Southern Cross School of Distance Education logo

Southern Cross School of Distance Education

Southern Cross School of Distance Education

Providing quality distance education since 1995

Mind maps

Mind maps are a one-page visual overview of a topic or concept. They are generally organised and structured to show the hierarchy and relationship between information.

For your mind maps to be more effective and useful in helping you remember and understand information, consider these tips:

  • create your own rather than copying from someone else – it will be personal and meaningful to your learning
  • write and draw on paper (A3 or A4) rather than typing on a computer as you can be more creative and freer in your design
  • make your mind maps colourful – use many different coloured pens, highlighters or pencils
  • include pictures or symbols – they are much easier to remember than words as we tend to think in pictures
  • curved lines are more visually pleasing to the eye than straight lines
  • use key words, as well as short and meaningful phrases, not paragraphs of content

Follow these steps to create your own mind maps:

1.     Write your central idea or topic in the middle of the page

2.     Draw lines out from the centre connecting to subheadings related to the central topic

3.     From each subheading, draw more lines out connecting to the next level down of information

4.     Key words or processes can be written along the lines and at the end of them, with the lines becoming thinner the further you move away from the central topic

5.     Continue this process, adding additional layers of information and including relevant images, facts, statistics, examples and linking terms

For more information on how to create mind maps and access her Mind Mapper's Toolkit: