Do you struggle with organizing your scattered thoughts? Or do you simply want to see how you can connect your ideas? Well, mind mapping is what you need. Whether you are just starting to write, or already a professional one, this is for you. We all encounter tangled thoughts at least once in our lives, in one way or another. If you want to know more about how helpful a mind map can be, then read on.
What is a mind map?
Fun fact: this tool has been around for a long time but it became popular only in the 1970s when it was introduced in a television show. To answer the question, a mind map helps organize various information in a way that the human brain can easily process. It helps you record your thoughts, filter overlapping ideas, and properly arrange the flow of your words.
By using this visual diagram, your content becomes coherent and interconnected, increasing your chances of engagement with your readers. Additionally, it can also prompt you to come up with new ideas to support or elaborate the existing ones.
A mind map is not all text. It also uses lines, colors and images to facilitate your brainstorming session.
Types of Mind Maps
Mind maps vary in function and structure. What’s important is that you know what you want to use. You should also determine whether your chosen tool is the best. Depending on what kind of information you are trying to sort out or organize, each type of mind map has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the seven types, with a brief description each.
- Cyclical map: By its name, it means that it represents terms within stages or a cycle.
- Radial map: This is used to split and arrange thoughts which lead to a main goal.
- Comparison map: This type of mind map is used to compare two or more overlapping topics or ideas.
- Linear map: This map represents stages of a process from the beginning to the end.
- Hierarchical map: Its function is to represent topics in an ascending or descending order.
- Interactive map: This is a mind map which involves various data and information.
Now we’ll show you how to make one.
How do you make a mind map for writing?
A mind map may be hand-drawn or computer-generated. Each kind also has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s go through each one.
Hand-drawn Mind Maps
One benefit of using hand-drawn mind maps is that you are free to add your personal touch to it. Like thumbnails, no two hand-drawn maps are the same.
Another is that it is flexible. Here, you are in control of where you place your word and what symbols to use. You can even expand it. Additionally, it helps establish a sense of familiarity between you and your work. Your only disadvantage here is time because it’s quite tedious to do this hand.
Computer-generated Mind Maps
With a click of a button and with the right mind map maker, you’re good to go! With technology, you can now make your mind map online. There are a lot of software applications out there which can cater to your needs. All you need to do is find the right mind map maker.
One benefit of this is easier editing, adding and deleting. Another is that it is multi-dimensional, which means that ideas and thoughts can be presented from different points of view. The only disadvantage is that it would be impersonal, since you won’t be able to put your personal touches.
Let’s go through the steps to making a computer-generated mind map. In just four steps, you’ll have your own mind map.
- Open a mind map drawing page. Then, select a template from the list provided. Make sure to choose the template that best fits your needs.
- Now, feel free to edit the template and add your main topics and subtopics. Don’t worry if it seems like you have a lot of thoughts. You’ll be able to connect them as you go along.
- The third step is to organize the contents of your mind map. You can add shapes, colors, labels and images. Feel free to change and add to your heart’s content.
- Scan through your mind map and see how you can connect your ideas. Here, you can add or erase your earlier inputs depending on what will be more coherent.
And, you’re done! Remember that we all have tangled thoughts, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. Mind maps exist to help writers piece together their ideas in the best way possible. To make things easier, try the Venngage mind map maker. Signing up is free and you can easily edit a template even if you have no design experience.