Mind map and concept map

The mind map and concept map are two very practical tools for organizing your ideas, state of the art and methodology.

mind map and concept map

When new knowledge is integrated and connected to existing knowledge, this new knowledge is easier to understand and map.

Concept map is defined as:

  • A network of interconnected concepts
  • Good for knowledge map and content gap analysis
  • Mapping for tacit knowledge and content that has many-to-many relationships
  • More logical
  • Verifiable due to his login words
  • Difficult to modify if more than 20 nodes

The concept mapping (webbing) technique was developed by Dr. Joseph D. Novak of Cornell University. He defines concept maps as graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, also called nodes, and relationships between concepts indicated by a line and words on the line. The words on the front are linking words or linking phrases.

Put simply, the concept map is a network of interconnected concepts. Novak's team has several suggestions for making a decent concept map.

See the XMind tutorial or the dedicated course on our site: https://www.xmind.net/blog/en/concept-map-tutorial/

Mind map and concept map mind map

A concept map is a visual presentation of information and details. Concept maps can have different designs such as tables, graphs, graphic designs, flowcharts, and Venn diagrams. Using concept maps is an effective learning strategy since concept maps visually demonstrate facts. Thus, it will help the students to memorize the facts easily.

In addition, concept maps offer students the opportunity to understand relationships more clearly. Concept maps can also be used to analyze information and compare and contrast it. Ideas and related relationships are clearly demonstrated in concept maps. For example, we can demonstrate the process of making yogurt using concept maps, especially using a flowchart.

This strategy of using a concept map not only works for school learners, but also helps adults in the workplace understand different topics and relationships. Concept maps help encourage brainstorming and high-level thinking. At the same time, it gives clear communication of complex ideas.

Why a mind map?

Mind map is defined as:

  • a tree to organize information
  • Ideal for brainstorming, idea generation and quick note taking
  • For nodes that have simple, mostly one-to-one relationships
  • More flexible
  • Not verifiable
  • Easy to modify even for large maps

The term Mind Mapping was first developed and popularized by psychology author Tony Buzan in the 1970s. The definition of mind map is:
A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows the relationships between the elements of the whole.

In short, the mind map is a tree for organizing information. Buzan suggested that all mind maps should have only one central topic. The main ideas connect directly to this topic and the child topics derive from the main ones.

See the XMind tutorial: https://www.xmind.net/blog/en/concept-map-tutorial/

Mind map and concept map mind map

A mind map is a diagram that presents related ideas and perceptions of a central concept or topic. It is a non-linear graphical presentation. Mind maps can be used as colorful and organized diagrams to present data.

When information has structure, it helps to understand and analyze data more clearly. Additionally, mind maps help to generate and recall new data and ideas. Since mind mapping is different from traditional note taking, it requires both analytical skills and artistic skills.

Mind maps are unique from person to person. We can use mind maps for different purposes such as note taking, brainstorming, problem solving, studying, planning and presentation of information. There are some techniques and tricks that we can follow to draw mind maps. The use of colors and images in drawing mind maps helps stimulate the visual ability of the brain.

At the same time, mind maps help to remember things more easily when keywords are used instead of phrases in the diagram. Simultaneously, codes, symbols and arrows can be used to designate the links between ideas. We should always review a mind map after the first attempt to check the clarity of the diagram. Moreover, users can use their own mind map designs to make them more attractive and beautiful.

mind map

Benefits of Concept Mapping


  • Less ambiguity for the public.
  • Great for displaying tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is difficult to write down or verbalize explicitly, like some consensus or mental models of a company.
  • Able to model fundamental knowledge.
  • Useful for content gap analysis. Researchers have found that concept networking is beneficial for identifying research gaps. But to best achieve this, you need the help of tools fromdata analysis.

The inconvenients

  • Unfriendly for collaboration. Due to its high learning curve and the complexity rules.
  • Difficult to do. The lines overlap. The connections are complicated. In addition, they must be organized!
  • Poor readability. When you have more than 20 knots, it's even worse.

Benefits of Mind Map


  • Adaptable to academic and commercial environments.
  • Useful for brainstorming. All you focus on is posting topics.
  • Easy to do. Low learning curve. No complicated many-to-many relationships, just trees.
  • Flexible to change (in mind-mapping software). Connections and layout are generated automatically. And you can attach or detach topics by simply dragging and dropping. Mind maps are capable of constant updates.
  • Easier to read. No jumping from one corner of the paper to another.

The inconvenients

  • No more ambiguities for the public. Due to the lack of linking phrases.
  • Incompetent to articulate tacit knowledge. Due to the lack of linking sentences and simple relations.
  • Not suitable for in-depth analysis. Mind maps push you less to take a deep look at the listed concepts. Well, finished the comparison, now it's time to make a choice!

What to finally choose?

Concept maps seem more complicated, while mind maps are basically trees. They focus differently on different elements.

The concept map values both topics and connections. Whereas mind maps look more on the topic themselves. That's why, if you look closely, you think the concept maps explain more clearly why certain nodes are connected. On the other hand, when you just want to jot down as many topics and information as possible, mind mapping is a better option.

Concept map topics can be interrelated. But mind map subjects cannot. Thus, you can display many-to-many relationships in concept mapping.

Every proposition in concept maps is a statement. Whereas mind mapping does not involve the concept of proposition. In concept maps, every two connected nodes and their connecting sentences form a sentence. For example, "Topic A includes topic B" is a proposition. So you can read and check the card.

Due to their similarities and different benefits, people naturally mix them up in one card.

Go further

You can add references, colors and shapes to your cards to give readers a visual meaning. Maps will be useful for your documents.

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