How to make a mind map in 3 steps?

There are many learning methods, each more revolutionary than the next. How about going back to basics? Today we are looking at the mind map, which really adapts to the way your brain works. It is just as well suited for taking quick notes as it is for brainstorming or reviewing exams! The only problem? You still have to know how to master it! Don't panic, we will show you how to make a mind map ⬇️


The mind map, perfect for finding your way 🗺️


The heuristic map - or mind map - was invented in the 1970s by British psychologist Tony Buzan. It is presented in the form of a tree; each branch being associated with a concept. Its goal? Synthesize notions and ideas by visually representing your thoughts.


💡 A study was conducted to measure the effectiveness of the mind map. According to the MMS Trends Survey Report, mind mapping clarifies certain concepts for 92% of respondents. The numbers don't lie!


Yes, the mind map is both an educational and creative tool, very useful for establishing logical links between the different notions of your course, organizing your ideas, and clarifying the main information. It is therefore a very effective learning method! Here’s what it looks like:



There is no typical profile for mind map users, it can stimulate any brain that needs to organise itself. Moreover, it is very frequently used in the professional context: knowing how to make a mind map will surely be useful to you later!


💡 Good to know: the mind map is particularly appreciated by those who have a visual memory since it allows you to memorise a concept at a glance.

In addition, all fields lend themselves to it: history, French, law, biology... it's a real chameleon, subject to mastering the technique. Patience, we're getting there!

Do you want to know your memory type? Check out this article on memorisation!


Step 1: the basis of the mind map


The first step to making your map is to define the central subject. Easy! It can be a course subject, an objective, an idea Write it in the centre of a white sheet and circle it.


💡 For example, let's take the Cold War. Once the heart of the mind map has been found, you have to think about everything related to it. The mental map has a central idea and its tree structure makes it possible to explore all the additional notions ; it is therefore necessary to think carefully about the branches so as not to forget any.


👉 When we talk about the Cold War, we think of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Marshall Plan, the space conquest All these elements will act as branches in your mind map. Help yourself with your course - or better, your files - to be sure to cover everything well!


To make your task easier, consider prioritising your ideas to define the branches of your mind map and their relationship to the central idea.


Step 2: add the branches of the mind map


You can now start building your mind map by adding the branches you have predefined around the central idea. At the end of these, you will find additional information or sub-themes.


👉 To start the branches, we can for example have

- ideological confrontation

- military confrontation

- technological confrontation.

💡 Advice: Ideally, do not exceed 5 words per idea. It is an exercise of synthesis and not of writing! This is important if you want to increase the chances of retaining key concepts.


… and the sub-branches


From there, add branches related to the ideas added in step 2. The sub-branches are simply the ideas that stem from the large branches previously created. Still with the Cold War, here are the sub-branches that we could find:

- The ideological confrontation: on one side capitalism and on the other, communism

- military confrontation: the Korean War, the Cuban crisis, and other peripheral confrontations

- the technological confrontation: the advent of nuclear power, the conquest of space, etc.


👉 As you will have understood, these branches will themselves give rise to new branches aimed at exploiting all the notions of the heart. You can then refine your mind map as much as you want!

💡 Advice: Be careful to structure the space of your sheet well so as not to overload your mental map and be able to understand it later. Too much information could

quickly make it unreadable! For these first steps, use a pencil so that you can correct yourself if necessary.


Step 3: personalise your mind map


Once the basics are laid, you can make it more visually meaningful by adding drawings, colour codes, symbols, arrows... have fun and by putting your heart into it is the whole point of the mind map 🎉


👉 These elements can help you better remember the information and the links between the different notions. These are very effective mnemonic devices! For example, you can draw small symbols to evoke certain events:

- War: 💥

- The deal: 👍

- A treaty: ✏️

- One event leading to another: ↪️

- etc.


Bonus: the digital option 💻

Not very fond of paper mind maps? That's good, there are digital solutions to build your projects in a few clicks. This software will be super useful for you to save time and tame the beast.

- Mind Meister is an easy-to-handle tool, specially designed to make mind maps superfast.

- In the same style, there is Whimsical or the Xmind application.

- You can also use Canva if you are more creative, but it will be more tedious!


👉 You will be able to add images, colour, different fonts, shapes... Enough to anchor the information in your memory for good! 😉


💡 On the other hand, we still advise you to start sketching your mind maps on paper before digitising them.


The reason is simple: you will learn your course much better by going through the handwritten way. A study conducted by neuroscientists has shown that writing by hand is essential for properly assimilating information. Mind maps are no exception to the rule!


Then, because it's much more pleasant to give free rein to your creativity on paper. You’ll quickly see that you won't get tired of these works of art 🎨


The best of both worlds


💡 If you like the creativity of paper and the practicality of digital, take a look at SCRIBZEE®. It's our free application that allows you to digitise a wide range of Oxford products.


You can then create your mind map manually; a notebook is perfect for this exercise - before scanning them with the application. They will be saved on your phone, and you will have access to them when you need them.


👉 It's much more practical than taking a picture of your mind map and looking for it in your photo gallery before an exam. On SCRIBZEE®, everything is stored infolders, accessible at any time, even in offline mode.


In addition, you can directly share your documents with your friends from the application. You can share your mind maps after a group work session or before an exam. It really is an application that brings people closer 🤝


You are lost? Take out your mind map!

As you will have understood, making a mind map is not complicated. It is even the most effective complement to your files or your course. At a glance, you will have the crucial information and concepts to revise and pass your exam 👏