Help And Support

What is Mind Mapping


Mind mapping is a simple technique for drawing information in diagrams, instead of writing it in sentences. The diagrams always take the same basic format of a tree, with a single starting point in the middle that branches out, and divides again and again. The tree is made up of words or short sentences connected by lines. The lines that connect the words are part of the meaning.

Compare these two ways of representing the same information

As plain text: "Our main revenue comes from machinery sales and service (although the training area is weak), with the North American market being the strongest, while the raw materials supplies division is under-performing against expectations."

As a fragment of a mind map:

Mind mapping example

To understand text, you have to read it. Reading is a two step process; first you interpret the sentences, then you create a mental image and hold it in your mind. To understand a mind map, you can see it. A mind map directly represents the mental image that you would create from text. You can get to the meaning in one step, not two.

We can easily focus on the parts that are important. The information is not flat and lifeless, but becomes interactive and worth exploring. It raises questions and makes us think. It starts to turn information into knowledge, insight and actions.

Compare the views below with the one above, to see how we can shift our focus with a couple of clicks.

What other activities generate revenue? What else could we be doing?

mind mapping activity revenue

How can we replicate our success in the American market?

mind mapping region revenue

Imagine you were in a meeting discussing ways to improve business. Which would be better - the original text in a printed report, or the "mind map" version projected on the wall for everyone to discuss?

Why are maps based on trees?

Trees reflect how our minds work, because we always seek patterns. Given two examples of something, most people will naturally think of a third, or will work out why there is no third. Trees encourage and capture this thought process efficiently and clearly. And using software means you can deal with much more information than you could on paper, and easily rearrange it to suit your purposes.

Do I need to learn "mind mapping" to use Mindomo?

No - you will get value and benefits from Mindomo by using it in any way that feels right for you. It is much more important to know what you want to achieve, than to be an expert in a technique. Many people make maps without a real purpose behind them, but if you are focused on achieving something then the maps will take you forward much more quickly.

If you want to collaborate with others and share your maps, then the only thing you need to agree is how you interpret the information in the map - how you distinguish ideas, decisions, actions and priorities. Mindomo has a rich set of graphics that make this easy.

Learning from the gallery

Take a moment to browse through the public map gallery. Try to guess what the author of each map wanted to achieve with their map. In most cases, it is not so easy to see. You can learn a lot from trying to understand other people's maps, and seeing what works well, and what doesn't. What would have helped you to understand their map better? Make sure to include it in your maps!

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