Create a mind map

One Mindmap is according to its translation and definition a map of your thoughts. Creatively and graphically illustrate the paths your thoughts take when they revolve around a particular topic with a mind map. On the mind map you collect your associations. You use it to represent your mental connections and thus leave visible traces of your brainstorming session.

Creating a mind map: this is how you do it right / Photo: bruno cervera / unsplash

With the mind map you can:

  • visualize ideas
  • collect associations
  • Create shortcuts
  • be creative
  • remember more easily

Who developed the mind map and why?

The mind map was developed in the 1970s by psychologist Tony Buzan. The brain physiology had determined that the left brain hemisphere processes linear and logical connections, the right brain hemisphere on the other hand has more pictorial power of imagination. Buzan specifically wanted Activate both hemispheres of the brain, to use the full potential of the brain. For this reason he developed the mindmap.

A mind map does not try to put thoughts in a linear order and sort them behind or below each other like lists or tables do. Instead, you sort your thoughts on a mind map in a tree structure. Around a central concept in the middle, branches are formed concise keywords collected. At the end you get a structure that looks like a tree from a bird’s eye view.

Who developed the mindmap and why? Photo: rawpixel / unsplash

Create a mind map – this is how it works!

Let your thoughts and associations run free! Do not censor anything! Any idea can become important. You can always make cross-outs later on.

What you need to create a mind map:

  • A blank sheet of paper.

Not even the lines or boxes should in any way give you guidelines, impose a structure and limit your creativity.

You turn the paper to landscape format. Our eyes are arranged in such a way that they can wander back and forth better on a sheet in landscape format. To "think outside the box" when creating the mind map To be able to see your thoughts and ideas, the landscape format corresponds better to our brain. Also, you should be able to read all the terms later without having to turn the sheet in the process. The landscape format offers more space for this.

1. Choose a central concept

In the middle of the paper, write the concept that is central to the topic of your project. This brings the central concept into focus spatially. Write in large and legible block letters. Process print as an image rather than a word. This stimulates the right hemisphere of the brain and releases ideas that help to create the mindmap.

If you have found a picture that fits perfectly, then stick this picture in the middle of the sheet as a central starting point for the mind map.

2. Draw main branches

Draws lines from the concept in the center to the outside! These first lines from the center to the outside are also called main branches. The mindmap grows into a tree structure.

By the way, Tony Buzan, the developer of the mind map technique, recommended not to draw rigid, straight lines, but to let slightly curved, organic connections emerge. It is also best to avoid too much white space between the terms, otherwise the brain will remember the "gaps" later on must remember.

3. Write keywords at the ends of the lines

Write only one keyword per branch, not more than one. If you run out of lines, you can simply add another one. Short, crisp and concise keywords are perfect. Keywords can be verbs, nouns, or even adjectives, but not complete sentences.

As soon as something is formulated, it does not allow any more extensions. But the mindmap you create just to make this possible. The mindmap should be expandable at any time and to all sides.

4. Connecting branches with each other

How are the keywords related to each other?

Use colors, arrows, geometric figures, stick figures, or other symbols to connect related thoughts and relate your keywords. You can also frame terms or add a question mark or exclamation mark to emphasize them.

Mindmap 2.0: Create a mindmap for myself and others

First of all, the mindmap does not have to be understandable to anyone but yourself!

Our own mindmaps are difficult to understand by others. Sometimes they seem to lack any sense. However, you may still want to present your mind map to others, for example, because it helps you to understand the branch groups Status of your thoughts and preparations can illustrate. Then the terms you have written down on the branches should be well understood by others. In this case you should create another mindmap after the first one.

If you can find simple generic terms for many branches, you can use Mindmap 2 to structure your work.0 also summarize branch groups conceptually. It is also conceivable that a term suddenly seems to explode your mind map and triggers many further associations. Then it is best to create another mind map for this idea.


Creating a mindmap is a creative technique that is perfect when you can take liberties with the design of a project. Mindmaps are ideal for collecting ideas for presentations, seminar papers or essays. If you don’t know yet how you want to structure your work, a mindmap is the perfect start!

All ideas are still equal when collected and can be related in different ways. Nothing is fixed, remains immovable or becomes a fixed idea. All terms can be quickly added to the mindmap regrouped and put in a different order bring.

If something follows from something else, you have to learn a hierarchy, causal connections, a curriculum vitae or historical data in a fixed chronological order, then it is of little help to you to create a mind map. In this case, other learning methods are clearly more suitable.

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