How to Make a Mind Map: A Step-by-Step Guide

A mind map is considered a powerful visualization technique, and in this elaborate guide, we will explore the advantages of using a mind map and how to make a mind map with free templates provided by EdrawMind.


Over the years, students and professionals have taken the help of visual elements to find solutions to their problems or simply to organize their thoughts. After multiple research and analysis, experts now recommend creating mind maps. Mind maps are considered a versatile tool that promotes creative thinking and helps in organizing thoughts.

how to make a mind map cover

There are multiple types of mind maps that one can go for when one plans to organize their thoughts. However, the most important question everyone initially faces is how to make a mind map easily. Whether you are a student looking to improve your study techniques, a professional seeking a better way to brainstorm, or just wishing to visualize a long impending problem, we recommend checking this elaborated mind map guide.

In this article
  1. What is a Mind Map
  2. Benefits of Mind Map
  3. How to Create a Mind Map in General
  4. How to Make a Mind Map in EdrawMind
  5. Tips for Optimizing Your Mind Map
  6. Free Mind Mind Mapping Maker
  7. Conclusion

What is a Mind Map

Simply put, a mind map depicts ideas, problems, data, information, or concepts centered around a single topic. When we learn the process of making a mind map, we first discuss the central idea or keyword that sets the ground for brainstorming. This central idea branches out into related subtopics. Since it looks like a neural network of how our mind works, experts have started referring to this sort of graphical representation as a mind map.

Benefits of Mind Map

Mind maps not only help students and professionals organize complex thoughts, but they also provide a way to find connections between different subtopics. Since mind maps mimic the way our brains naturally associate ideas and thoughts, it makes them a powerful brainstorming tool.

Some of the benefits of mind maps are:

  • It encourages a free-flowing, non-linear approach to thinking.
  • The hierarchical and visual structure of mind maps aids in memory retention.
  • A well-curated mind map helps organize complex information in a clear and structured manner.
  • Mind maps enable us to identify the connections between ideas and find solutions.
  • It helps in presentations and meetings to simplify complex topics.

How to Create a Mind Map in General

Now that you have learned the benefits of mind maps, let us help you understand how to create a mind map generically.

🚩 Step 1: Start With Central Idea

Start the mind map creation process by selecting a central idea, keyword, or topic that would represent the core concept of the mind map. This central idea will be placed at the center and will serve as the focal point for all the related information.

🚩 Step 2: Add Main Branches

Start brainstorming with your team members and start drawing the main branches radiating outward from the central idea. Each of these main branches would represent a primary category. We recommend labeling these branches with a brief text; otherwise, it would be very complicated for you to look back at all those branches without any label.

🚩 Step 3: Create Sub-Branches

For each of the main branches, create sub-branches by extending lines outward. These sub-branches would represent more specific details and ideas related to the main categories. Brainstorm with your team members and label these sub-branches with concise descriptors.

🚩 Step 4: Use Keywords

Based on your central idea, topics, and sub-topics, try to incorporate keywords, short phrases, and even simple visual elements like cliparts to represent different ideas within each branch of this mind map. If you have access to different colors of pens, try highlighting to properly categorize the information.

🚩 Step 5: Cross-Link

Once your mind map is ready, try to find different connections between sub-branches. Use a different color of pen or pencil to connect these related branches. These connections will show how different ideas interconnect and contribute to the overall concept.

How to Make a Mind Map in EdrawMind

Now that you have checked the traditional way of creating a mind map, let us help you understand how to make a mind map in just a few clicks with EdrawMind. Head to the official EdrawMind website and download the latest version of this free mind map software and check out the following step-by-step guide to create a mind map.


After downloading EdrawMind to your system, log in to your account to get all the benefits of this mind-mapping software. Once you are in the system, you will find different types of mind maps in the middle and options like New, Open, Import, MindMap Gallery, etc., on the left.

How to Make a Mind Map

Step2Make Mind From a Sketch

If you simply want an outline for the mind map, click on any of the mind maps from the homepage category. This will instantly take you to the EdrawMind Canvas, from where you can start adding the branches and sub-branches to your mind map.

How to Make a Mind Map
Step3Built-in Templates

If you plan to take inspiration from the built-in templates, click on 'MindMap Gallery' on the homepage and search for the mind map category that you require. EdrawMind comes with a template community that offers thousands of built-in templates that can instantly be duplicated. Select a template from this pool and click on 'Duplicate' to instantly duplicate the entire content of the template to your canvas board.

How to Make a Mind Map

Once you are in the EdrawMind canvas, start by replacing the Main Topic name, followed by adding the branches and sub-branches as per your topic of discussion. Use the Floating Bar option from the top toolbar if you need to add some extra details to your mind map.

How to Make a Mind Map
Step5Connection & Share

Once the mind map is ready, brainstorm with your team members and see if you can find some relevant connections between different branches or categories. Use the Relationship, Callout, Boundary, and Summary features to visually represent the connections between the branches or sub-topics. After finding the connections, you can share the mind map in different formats.

How to Make a Mind Map

Tips for Optimizing Your Mind Map

Creating a mind map is easy with EdrawMind. However, there are certain tips that you need to follow if you plan to make the maximum use of your created mind maps, like:

  • Keep It Simple: Focus on the central idea and immediate branches. Try to avoid overcrowding it with too many details at once. Always remember that a clean and uncluttered mind map is great for quick brainstorming.
  • Use Color Codes: Color coding enhances visual organization and also helps your brain to quickly identify different relationships within the map. From EdrawMind's customization option, try assigning different colors to branches and categories.
  • Prioritize Hierarchy: When we prioritize hierarchies, we ensure that the most critical information should stand out from all the different branches. While creating the mind map, arrange the main branches hierarchically, with the most important ideas closest to the Main Topic.

Free Mind Mind Mapping Maker

free mind map maker

When we discuss ways to create mind maps, we tend to incline toward those mind map makers that are developed predominantly for such diagrams. EdrawMind stands out from the crowd because of some amazing features, like:

  • Free of Cost: With EdrawMind, you can create your mind maps for completely free. This is a very rare feature these days as it helps the students to quickly work on their mind maps. The tool also offers a trial period to access all the premium features that are not available in the free version.
  • Traverse Mode: With this free mind mapping software, you can create complex mind maps with ease. With the traverse mode, you can analyze a particular category or branch.
  • Artificial Intelligence: This free mind mapping maker now comes with a built-in AI tool that helps you generate text that helps you in brainstorming sessions.
  • Import & Export Option: EdrawMind offers a wide range of import and export options that ensure that you don't have to be dependent on other third-party tools just to access your files.
  • Cross-Compatibility: This free mind mapping software is available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux, ensuring dynamic cross-compatibility. If you prefer working online, then you can also check EdrawMax Online or mobile applications of this mind mapping tool.


Creating a mind map involves starting with a central idea, branching out into main categories and subtopics, incorporating keywords and visuals, connecting related ideas, and continuously reviewing and refining the map. With EdrawMind, you can create different types of mind maps and customize them to the fullest. The built-in templates of EdrawMind are a winning factor for beginners or for those who are wondering how to make a mind map easily.

EdrawMind logoEdrawMind Apps
Outline & Presentation Mode
Real-time collaboration
22 structures & 47 themes
5,000+ free templates & 750+ cliparts
EdrawMath formula
Generate mind maps, slides, and more with AI
edrawmax logoEdrawMind Online
Outline & Presentation Mode
Real-time collaboration
22 structures & 47 themes
5,000+ free templates & 750+ cliparts
LaTex formula
Generate mind maps, slides, and more with AI

EdrawMind Team
EdrawMind Team Apr 10, 24
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