How to Create Mind Map Structures That Work

how to create mind mapTonight I have the honour of teaching at a university a group of adult students how to create mind map structures that work. Sure you can create a mindmap. But you probably don’t want to do that, right? You have too little time already. Learning something new will take more time and give you less time with your family and friends.

So what I propose is that you start to use mind maps in a much more practical way. In fact, I call the way I mind map practical mind mapping for a reason. I don’t spend a lot of time mind mapping. I don’t have many mind maps. I even think days, sometimes weeks go by that I don’t even create mind maps. I just update and use the maps that I created before.

The secret to all of this is simple. You need to know how to create mind map structure that work. And I will show you that in this article.


Step 1 on how to create mind map structures that work: The GOAL

structure in a mind mapMake sure you know what your goal is with the map. Do you want to have it for understanding the information better, or is it for a presentation? Do you need it to make it clear to a client that you are the perfect match for them, or are you tired of the stress in your life?

Once you know what your goal is, you can proceed with the map.

You need to know your goal because it affects the outline and presentation of the content. For a presentation you might want to use more images. A map for creating order in information chaos is probably with less images, perhaps even no colors.

Step 2 shows you how to create the mind map structure that works for you

Right, now that you have a goal you have to outline your information, or give it some structure.

Most people do what is told in the mind mapping books they read. They start at the top right hand side and go clockwise to the top left. Nice, but probably not very clear for your brain.

The first thing you should do is just do a short 2 minute brainstorm. Most things on the topic that you can think of in 2 minutes are the ones you need anyway. If you feel or are afraid you lose some items… don’t worry, you will get them in the next stage.

First thing, brainstorm. Put everything you know or find (slightly) relevant on your sheet or computer screen.

AFTER your 2 minutes, you have a look at the information and you put everything in their right place. So start to combine items. Group them with your goal in mind of course. Is the structure as it should be now? May be, but probably not! Here’s why…

The first layer in your mind map is probably still in the same order as you started to create the map. Don’t assume it is correct. You need to put these also in the right place. That could mean that the order of the branches changes. Make sure you put the in such an order that it helps you to achieve your goal.


How To Create Mind Map Structures That Work Is Important

I am sorry… that is all to it for now, just 2 simple steps. Of course I would love to assist you in helping you create a map that is much clearer and to the point.

brainstormEspecially that “to the point” part is important. When I look at the maps people make, I see they are creating these big maps that are good… but not to the point. They don’t help you to increase your understanding or run a better meeting/presentation.

As you can see, I did not try to organize content the moment I added it to the map. Most of the time my maps start out with something like 30 first level topics. These are quickly reduced to perhaps 4 to 6 main topics in the second round.

Stop the urge of wanting to do everything at the same time, perfectly, because you must do that. You don’t have to do that! Enjoy the entire process and benefit from the map you create.

If you have questions, make sure you contact me!

And remember… how to create mind map structures is not a matter of intelligence but much more a matter of following the steps.