Mind Map – Concept, types and characteristics

We explain what a mind map is and the types of mind maps there are. In addition, its characteristics and programs to carry it out.

Mind Map
A mind map is a connected and ordered set of words, ideas, and pictures.

What is a mental map?

A type of mind map is known as diagram that allows representing different concepts, words, ideas, readings or tasks, graphically arranged in different ways around a keyword or core concept. It is a useful method for extracting and organizing information, as well as a versatile mechanism for associating and expressing ideas on a specific topic.

In general, mind maps are visually arranged and connected sets of words, ideas and pictures starting from a theme or a keyword, which serves as a trigger and connection point for everything represented. In that sense, it is a way of radial thinking.

These types of tools have the objective of represent information in a more dynamic and diverse way, compared to the mere written text, and therefore aspire to facilitate learning and communication, incorporating a novel perspective. Its name comes from there: they are illustrations that reflect the dynamics of thought.

The process of making a mind map is simple: just find the key word or phrase, that is, the core of the map, and then derive related ideas and concepts, organizing them around it as a subtitle, like a ring of ideas.

Each of these derived ideas will in turn be a trigger for new sub-concepts and so on, up to the desired level of detail. Each concept or idea can be represented by words, letters, symbols, or illustrations..

Types of mind maps

Mind Map
Tree maps have the key theme at the top and subsequent ideas are on the decline.

Based on their appearance, mind maps can be of the following types:

  • Circular maps. Those that arrange their information in concentric rings around the keyword, like a circuit or a starfish.
  • Tree maps. Those that resemble a jellyfish: the key or main theme goes to the top and subsequent ideas go down.
  • Rainbow maps. Those that are shaped like a diaphragm, that have the key theme at one end and subsequent ideas unfold in each arc.
  • Honeycomb maps. It is structured based on four small cells with six sides in the center and eight around it, resembling a honeycomb. It is ideal for classifying information and ordering it from the inside out.

Characteristics of mind maps

Mind maps are a versatile and dynamic tool, which combines abstract and free thinking with the rigors of association. In this sense, it is an ideal practice for the exercise of memory and for academic learning, since it allows the student to organize knowledge in their own way.

On the other hand, in the elaboration of a mental map, various expressive mechanisms can be used: drawings, colors, signs, words, etc. This makes the mental map, at the same time, a sample of the way of thinking of those who make it, similar to the maps of cities.

Mind mapping programs

Some online applications to build mind maps are:

  • MindMeister. Equipped with a premium version (4 U $ D) and a free one, it allows functionalities such as adding notes, collaborative work in real time, saving past versions, etc.
  • Mindomo. Also provided with a free and commercial version (6 U $ D), this online application allows you to create, edit and share mind maps with social network contacts.
  • Litpen. This web application is used to create mind maps in the form of a honeycomb, it was launched in 2013 quickly and creatively.
  • Wisemapping. This free site combines vector technology (SVG and VLM) with the dynamic characteristics of web 2.0.
  • Mind42. An online mind mapping tool that has a very friendly interface, which allows you to incorporate images into your work by taking them from a local source, and allows you to preview web links that are part of the scheme.
  • Bubble.es. This page operates based on the technique of brainstorming (brainstorming) and has important features such as the export of mind maps in image format and the incorporation of them in any web page or blog.