How to Create a Mind Map

By ThinkBuzan | Posted 7/23/10 | Updated 5/22/23

Begin your Mind Map!

  1. Mind Map ExampleDecide on the topic of your Mind Map — this can be anything at all. You just need a topic to form your central idea. I'm going to plan my holiday.
  2. Take a sheet of plain paper and some coloured pens, and turn the sheet so it's in a landscape position.
  3. In the centre of this page, draw an image that really represents your topic. For my holiday Mind Map, I'm going to draw the beach.
  4. Now label this image for your Mind Map. I'm labelling mine, 'Our Holiday'.
  5. By starting your Mind Map in the middle of the page, you have given your thoughts the freedom to spread out and go in different directions — this is the way you think naturally and it will increase inspiration and creativity!

Branch out your Mind Map ideas

Now this is where Mind Mapping gets really interesting, as your Mind Map stimulates your brain to create new ideas, each one connecting to another thought — see how your ideas flow onto the page!

  • Make thick, colourful branches spanning out from your Mind Map. Make these curvy, as your brain will be more excited by these than straight, monochrome lines.
  • Add your main ideas as you add branches to your Mind Map. To my Mind Map, I'm adding the location of my holiday, how I'm going to get there and where I want to stay. Aim to add 5 or 6 branches.
  • Write these Mind Map ideas in bold colourful capitals and add your ideas as single keywords. By using only one word per branch, you multiply the number of possibilities these thoughts can spark!

Get creative when you Mind Map

To get the most out of Mind Mapping, release your creativity! The more imaginative your Mind Map is, the better, as you will engage all of your senses. Try adding colour, wherever you can! Your Mind Map will have coloured branches and keywords, which will stimulate your brain. Also add images and sketches related to your Mind Map ideas, as this will strengthen your memory of your notes. I'm adding pictures of things I will see on holiday to my Mind Map.

Make Mind Map connections

Use your Mind Map main ideas as inspiration to make associations and connections:

  • Draw smaller branches stemming from your Mind Map keywords. These will be associated ideas, for example, on my holiday Mind Map, I'm adding 'Summer' as a child branch to my 'Where' branch.
  • There is no limit to the number of child branches you can make. Make as many as will fit on your Mind Map page!
  • Your child branches will generate further ideas, and many more levels of child branches. Continue this Mind Mapping process until you have exhausted all of your ideas!
  • Your finished Mind Map can be returned to whenever you want, and more ideas can be added to it.

©2010 by ThinkBuzan. All rights reserved.

BuzanTony Buzan (1942-2019) was the world-renowned inventor of Mind Maps, inspired by techniques used by Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Joseph D. Novak's "concept mapping." ...