that you have understood the benefits of creating a mind map for project management let us help you understand some of the scenarios where you can implement the mind map and efficiently work towards your goal.

1. Conducting Meetings

As a project manager, one thing that you must be doing is conducting frequent meetings. Most of the time, project managers list out the meeting agendas that they need to discuss. Often, they create a list that they share among their team members. Instead of creating outlines, project managers should focus on developing mind maps to conduct their meetings. With a core concept in the center and different subtopics radiating outwards, a project manager will have a proper understanding of all the areas they need to cover during their meeting session.


By creating a project management mind map, project managers ensure that their long meetings can be transformed into fun activities with their respective team members. Some of the ways to create a mind map for conducting meetings are:

  • Create a primary topic that you need to discuss.
  • Create multiple subtopics in and around the central theme.
  • Try to connect different subtopics or make a relationship between them.
  • Assign the tasks to your team members as per their roles and responsibilities.

2. Defining Project Scope

Clients or stakeholders often present a very vague idea about their project requirements. As a result, a project manager spends countless hours identifying the right scope so they can discuss if the said project is achievable or not. With the help of a mind map, a project manager can visualize the entire project scope to bring the vision of clients, stakeholders, and the company to a similar page.


As and if the requirements of the project change, then the project manager can quickly modify the mind map and ensures that they have noted down the project deliverables, assumptions, prerequisites, and timeline in an easy way so that the stakeholders can refer to the mind map diagram instead of referring to a pile of texts.

3. Breaking Down the Project

A project involves discussing the project scope, designing, development, quality check, testing, modification, documentation, deliverables, and post-delivery services. As you see, it is always advisable to break down the project into smaller parts so that a project manager can quickly assign them to different departments. At the same time, project managers can easily put their support on a granular level to the team members by creating such mind maps for project management.

The easiest trick to breaking down the project into smaller parts is first to identify the core concept (this would be your main topic of the mind map) and now radiate outwards and create multiple branches per the project's requirement. With the help of EdrawMind, you can even add images or shapes to these subtopics to make them more visually appealing.

4. Team Management

A project development cycle is incomplete without proper team management. Once you have created the project's scope and broken it down into multiple subtopics, you will get an idea as to which team member will handle which department of the project. This way, you can quickly assign them the task and take reports from them and update the mind map accordingly.


Another major importance of creating a mind map for team management is to keep everyone in the loop about the project and who is working on which task. If you have a remote team, you can start using EdrawMind Online, from where your remote team members can collaborate with you on different mind maps.

5. Effective Presentation

Gone are the days when clients or stakeholders wanted to see a normal text-based presentation about their projects! These days, most clients require engaging content that helps them visually understand and track the project's development. In such cases, we create a mind map that improves the project and also makes the meetings more effective.

6. Project Planning

Project managers use mind maps in order to create project plans. With the help of mind mapping, they can easily analyze the existing plans and make them understandable to the rest of the team members. With proper project planning, a project manager can even break down a complex project into different tasks.


Some of the different branches that you can include in your project planning mind map are:

  • Cost Management Plan
  • Change Management Plan
  • Procurement Management Plan
  • Project Scope
  • Risk Management Plan

7. Solving Complex Issues

During the course of any project development cycle, a project manager will encounter different project-related problems. It can be from as simple as the unavailability of a certain team member to some complex issues like the code failing to run right before the project's delivery. In these cases, creating a mind map saves time and also helps in resolving any complex problem.


As a project manager, you can use mind maps to find the solution to any problems. The right-hand thumb rule is to follow a specific framework where the project manager will ask some pre-discussed questions, like:

Whenever a project is stuck in some area, these questions actually help the project manager to identify the issue and work towards a solution quickly.

8. Decision Making

Mind maps are an effective tool for making decisions. With the help of a project management mind map, a project manager can analyze the problem and collect the relevant information to make the optimum decision that will be helpful to the client and their project development team.


For instance, let us suppose you have a project delivery time approaching, and one of your developers informs you that a particular code fails to work if the user count reaches over a million. So, as a project manager, you have to decide whether you will ask your team members to resolve the issue before the launch or release the update shortly that will resolve the issue! With the help of a mind map, you can quickly run pros and cons lists and make the right decision.

9. Idea Curation

Once you have created the project's scope, broken it down into smaller tasks, and assigned them to different team members, you can now focus on creating another mind map that lets you organize project ideas in a more meaningful way. In the new project mind map, you can visualize what the final product will look like. Once the final result is ready, you can check the secondary mind map and see if it matches the vision and requirements.

As the project advances, you can refer to these mind maps and start brainstorming as and when you find any complications.

10. Resource Repository

Mind maps are a great place to store your resources. You can create a mind map and provide their link instead of uploading heavy documents or PDFs to a resource folder. This way, you can even assign team members to different resources, track the progress, and finalize the delivery.


