What Is a Idea Map and Tips on how to Use It


What’s an idea map and why do you have to use one? On this tutorial, we’ll have a look at idea mapping, sensible examples of idea maps, and easy methods to use idea maps your self. 

stock illustrationstock illustrationstock illustration
Inventory Illustration from Envato Components

1. What Is Idea Mapping?

So, what’s an idea map anyway?

Let’s start with a concise idea map definition. Idea maps are a visible software that one can use to symbolize and manage info.

An idea map is a superb software for depicting relationships between concepts. As a graphical software, it will probably make it simpler to know and bear in mind difficult info too.

Idea maps are generally used for:

  • academic functions
  • drawback fixing
  • brainstorming
  • analysis
  • planning
  • and extra

Here is a visible instance of an idea map:

concept mapconcept mapconcept map
Idea Map created utilizing a PowerPoint Template from Envato Components

This can be a easy idea map that was created in Microsoft PowerPoint, though you may use any software program or media of selection. Discover the way it begins with a core idea after which there are branching elements. Every of those elements break down the idea in a hierarchical approach. 

To additional make clear our definition of idea map, let’s check out a few of an idea map’s key elements. 

Ideas, Hierarchy, and Construction

The core of an idea map is simply that: the idea you are trying to manage, symbolize, or clarify. These ideas are often depicted in a field or node within the idea map. 

Here is a easy idea. For example we’ll discover computer systems as a useful resource in a small enterprise. We might begin our idea map with “Pc Utilization” as the start of our map.

Idea maps largely depend on hierarchy and construction to assist convey the idea at hand. So, our laptop idea, let’s begin to break issues down. For example the computer systems are utilized in three alternative ways:

  1. assist
  2. improvement
  3. communication
start of concept mapstart of concept mapstart of concept map

We might add these three ideas to the facet of our idea—they’re mainly sub content material that enhances our fundamental focus. That is visually communicated by issues like the way in which they’re organized and their smaller measurement.

Nodes, Branches, and Connections

And that is the place nodes, branches, and connections begin to are available in. These three sub ideas all relate to our fundamental focus right here—so we will visually join them to additional talk this concept. 

Discover how, with little verbal or textual communication, we will see that the computer systems in our enterprise serve three fundamental features now.

concept map connectionsconcept map connectionsconcept map connections

Group performs a big function right here, as effectively, particularly as our map begins to get extra difficult. We will proceed so as to add sub content material right here, connecting and relating issues as wanted. You could even have cross over—which is why organizing this content material is so essential. 


And, in the long run, we find yourself with a visible illustration of an idea which will have been way more complicated or obscure with no visible support.

On this instance, think about you have been a brand new worker. Having a visible information like this, with regard to how firm computer systems are used, could possibly be a fast and simple approach to higher perceive this info. 

concept mapconcept mapconcept map

Idea Maps vs Thoughts Maps

You might also be conversant in Thoughts Maps—one other visible software that shares some similarity with idea maps. Whenever you’re an idea map definition, it is perhaps simple to confuse the 2. They each visually convey info that tends to be branched. However they very bit on their objective and focus.

Here is an instance of a Thoughts Map. Discover the way it’s extra summary and revolves round thought era. It might nonetheless doubtlessly break down concepts—in a approach just like an idea map—however that is extra of a brainstorming software. Consider it like a method of organizing free flowing inventive ideas round a topic.

mind map vs concept mapmind map vs concept mapmind map vs concept map

Idea maps are usually way more hierarchical and even academic. Like we explored earlier, idea maps are typically branched and targeted on connecting and increasing based mostly on key ideas. 

Here is a fast breakdown of among the variations right here:

Bear in mind, idea maps are usually extra hierarchical. Thoughts Maps are inclined to all stem from one level and are usually extra from a brainstorming viewpoint.

That is to not say each aren’t very helpful, and that typically they won’t have some overlap.

May you employ an idea map to assist manage and brainstorm processes? Completely.

May a Thoughts Map be used to develop an idea—that would in flip be used for an idea map? Sure, and that is in all probability an incredible thought!

2. Examples of Idea Maps

Subsequent, let us take a look at some examples of idea maps and methods you may use them. 

Idea Map Instance: Instructional

Let’s begin through the use of an idea map to elucidate a fancy idea. On this situation, we’ll work from the angle of illustrating an idea so it is simpler for others to know. Idea maps generally is a great software for lecture rooms and different educational conditions. They will additionally work nice for schooling on the whole, whether or not it is within the office or in any other case.

This idea map explores some fundamental software program performance that workers at a mock firm must be conversant in:

concept map templateconcept map templateconcept map template
Idea Map created utilizing a PowerPoint Template from Envato Components

Think about having an idea map like this to information you thru one thing for the primary time. It would show to be a neater to know useful resource, versus merely listening to in regards to the idea or strolling via it with somebody as soon as. A useful resource like this might show to be a robust research information or useful resource—fairly than resorting to asking for a re-explanation.

Idea Map Instance: Strategic

On this instance, an idea map has been used for instance customer support objectives. “Buyer Service” is our core idea. It has been damaged down into a number of goals:

  • objectives
  • statistics
  • platforms
  • outreach

Then, every of those goals is additional damaged down.

strategic concept mapstrategic concept mapstrategic concept map
Idea Map created utilizing a PowerPoint Template from Envato Components

This can be a visible approach to clarify a plan. An strategy like this could possibly be notably helpful in enterprise documentation and shows. Think about sharing an infographic like this with shareholders or members of an organization to elucidate how a selected technique is approached.

