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What is a Mind Map / Concept Map?
By SmartDraw.com

A Mind Map (or a Concept Map) is the product of brainstorming on paper. It consists of a central idea (normally represented by a large circle), related ideas (smaller circles), and lines connecting them together. They are sometimes referred to as Concept or Cognitive maps.

Typical Uses

Minds Maps encourage a more creative approach to problems, so they are helpful when very complex issues arise and need a solution that is not immediately apparent. Mind maps are also good when collaborating on projects with team members because they lend coherence to ideas that might seem otherwise unrelated.

Mind Map Example

A Mind Map Example

Best Practices

  • The central idea. Determine the central or main idea for your Mind Map. Start by drawing a large circle in the center of the page, leaving plenty of room on all sides. Next, write the central idea or problem in the circle.
  • Brainstorm. Every time a thought about your central idea comes to mind, write it down on the page, and draw a smaller circle around it.
  • Connect the thoughts. As you brainstorm add lines to connect circles that are related. If the idea is directly related to the central idea, connect them with a line. If the idea is related to a sub idea, then draw a line between them.
  • Analyze. Once you have brainstormed for a while, analyze the mind map. Having organized your thoughts may cause a pattern to surface.

About SmartDraw.com

SmartDraw.com is the creator of SmartDraw, the world’s most popular business graphics software and the first program that makes it possible for ordinary computer users to create presentation-quality business graphics in minutes. Each year more than two million people install and use SmartDraw and the company counts more than half of the members of the Fortune 500 as loyal customers.

Founded in 1994, SmartDraw.com is privately-held and based in San Diego, CA. In addition to SmartDraw 2008 for general business and home use, the company also offers SmartDraw Healthcare and SmartDraw Legal editions which include graphics and applications unique to their respective fields. For more information on the company or to download a free trial of SmartDraw, please visit www.smartdraw.com.

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