How to Use Mind Mapping? Benefits | Research | Software for Students


A mind map is a visual representation of information. A mind map is a hierarchical diagram that depicts relationships between parts of a larger picture.

It is frequently built around a single notion, which is drawn as an image in the centre of a blank page and to which are added related representations of concepts such as images, words, and sections of words. 




Other ideas branch out from the key ideas, which are linked directly to the fundamental concept. 

Hand-drawn mind maps can be used as “notes” during a lecture, meeting, or planning session, or as higher-quality photos when more time is available. Spider diagrams, or mind maps, are a sort of spider diagram. In the 1970s, “idea sun bursting” was a comparable concept


Although British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan coined the term “mind map” the use of diagrams that graphically “map” information via branching and radial maps dates back millennia. 

Educators, engineers, psychologists, and others have used these graphic methods to capture knowledge and model systems for a long time in learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and problem solving. 

Porphyry of Tyros, a prominent scholar of the third century, created some of the earliest examples of such pictorial records when he visually depicted Aristotle’s concept categories. Ramon Llull (1235–1315), a philosopher, employed similar methods. 

The semantic network was created in the late 1950s as a hypothesis to better comprehend human learning, and it was further refined in the early 1960s by Allan M. Collins and M. Ross Quillian. Mind maps have a structure similar to concept maps, which were established by learning specialists in the 1970s, but they are simplified by focusing on a single central important notion. 

Differences between other types of visualisations 

Mind maps and concept maps differ in that mind maps concentrate on a single word or idea, whereas concept maps connect numerous words or ideas. 

In addition, text labels are usually found on the connecting lines/arms of idea maps. Notion maps are based on links between concepts in more diversified patterns, whereas mind maps are based on radial hierarchies and tree topologies showing interconnections with a central ruling concept. Both, on the other hand, can be used as part of a wider personal knowledge base system. 

Modeling graphs: Mind maps, which rely on the arbitrariness of mnemonic systems, have no strict right or wrong. Structured elements model relationships in a UML diagram or a semantic network, using lines connecting items to represent links. 

In most cases, this is done in black and white with a well-defined and agreed-upon iconography. Mind maps, on the other hand, serve a different purpose: they aid recall and organising. 

Mind maps are collections of words arranged by the author’s mental context with visual mnemonics, and are informal and important to the mind map’s proper functioning through the use of colour, icons, and visual links. 

What Is Mind Mapping and How Does It Work? 

Mind mapping is a simple idea in which you make a map or flowchart to help you process information more effectively. It is the use of how the brain processes information in order to promote creativity. 

Mind maps don’t have to be written or drawn in any particular way. A mind map might also be fictitious at times. The latter is more practical for short thoughts and will be more appropriate if you’ve mastered mind mapping. 

Imagine the following scenario to grasp the notion of mind mapping: 

Many times, you have so much knowledge at your disposal that it seem nearly difficult to absorb. 

Let’s say you’re in a music lesson. The chords of a guitar and a piano are eerily similar while also being vastly different. As a beginner, how can you possible organise all of this information? 

The most effective method is to make a mind map. 

All of the components of a mind map will assist you in connecting the knowledge in a way that makes it easier to understand. 

5 Elements of a Mind Map 

You can customise your chosen mind mapping approach to fit your specific needs. 

A mental map, on the other hand, usually comprises five main components. 

Although this isn’t a hard and fast rule, a good mind map usually consists of the following five components: 

  1. A central image 
  2. Branches or relationship arrows 
  3. Keywords or images 
  4. Sub-themes 
  5. Nodal structure 

Some people choose to divide the themes and issues into even more categories, resulting in up to ten components. It’s a progression from the sub-themes. But, once again, the method you use to mind map is entirely up to you. 

What the Elements Stand For 

As a component of the whole, each aspect is significant. Here’s a rundown of what each component does. 

A Central Image 

The main theme or issue is represented by the centerpiece image. As a result, whatever the information is finally connected to becomes the central image. 

You can make it as large or as narrow as you want. The theme is instruments or music, continuing with the example of learning a musical instrument. 


Branches are the next component. Each notion you write down must be connected to at least one other section of the mind map. Any notion that doesn’t connect can’t be included. As a result, branches or relationship arrows must connect all of the thoughts in the mind map. 

Keywords or Images 

There are photos or keywords. There is a lot of detail in certain thoughts and facts. You can’t fit everything into a mind map. 

In order to provide good outcomes, mind mapping must be concise and clear. 

If the concept is too complex to be communicated in a few words, you can use an image or a series of connective keywords. 

Images function very effectively in digital mind maps. 


The sub-themes are the more specific issues that fall under the main subject. Sub-themes for the same musical instrument example include guitar, piano, certain chords, and so on. In a mind map, there are frequently several sub-themes. 