By creating a mind map to store the documents, you ensure that your resources are properly organized, and your team members will not waste time finding resources at different locations.

4. Tips for Using Mind Maps Effectively

While mind maps are created to convey information easily, it depends on how well you have created them. Most of the time, if a project manager has not followed the best practice while creating a project management mind map, they will refer to other documents instead of checking out the mind maps.

In reference to project management, there are a couple of tips for using mind maps effectively.

  • Link Different Maps: There are different mind maps that you can create to manage your entire project. Some of the most useful mind maps are project planning, resource planning, risk planning, idea mapping, decision mapping, and more. You can use one of these mind maps or a combination of these maps to manage your project. With EdrawMind, you can easily link one mind map to another so that your team can find all the information they need right at one location. For example, one can quickly interlink the project planning map with the resource map or idea map to the resource map.
  • Use Filters: Depending upon the gravity of your project, you will get several detailed information. If you are handling one or more complex projects, chances are you get overwhelmed and might not be able to take full advantage of your mind maps. In order to come out of such situations, we recommend using filters in your mind maps. You can use filters as per levels, symbols, keywords, or subtopics.
  • Use Symbols: A well-organized mind map will have different colors, icons, cliparts, and shapes that depict different types of data and information. When you start making the mind map, ensure that you follow the same color scheme or design scheme. Project managers use different colors to show similar subtopics, making it hard for the team members to identify them.

It is advised to use EdrawMind, which offers 12 structures and has over 33 themes from which you can make a personalized mind map for project management. In addition to this, there are several other different ways for you to use your mind maps effectively, like:

  • Do not go ahead and put down long sentences in the subtopics.
  • Ensure that you use the correct color tone to describe similar subtopics or branches.
  • Make sure that the font that you use is universally accepted.
  • In the mind map, try to use images or pictures that resonate with the project's core concept.

5. Key Takeaways

As a project manager, you will come across different problems or scenarios where you will need some quick decisions. At the same time, you will require a tracking system that helps you identify whom all are working on the project and how well they perform. Creating a project management mind map is one of the first things a project manager should do if they intend to successfully deliver the project on time. With the help of a mind map, they can visualize the project at every step, assign tasks, track the project's cycle, and can even share updates with the stakeholders or clients.

EdrawMind is a powerful tool equipped with all the important aspects of creating a mind map. From free templates to stylish cliparts, this mind map software is the perfect tool for all those project managers who want to quickly create mind maps for their different projects. With EdrawMind Online, you can even get a personalized cloud space, allowing you to have faster access to your remote files. So, what are you waiting for today? Download EdrawMind for your desktop or mobile phone today and start making project management mind maps.

You May Also Like

Boost your creativity and productivity with brainstorm templates: a comprehensive guide.


Health Mind Map Complete Guide With 10+ Examples

Personal mind map complete guide with 10+ examples, business mind map complete guide with 30+ examples, mind map ideas for students: explained with 30+ examples, biology concept map complete guide with 30+ examples.

Excel at Project Planning with Mind Maps

In both personal and professional spaces, project planning is often the key to success. Planning a big event , organizing a party, or creating and implementing actionable steps to achieve a goal all benefit from project planning with mind maps. With mind maps, you can streamline and improve every project, from simple to complex.

Mind map featuring

Getting Started: Project Planning

Project planning can often be seen as a rigid process intended to create one concrete masterplan . However, the more creativity is allowed into this process the better.

One of the best ways to introduce this creativity and generate multiple variations on a project plan is to use a mind map. This way, you’ll have a free flow of ideas , a visually represented structure of them and an overview of all the information related to the project.

Using online mind mapping software, you can even collaborate with colleagues to produce synergistic plans. Here are a few ideas for project planning with mind maps. 

The goal of a brainstorming session while project planning is to generate as many ideas as possible. In this case, it truly is quantity over quality . Even suboptimal ideas are worth adding to your mind map because they may spark new, creative ideas from you or from someone else.

Cleaning up your mind map later to get rid of clutter is easy enough to do. So don’t stop yourself, and don’t stop others from throwing even ridiculous ideas on the mind map. 

Start with your main topic is the center and add 3 to 6 first-level topics (branches) of significant keywords around it. Let those keywords serve as jumping-off points for you and your team. From there, explore the twists and turns of those ideas by adding child topics. Don’t stop until you’ve completely exhausted your ideas!

Image of mind map with

Try doing this online! Online mind maps have been shown to increase your creative output by about 50 percent. If you are working with a team, this also has the advantage of letting you work remotely.

