Mind maps are, according to definition, a graphical method of taking notes. Their visual basis helps
one to distinguish words or ideas, many a time with colors and symbols. They generally take a hierarchical or tree branch format, with ideas branching into their subsections. Each branch further classify the parent node. Mind maps allow for greater creativity when recording ideas and information, as well as allowing the note-taker to associate words with visual representations. Mind maps differ from concept maps in that mind maps focus on only one word or idea, whereas concept maps connect multiple words or ideas.
An important distinction between mind maps and modelling graphs is that there is no rigorous right or wrong with mind maps, relying on the arbitrariness of mnemonic systems. A UML diagram or a semantic network has structured elements modelling relationships, with lines connecting objects to indicate relationship. This is generally done in black and white with a clear and agreed iconography. Although most of modern day mind mapping software uses graphics and icons as well. Mind maps serve a different purpose: they help with memory and organization. Mind maps are collections of words structured by the mental context of the author with visual mnemonics, and, through the use of colour, icons and visual links, are informal and necessary to the proper functioning of the mind map.