Mind Maps

Q. Mind Maps

  • The Mind Map, popularized by Tony Buzon, is similar to a concept map.
  • They hold information in a format that our mind finds quick to review and easy to remember.
  • It is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea.
  • The elements are arranged intuitively according to their importance.
  • The are classified into branches with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information.
  • Mind maps have many applications in personal, family, educational and business situations.
  • Mind Map improves the way we take notes and supports and enhances our creative problem-solving.
  • One can also use mind maps as a mnemonic technique to sort out complicated ideas.

A comparison of concept maps, mind maps


Concept Map- A concept map is a top-down diagram showing the relationships between concepts, including cross connections among concepts, and their manifestations (examples).

Mind Map – A mind map is a multi-coloured and image-centred, radial diagram that represents semantic or other connections between portions of learned material hierarchically.

Main function or benefit:-

Concept Map – Shows systematic relationships among sub-concepts relating to one main concept.

Mind Map – Show sub-topics of a domain in a creative and seamless manner.

Typical application context:-

Concept Map – Classroom teaching, self study and revision.

Mind Map – Personal note taking and reviewing.

Application guidelines:-

Concept Map – Use it as a learning support tool for students, that is, to summarize key course topics or clarify the elements and examples of an abstract concept.

Mind Map – Use it for pre-analytic idea jostles or rapid note-taking, or to structure the main contents of a course or topic hierarchically.

Employed graphic elements:-

Concept Map – Boxes/bubbles with text and labelled connector arrows.

Mind Map – Central topic bubble and colored (sub-) branches with text above branches, pictograms.

Reading direction:-

Concept Map – Top-down.

Mind Map – Center-out.

Core design rules or guidelines:-

Concept Map – Start with main concept (at the top), and end with examples (bottom, without circles); boxes/bubbles designate concepts, arrows represent relationships; include cross-links among elements.

Mind Map – Start with main topic (center) and branch out to sub-topics, employ pictograms and colors to add additional meaning. Write text above the branches.

Macro structure adaptability:-

Concept Map – Flexible, but always branching out

Mind Map – Somewhat flexible, but always Radial

Level of difficulty:-

Concept Map – Medium to high

Mind Map – Low


Concept Map – Limited

Mind Map – Open


Concept Map – Low

Mind Map – Medium to high

Understandability by others:-

Concept Map – High

Mind Map – Low

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