The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Concept Maps

Whether you're trying to explain a new marketing concept to your team or teach a classroom about a principle in science, there is nothing more boring than a list of the concept and its components. You need to create a way to convey a concept, idea, or information and let people visualize it and its parts. Visualization of a concept, information, or an idea and its components makes it easier to understand and retain the knowledge. Also, when you visualize concepts, you can see how components of one concept can intercept other concepts. But how do you do that?

What Is a Concept Map?

A concept map is a visualization of a concept, idea, or piece of information and the components of that item. It's designed in hierarchical order with the concept at the top and the information that flows from it. You can use a concept map to show the relationships between information and concepts. 

What Is a Concept Map?

At the center of this diagram is the information, idea, or concepts with their components linking to the main focus. Using lines and arrows, you take the parts of the focus — an idea, concept, or piece of information — and link them to the concept.

For example, the focus might be skills with typing, writing reports, drawing, and other things linking back to it. In this way, the components are similar to the subsets of the main focus.

Concept Map Examples

In almost any type of business, you can use concept maps to teach your staff a new method of doing things or introduce a new concept. You can use a concept map in almost any industry, from education and science to business. It's beneficial to use a concept map to:

  • Teach new ideas
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Visualize the relationship between ideas and components
  • Determine the hierarchy of ideas and the components that make up the concept.

You can use a concept map when you need to break a concept down into smaller pieces. It might be that you need to assign team members to find specific information or just see the way it flows.

How to Make a Concept Map

It's easy to create your own concept map. You start with a concept or focus question at the top, and then using lines and arrows, you add information that flows from the focus. For example, the concept or focus question might be your next marketing campaign. You would link the term "medium" to the concept, and from there, you might add phones, in-person events, emails, and online events. You might also link the term "goals" directly to the focus question.

You can draw a concept map or software designed to create visual representations. When creating a concept map, you can use colors and shapes as an indicator of categories or importance.

Concept Map Software

The right software can help you quickly and effectively create a concept map. However, it wouldn't be easy to design a concept map in the software you use every day, such as spreadsheet or document programs. You need a software program geared for design work.

MindManager makes a software program that can help you design a concept map that provides all the information you need. The software guides you through creating your concept map and ensuring that you add all the details for the focus question.

Get Started Fast with Templates!

MindManager comes pre-installed with many templates for you to choose from. To use these templates:

  1. Open MindManager
  2. Click NEW in the navigation menu
  3. Select the template you want to use
  4. A preview screen will appear. Check to if you want to use your selected template
  5. Select Create Map
  6. Customize the template for your specific project

Other Types of Maps and Charts


A concept map is a visualized representation of a concept and helps you see the information involved. You can use a concept map to more easily convey information and help your team retain it. Give MindMananger a try today and start building concept maps.