A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items related to a key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid to study and organize information, solve problems, make decisions, and writing. Other terms include "spidergram" and "spidergraph" (common in British English), but can cause confusion with the term "spider diagram" used in mathematics and logic. Some academic research has validated their methods.
The constituent elements of a mind map are arranged according to the importance of the concepts. Elements are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.
By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, nonlinear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizing tasks. Although the branches of a mindmap represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the priority of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a conceptual framework in particular.
The mind map can be contrasted with the very idea of concept maps. The first is based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept, whereas concept maps are based on the connections between the concepts in more diverse patterns. However, you can be part of a personal knowledge base.