Mind Map Template

Mind Map Template, within the Milanote app

Map out your ideas and make connections

A mind map is a type of information diagram that helps you explain the relationship between a central topic and all of its sub-topics. They're also a great way to structure information visually, making a concept or idea easier to understand.

Mindmaps have come a long way since drawings on paper. Digital mind maps can include tasks, images and even videos. You can also invite team members from all over the world to get involved.

In this simple guide, you'll learn the modern approach to creating a digital mind map using Milanote. Remember, the creative process is non-linear, so feel free to move through these steps in a different order or repeat any if you need to.

Mind maps are a part of the essential templates for brainstorming.

  • Explore ideas
  • Organize visually
  • Share with your team
  • Gather feedback
  • Export to PDF

Create a simple mind map in 6 easy steps

Whether you’re a project planner, strategic thinker, or manager, follow this easy step-by-step guide to learn the modern way to create a Mind Map in Milanote, a free tool used by top creatives.

1. Begin with your topic

Start by adding a note describing your mind map's central topic. This subject represents the main theme you want to explore and understand better. Draw a circle around it or do something to make it visually distinct. It should be clear that it's the focal point of the diagram.

Mindmaps can help understand a lot of topics. Here are a few mind map examples:

  • Projects & product planning
  • Design systems & interactions
  • Character relationships
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Personal goals & development
  • Learning new subjects
  • Event planning
  • General problem solving
image step1 mind map

2. Add primary branches

Branches extend from the central topic, representing different subtopics or related ideas. These branches serve as alternative pathways to expand upon and explore connections in more detail. Branches are an essential part of mind mapping as they encourage associative thinking. Here are some things to consider to help improve branches in your mindmap:

  • Use short and clear phrases: Keep the text on branches concise and straightforward. This ensures that the mind map remains visually uncluttered and easy to understand.
  • Follow a logical flow: Arrange branches logically, usually from the centre, radiating outwards. This ensures that the mind map is easy to navigate.
  • Leave enough space: Give each branch enough space to expand and add additional details. Avoid overcrowding the mind map.
  • Connect related branches: Use lines, dotted lines or arrows to connect branches that are related or have a cause-and-effect relationship.
  • Be flexible: Mind maps are dynamic tools, so don't be afraid to adjust the branches as needed. Allow branches to evolve and adapt as your understanding of the topic grows.
image step2 mind map

3. Add secondary branches

After you've added the first set of branches to your mind map, the next step is to add sub-branches. These should be more granular in detail and more specific but still relate to the branch they've come from. They can include ideas, questions, tasks or comments.

For example: If the central topic is "How do people get to work?", the first branch might be Public transport, and the sub-branches could be Bus or Train.

image step2 mind map
Pro tip:

The depth of branches in a mind map can vary based on the complexity of the topic. There is technically no strict limit on how many you can create; however, as the number of branches increases, the mind map may become tricky to read and navigate.

4. Add images and videos

Adding in visuals can simplify complex ideas or relationships, so be open to adding in drawings, images or videos as they may provide a more intuitive representation of information.

Well-known English author Tony Buzan once said—"A mind map is a way of organizing and representing information visually, using images, colors, and words. It taps into the brain's natural ability to think in pictures."

Be mindful not to add too many visuals, as it could become cluttered and distract from the main points. Striking the right balance between text and visuals is key to creating a powerful and informative mind map.

image step4 mind map

5. Organize your mind map

When you've finished adding ideas, it's time to review the branches and add some structure. You can do this by assessing each one for relevance and how it connects back to the central topic. Use spacing as a way to represent relationships. Arrange the most important elements closer to the central topic and place ones with more specific details farther away.

Adding visual hierarchy to your mind map makes it easier for viewers to understand what topics are related. Try adding color and scale to help define what information is most or least important and lines and arrows to represent what direction information flows.

Keep organizing your mind map until the information appears easier to follow and understand.

image step5 mind map

6. Share it with your team

When you've finished arranging, it's time to invite your team to edit or add any ideas they may have. Mind maps are also a great way to brainstorm ideas together, so they're the perfect tool for kicking off new projects. Used correctly mind maps promote clarity around a certain topic, ensuring everyone's on the same page.

image step6 mind map

You're done!

Mind mapping is a versatile and powerful technique that can be applied to various aspects of life from work to personal development. A well-structured mind map provides a practical solution for organizing and understanding information in multiple ways.

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