Nodal Structure 

Mind mapping is based on a nodal structure that explains sub-themes and connects everything. Certain notions are broad and encompass a wide range of topics. Without this structure, the concept of mind mapping is incomplete. 

Benefits of Mind Mapping 

Now that you’ve learned what mind mapping is, you’re undoubtedly convinced that it’s a great way to learn. What’s in it for you, though, if you employ this method? 

The advantages of mind mapping are enormous. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on: 

Easy Organization 

There is no better method to arrange information than with a mind map right now. A mind map will put everything in its proper place, no matter how perplexed you are. 

It is simpler to remember information that is organised. Every connection’s visual depiction leaves an impression on your memory. 

Everything begins to make sense, no matter how agitated you are, once you begin to organise all of your ideas in a mental map. There’s nothing more to be concerned about after that! 


Mind maps are the result of a process. The brain is triggered to bring more similar associations to the surface when the brain connects from one keyword to the next, from one image to the next. 

This method will assist you in brainstorming like no other. 

The practise of mind mapping is a fun way to learn. As a result, the brain is completely engaged and focused. This stimulates the development of new ideas and concepts, broadening the scope of the learning process. 

The magic of mind mapping is that it makes even the most complicated information seem simple. These concepts are developed further through brainstorming. 

Here’s an example to help you visualise it: 

You’re attempting to learn a new language. You can link foreign words to images or keywords from the language you know in your mind map. You can use this map to brainstorm common elements that can help you recall the foreign words more readily. 

Prefixes and suffixes are examples of these components. Alternatively, once all comparable terms have been linked up, there may be a special trick that you can identify. While this is very easy to perform with a mind map, it is very impossible to perform with other learning approaches. 

In the end, mind mapping transforms the learning process into a continual cycle of learning growth. 

Assurance of Success 

As previously said, mind mapping is the application of the process of how the brain actually functions. The brain can recall information for a long time by creating links like those in a map. 

There’s no way you won’t be able to learn what you want because mind mapping facilitates this mental process. 

Basically, you will be able to comprehend and recall whatever you desire. There is practically nothing you won’t be able to master once you master mind mapping! 

Time Savings 

This strategy isn’t time-saving in the sense that you may imagine. It may take a significant amount of time to create a mental map, organise all of the information, and then include new ideas. 

You won’t have to spend time on the same theme over and over again because the learning is ensured in one go. 

How to Learn New Skills Using Mind Mapping 

Mind maps are a useful tool that may be used on a daily basis. Use them to make a long to-do list or to aid in the acquisition of new skills. 

Assume you’re a social media content generator, for example. You want to make material that is more engaging. Begin by making a mind map for your posts that is centred on topics. You can include themes you’ve already written about as well as ones you want to write about in the future. 

Then, incorporate any comments you’ve gotten on past blogs. In order for the new postings to perform better, link it to suggested changes or ongoing efforts. 

Using a mind map efficiently is not rocket science. The procedure can be broken down into three mind-mapping processes. You’ll quickly get the hang of it once you start. 

A Few Helpful Tools 

Mind maps can be created in a variety of ways. 

Some people prefer working with a pen and paper, while others prefer a computerised version. 

Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages. Digital mind maps are incredibly easy to modify and change. Adding photographs is more convenient. In addition, digital mind maps are more well-organized and tidy. 

Using a pen and paper, on the other hand, allows the individual’s brain to flow. Writing down your thoughts encourages the brain to make more relevant connections. 

Making a rough version on paper and then transferring it to a digital platform is the best way to get the most out of both ways. You can also start with a software or mind mapping application. 

The following are some of the top free mind mapping tools: 

  • MS Word 
  • Canva 
  • MindMup 
  • Free Mind 


According to Cunningham (2005), “mindmapping helped them understand concepts and ideas in science” for 80% of the students in a user study. 

Other research have found that using mind maps has some subjective benefits. 

Students of art and design, on the other hand, were far more positive about their usefulness than students of computer and information technology, with 62.5 percent and 34 percent (respectively) saying that mind mapping software helped them understand topics better. 

When compared to favoured study methods, Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy (2002) discovered that spider diagrams (similar to concept maps) had a limited but substantial influence on memory recall in undergraduate students (a 10% increase over baseline for a 600-word text only) (a 6 percent increase over baseline). 

The diagram group’s improvement was only sustained after a week, and there was a considerable drop in motivation when compared to the individuals’ preferred note-taking methods. Concept mapping is more effective than “reading text passages, attending lectures, and participating in class discussions” according to a meta research. 

Concept mapping is marginally more effective “than other constructive activities such as writing summaries and outlines” according to the same study. The authors noted that “significant heterogeneity was found in most subsets” yet the results were inconclusive. 

They also discovered that low-ability kids may benefit from mind mapping more than high-ability pupils. 


You don’t have to be stranded ever again. Do you have a creativity block or find it difficult to learn new things in life? Mind mapping is the most effective way to retrain your brain! 

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