While writing the final project plan will most likely be done in a text document, mind maps provide a priceless visual element to outlining. Now that you have plenty of ideas, it’s time to sift through them and decide which ones to keep. Delete the unnecessary and rearrange the useful ones into a logical structure. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your ideas , outline the chapters and contents of your project plan directly in your mind map. They might be named things like purpose , desired results , and roles and responsibilities . Add details to each of these topics in the form of child topics.

To avoid clutter , stick to individual keywords and short phrases. Add longer explanations in the form of notes. If you’re working online, you can also add links, comments, images, and files so that you have everything in one place, ready to go when you do start writing your project plan . 

Marketing strategy mind map with several nodes indicating different marketing plans. This is a good example of project planning with mind maps. Source:

Simplify and share this mind map with your project team and stakeholders to re-use it as a project roadmap. It will serve as a great tool to quickly review your goals and milestones and ensure you’re still on schedule. You can easily update the roadmap throughout the project’s lifetime depending on priorities or refinements.

List the Stakeholders 

To help determine the scope of your project , define your stakeholders — anyone who might have an interest in the project . By doing this, you will better be able to decide when to involve certain people in decisions both before the project starts and while it continues.

You can either create this list as part of your outline mind map or in a completely separate mind map, using the template below. Add child-topics representing the various departments and groups involved in the project: team members, end-users, upper management, suppliers, etc.

Further divide these categories and groups until you arrive at the names of individuals . Be sure to add their contact information! Share your mind map with co-workers who may know of other important parties to add to the list. Update the list throughout the project and save it for reuse on future projects.

Image featuring project planning mind map about Project stakeholders. source:

Perform a Cost-Benefit Analysis

At some point during your project planning, you may want or be asked to provide evidence that the project is worth undertaking . In this case, a cost-benefit analysis is essential . Again, this can be created in a separate mind map and used as a template for future projects.

To get started, create a branch for your project objectives. Create another branch for the estimated resources required to perform the project. Then create a third branch for anticipated benefits.

Simple mind map showing how to create a cost-benefit analysis, perfect for project planning. source:

Calculate the project’s net present value (estimated benefits minus costs in monetary terms) and use the result to decide whether you should execute the project.

Any of the mind maps related to your project — outline, stakeholders, cost-benefit analysis — can be used to present. If you’re doing this online , it will save you time as you don’t have to migrate the content to another program. It will also give your audience a refreshing break from the typical presentation slides. 

To prepare your mind map for presentation , add emphasis to topics by choosing appropriate styles and icons . Make sure that the slides you set up are in the order you want and that the slideshow functions in the way that best aids your presentation style. After you’ve presented, you can easily share the mind map with the audience so that they can review and even modify it themselves for easy project approval or adjustment.

Try any or all of these mind map suggestions when planning your next project. And be sure to save them as templates so that you can reuse them again and again!


  1. What is a Mind Map & How to Effectively Do It

    Creative writing and content creation: Writers use mind maps to structure their ideas and develop characters. Problem-solving and decision-making: Mind mapping can be used as a strategic tool for dissecting issues and finding innovative solutions. Personal organization and goal setting: Idea mapping helps set clear, achievable objectives.

  2. What is Mind Mapping? What Are Its Uses?

    Mind mapping is used by people in business, education, government, the charity sector, and at home. In business, people use mind mapping for project planning, strategic thinking, and managing meetings. Mind mapping software helps teams to develop their ideas more collaboratively. Online mapping allows people to build off each other's ideas ...

  3. What is a Mind Map? Definition, Uses, Benefits and Templates

    Mind map definition. A mind map is a visual diagram representing ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central concept using a non-linear graphical layout. Mind maps help visualize and classify ideas and are great tools for studying, problem-solving, and decision-making.

  4. What is a Mind Map? Definition, Benefits and More

    A mind map is a simple but powerful diagram that outlines your ideas in a visual format. Creating a mind map adds structure to your thoughts, giving you a clearer picture of every idea and how they relate. Mind maps usually contain a central idea placed in the middle of the diagram, which you can break down and expand on using branches ...

  5. What is a mind map? Tips, examples, and templates

    These include: Brainstorming and ideation: Mind maps help you quickly create associations and map out related ideas in a way that can spark new, creative ideas. Note-taking during meetings: A mind map helps you quickly add and organize thoughts in a visual way that is easy to refer back to and build upon.

  6. What is Mind Mapping? How To Do It & What Tools To Use

    In a nutshell, mind mapping is a brainstorming technique designed to document, share, and streamline of all your unfiltered, unorganized thoughts while also building relationships between those different thoughts. It can be used individually or by teams. Simplistically, it is a diagram that kind of looks like a tree:

  7. What are Mind Maps?

    Mind maps are visual diagrams that structure information around a central idea, with linked ideas branching out. Designers use them to organize thoughts, analyze information and develop creative solutions. Mind maps give a clear structure and hierarchy of thoughts and make complex concepts easier to understand.