Idea Map Instance: Organizational

This idea map breaks down organizational hierarchy in a visible approach. On this situation, for instance this idea map illustrates the hierarchy in a single division. It begins on the prime, with the division head, after which branches into completely different organizational segments.

concept map organizationalconcept map organizationalconcept map organizational
Idea Map created utilizing a PowerPoint Template from Envato Components

A useful resource like this might serve many functions. It might assist illustrate an individual’s function in bigger group. It might additionally assist additional illustration who stories to who, and the order of how issues are processed on the group. It might additionally assist visually illustrate who handles what duties, and the way they may relate and even cross over.

2. Tips on how to Use a Idea Map

Let’s walkthrough the method of making an idea map collectively. On this instance situation, we’ll use this Idea Map PowerPoint Template from Envato Components. It makes it very simple to create a fantastically designed, skilled trying idea map rapidly and easily.

For our idea map, let’s visually break down the most effective content material to incorporate in a resume. We might use an idea map like this as an academic software.

For instance, perhaps we’re instructing a category for brand spanking new graduates who’re making ready their first resume. Or perhaps we’re engaged on our personal resume—you may use an idea map to totally listing every facet that must be addressed in your submission.

Step 1

Let’s begin at first. The overarching idea right here is “Constructing a Nice Resume“. Once more, I am working in Microsoft PowerPoint, however you may use any software program of your selection—the truth is, you may even use a pencil and paper to create your idea map.

concept map startconcept map startconcept map start

Step 2

Then, we will break this down into a few completely different smaller ideas:

  • analysis (surveying the job market, bookmarking alternatives)
  • content material (the knowledge you may embody)
  • presentation (the design and format)

This can be a good place to begin for our idea map.

concept map additionsconcept map additionsconcept map additions

Step 3

Discover how the content material right here has been organized, and the way all of them department from the core idea. Every of those items are part of the bigger topic at hand.

beginning a concept mapbeginning a concept mapbeginning a concept map

Step 4

Then, we will break up these subtopics even additional. For instance, let’s take a look at the Content material part. We’d desire a resume to incorporate issues like:

  • contact information
  • work historical past
  • ability set
concept map additionsconcept map additionsconcept map additions

Step 5

Discover how our idea map makes it simpler to visualise the quantity of content material that’ll have to enter this mission.

For instance, beneath Contact Data, we might listing what Contact Data might be included. Data like:

  • an electronic mail tackle
  • a web site URL
  • or a cellphone quantity 
concept map tiersconcept map tiersconcept map tiers

Step 6

And as we construct out our idea map, we’re given a much bigger image of the mission at hand. Not solely does this take the mission and make its elements extra visible—it may also be an effective way to establish any potential gaps.

For instance, maybe in our plan we notice that we have to add references. This could possibly be one thing that applies in each our analysis and our content material sections—as a result of we would have to contact and make sure references, and we would want to incorporate this info in our content material. 

concept map crossoverconcept map crossoverconcept map crossover

Step 7

And this is our full content material map. That is only a easy instance—you may push this a lot additional if you happen to wished to! PowerPoint makes it simple to repeat, paste, transfer, and edit gadgets to create a properly designed infographic. 

infographic concept mapinfographic concept mapinfographic concept map

This is only one potential approach somebody might use a Content material Map—it could possibly be used to elucidate so many various kinds of ideas, from educational to skilled. Use them to plan out tasks, use them to assist clarify complicated topics, and extra.

Need to Be taught Extra About Microsoft PowerPoint?

PowerPoint might be an incredible software for idea mapping—but it surely’s additionally an incredible selection for presenting content material like this too!

You may be taught much more about working in Microsoft PowerPoint, proper right here, at Envato Tuts+. Why not take a look at these free tutorials at present?

Obtain Infographics, Shows, and Extra on Envato Components

Engaged on an idea map, a presentation, or different skilled mission? Then you need to take a look at Envato Components. It is an incredible useful resource for inventive professionals. One low worth will get you limitless entry to hundreds of professionally designed property.

Discover Envato Components

envato elementsenvato elementsenvato elements
Get limitless entry to hundreds of professionally designed property with Envato Components

Listed below are only a few of the methods Envato Components can take your workflow additional:

  • Want an infographic? Envato Components has you lined. Select from hundreds of graphics that you may customise any approach you want.
  • Making a presentation? Obtain fantastically designed shows in PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote—simply add your content material and also you’re executed.
  • How about graphics, fonts, and inventory images? Envato Components has all that and extra. 

Reap the benefits of limitless downloads at present with Envato Components. It truly is the final word inventive subscription.

Be taught Extra About Presenting Concepts, Communication, and Extra

You may be taught much more about shows, enterprise practices, communication, and extra right here at Envato Tuts+. Check out these articles at present to assist take your online business expertise to the subsequent degree.

Use Idea Mapping to Arrange, Visualize, and Talk Content material

Idea maps are such versatile instruments. You need to use them in so some ways, throughout so many alternative fields. Use them as a studying support or for mission administration. Idea maps may also be an incredible software for managing information too—conserving greatest practices updated in a collective useful resource.

Now that you understand about idea maps, how will you employ them in your skilled duties?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here