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Mind Map Elements

What is a Mind Map

Mind Map is a graphical and hierarchical representation of ideas that radiate outward from one main topic to associated subtopics using keywords and other graphic elements to trigger memory.

What is Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a technique of capturing ideas associated with a topic and visually arranging them in radiant format using keywords on a paper or mind mapping software as your thoughts come to you. There are some unique elements that are used to create a mind map which are listed below.

Hierarchy (Levels)

  • Some topics are related to other topics. Particularly there are topics that can be divided into a number of specific topics.
  • Hierarchy is established when a topic forms a relationship with above and below topics.
  • In hierarchy, a topic that is in the topmost level is represented as the map’s central topic or title.
  • From the central topic come 1st level topics that are related to the central topic, and from 1st level topics come 2nd level topics that are related to the 1st level.


  • Direction represents a way of expressing your thoughts logically in directional flow.
  • Some maps are radial, expressing thoughts in all directions, and some maps are straight, expressing thoughts in progression.
  • It is especially important whichtype of direction is selected when working on a project-planning map that needs to express progression from start to finish.
  • MindMapper is developed to easily create maps while providing powerful mapping environment and features.


  • The map title is the central idea of your mind map. It is the central point where other topics branches out from it.


  • A topic is the basic unit of a mind map. When you add a topic, you create a new branch that leads out to sibling or child topic.


  • Though branch may be a very small component of a map, it still carries an important function. Branch connects two closely related topics. And the number of branches that can be created in each level is unlimited.


  • Level represents hierarchy of branches formed around the central topic. You can think of it as tree rings or ripples on water to get a better understanding. The commonality of this is that they spread out from the center.
  • Likewise, this pattern can be applied on a map in organizing information as thoughts radiates from a central topic.
  • Number of branches created can be limited by the physical memory of the computer you are using, however, theoretically speaking it is limitless.
  • Looking at the example map above, 1st level branches consist of 3 branches. Of these 3 branches, the 1st or the top branch consists also of 3 branches and these are 2nd level branches.

Legend (Icons)

  • Legends are small graphical icons that are inserted into topics. They are used to mark topics.


  • Clipart or any images can easily be added to the map. Clipart or image facilitate understanding of the map.


  • Note is used to add long text.


  • Detailed scheduling can be added in order to manage projects. Adding schedule gives you option to view it in Gantt chart and assign resources.

Basic Mind Mapping Workflow

  1.  Brainstorm – Pour out your thoughts.
  2.  Organize – Logically arrange information and add properties.
  3.  Schedule – Prioritize and assign schedule to follow through.
Previous Brainstorming activity
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