  8. What is a Mind Map?

    A Mind Map is a diagram for representing tasks, words, concepts, or items linked to and arranged around a central concept or subject using a non-linear graphical layout that allows the user to build an intuitive framework around a central concept. A Mind Map can turn a long list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable and highly ...

  9. What Is a Mind Map And What Does A Mind Map Look Like?

    Mind mapping software replicates the mind mapping method in a digital environment, allowing you to add topics, draw connections and much more. Compared to analog methods, online mind mapping software means you can: Add and change map content easily. Work on your map collaboratively. Customize your map with themes, colors, icons and emojis.

  10. Mind map

    e. A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information into a hierarchy, showing relationships among pieces of the whole. [1] 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.

  11. How To Use Mind Mapping in Project Management (Plus Tips)

    3. Ask for input. A mind map allows multiple people to contribute their ideas to the plan of action so the project team can review everyone's input at the same time. Being able to see all ideas the team brainstormed for a large project can help explain why the project team made certain choices.

  12. What's mind mapping? (a simple guide)

    Mind mapping is the process of representing ideas visually and finding relationships between those ideas. People typically use mind maps during a brainstorming session, but they have different use cases, including: Memorization (e.g., summarizing books, articles, or concepts)

  13. What is a Mind Map? Definition, Application, How to build and

    Mind maps are defined by their signature structure and ability to link elements together through long chains of information. Because of this, they can sometimes be referred to as spider diagrams. Mind maps are helpful because they are very intuitive and they structure themselves to a certain extent. The first step to building a mind map is ...

  14. Mind mapping

    Project managers frequently use mind maps to engage their project team members and encourage them to participate in project planning activities and team meetings. This paper examines how project managers can most effectively and efficiently use mind maps to encourage their team members to think creatively about a project's core issues. In doing so, it overviews the historical evolution of mind ...

  15. What Is a Mind Map? Examples & Tips

    A mind map is an illustration with a keyword or phrase in the middle, lines connecting the middle to a main idea, and even more lines connecting the main ideas to details. Building out from the center, mind maps are often said to look like sunbursts or spiderwebs. Mind maps can have more than three levels (middle, main ideas, and details), but ...

  16. Mind Mapping in Project Management: Benefits, Use Cases, Tips

    Mind mapping in project management provides us with the means to stimulate individual and group thought processes, maintain a creative flow, and establish teamwork. Then, we enjoy the extra advantage of mind map project management software , which is the capability to quickly and easily create presentations in any format we desire for team ...

  17. Project Planning with Mind Maps (Examples)

    Tip: Re-use this mind map as a project roadmap by simplifying it and sharing it with your project team and relevant stakeholders. A project roadmap is a great tool to quickly review your goals and milestones and ensure you're still on schedule. Of course, you can easily update the roadmap throughout the project's lifetime if your priorities change or you need to refine your previous estimates.

  18. 8 Benefits Of Mind Mapping & The Data That Proves It

    Not only can mind mapping help your memory retention, but it can also help you learn and be more creative. In a mind mapping study, participants who used mind maps to brainstorm showed increased creative thinking and more meaningful learning. 6. Simplifies Complex Ideas. Mind mapping can help simplify complex ideas.

  19. Mind Mapping: Definition & Examples in Psychology

    1. Define your central topic. First, consider what the focus of your mind map should be and write it out in the center of the page. For example, if you are mind mapping out a to-do list, you would simply write "to-do list". 2. Identify your first-level concepts or topics.

  20. Project Management Mind Map Explained with Examples

    Mind mapping is a diagramming activity conducted by several project managers to visually organize the information pertaining to the projects that they are handling. A project management mind map shows the hierarchy and relationships among different pieces (or subtopics) of the whole.

  21. Mind mapping as a WBS development tool

    Mind Maps for Project Definition. Mind maps have great applicability in project planning. Left-brain or linear thinking may be important for scheduling, resource allocation, and monitoring project progress. However, the early stages of a project require more creative or right-brain thinking.

  22. Mind Mapping the Five Stages of Project Management

    Example of a project plan for one month. The project schedule will drive activities that can mitigate budget risks. Time is one of the main costs in most projects. Additionally, presenting a visual plan in a mind map is useful for communicating with team members and stakeholders. If your project is going to last over several months or years, it is best to divide your schedule and make several ...

  23. Project Planning with Mind Maps

    Excel at Project Planning with Mind Maps. In both personal and professional spaces, project planning is often the key to success.Planning a big event, organizing a party, or creating and implementing actionable steps to achieve a goal all benefit from project planning with mind maps.With mind maps, you can streamline and improve every project, from simple to complex.

  24. Interactive Map: Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

    This interactive map complements the static control-of-terrain maps that ISW daily produces with high-fidelity.