In our day to day, we have at our disposal a whole series of tools or instruments whose main purpose is to improve our productivity and be more efficient, either in our work or in our studies. One of these most valued instruments are mind maps or concept maps , graphics that serve as great support to organize the ideas that we have in our heads, since they allow us to summarize a lot of information in key concepts or terms.
To begin with, a mind map is a diagram that represents ideas and concepts that start from a main idea. This basic idea starts from a central point to which related ideas, words and even pictures are linked. To these secondary branches other ideas can be added, making connections through lines, like the branches of a tree. In short, a mind map is a graphic and organized representation of your ideas, related to each other based on a main concept.
The final diagram that will be left will be the embodiment of our thoughts on paper , since the elaboration process works just like the human brain: imagining and associating. Thus, when we project information that contains images that have been made by us, we find it easier to find connections between one idea and another.
These concept maps are highly valued as they maximize productivity and creativity and allow you to organize ideas in a clear and concise way. It is easier for us to remember the data on some subject if we see it represented in graphs.
Benefits of idea maps
Here are some of the practical uses that we can give to a mind map:
– Study tool : There are many students who learn better in a visual, more schematic way. Mind maps are a perfect study tool for these people, being a graphic representation.
– Organization of ideas : Thanks to mind maps we can get an overview of very broad topics in a simple way. Starting from a central axis, we can connect all the information that we handle through secondary branches.
– Brainstorming ( Brainstorming ) : These graphic maps can also be used to brainstorm, that is, we can develop an initial concept until we reach another concept that we finally decided as good.
These are some of the functions of these charts, but there are many others: making decisions, storing information, defining objectives, speaking in public, making effective presentations …
Online tools to make mind maps
Thanks to new technologies, we can currently find a large number of online tools to create mind maps in an intuitive and simple way. Two of the best in Spanish are:
– ExamTime : It is one of the most popular tools in Spanish, since it has many resources to help the educational sector. Mind maps, however, are the jewel in the crown. ExamTime is a web page where we can create and share our mind maps in the simplest possible way. It also gives us the option to print the map to review or expose it in public.
To use ExamTime we must register on the web platform, simply with our email and a password. The service is free and stands out above all for the final appearance of the graphics, very careful and visual. In addition, we can access our graphics from any device: mobile phone, tablet or computer.
– EDraw Mindmap : It is another very interesting resource, in Spanish and free . In this case it is a program that we must download . It has a very varied range of tools and allows adding all kinds of content to the map. From the main window of the program we will have access to all the tools it has, from text boxes to arrows, symbols or backgrounds of all kinds. To guide the novice user, EDraw Mindmap has sample layouts.
There are many other tools for building mind maps, but most are in English. It should be noted, above the rest, Text2MindMap , Popplet , MindMeister or Bubble.us.
The possibilities of mind maps, in short, are endless and their elaboration is no mystery. Thanks to these schemes we will enhance our creativity, save time, better remember concepts and clearly define our goals and decisions.