Elements of effective mind maps

Elements of effective mind maps

One disadvantage of mind mapping software is that it brings with it a whole set of specialized terminology. This can be particularly daunting to new users of it, who ask questions like what are Basic Ordering Ideas? Why and how should I incorporate images and icons into my mind maps? What are floating topics? When should I use them? How can I turn topics into tasks?

Faced with a set of unfamiliar tools, new users of mind mapping software often aren’t sure where to turn. The online manuals of most programs are only helpful up to a point. They tell you WHAT each element is and how to create it, but they usually don’t explain why you would want to do so – and the best practices for utilizing it. In addition, when you first open a mind mapping application, you’re faced with a blank slate. You could do so much, if you only knew what was possible.

That’s the purpose of this new blog post series – to help you understand the basic building blocks and concepts of mind mapping software, and how to use each of them to create better mind maps.  Here is a list of these articles:

Increase the visual impact of your mind maps with images and color

How to use icons and symbols to improve the clarity of your mind maps

How to add visual dimension to your mind maps with a background image or color

Leverage the awesome power of links in your mind maps

Legends: How one small enhancement can make your mind maps much easier for others to interpret

What are boundaries and how can they increase the effectiveness of your mind maps?

Topic notes: A powerful repository for capturing expanded information in mind maps

What are basic ordering ideas and how can they improve your mind mapping?

First-level topics: 15 tips to build a stronger foundation for your next mind map

Floating topics: How and when to use them in your mind maps

Improve your productivity with mind map templates

How to manage tasks and simple projects with a mind map

How to use callouts to make your maps easier to understand

XMind

view all of the mind mapping software guides