The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Thought Maps

Are you trying to make an important decision, but you're having trouble seeing "the big picture" of all of your options? Do you need more information to know if a potential alternative will work or not? Thought mapping is a valuable tool for organizing the information you need to make an informed business or personal decision.

What Is a Thought Map?

A thought map is documentation of existing knowledge about a particular subject. This includes the questions you know you need to find answers to as well as the tools you need in order to create an answer to those questions. Particularly in the workplace, the knowledge obtained through the successful completion of a project is often only retained in the employees' minds. However, the process of thought mapping requires that this knowledge be documented so that you and your employee have proof of the abilities he or she is gaining on the job.

What Is a Thought Map?

Other benefits of thought mapping include:

  • The ability to describe the scope of work for a project more effectively.
  • Providing a structure for completing a project.
  • Recording thoughts and ideas on different aspects of a project simultaneously. The brain has only a limited ability to multitask when it comes to thoughts and ideas, meaning that many of those ideas get lost during the process of dealing with another part of the project.
  • The ability to obtain the best solution to a business challenge by evaluating multiple approaches.

Thought Map Examples

A thought map is a useful tool for managing your staff as it can not only document the knowledge that your employees gained from a project but can also direct future work. Some other ways that a thought map can be used in the workplace include:

  • Thought mapping could be used to improve productivity in the workplace. By recording all of the knowledge that has been obtained about a certain topic, your employee has a literal "road map" to complete a task and the answers to the questions that will come up along the way right at his or her fingertips.
  • Thought mapping could also inspire creativity and enhance problem-solving, as having the information already gleaned in an accessible manner frees the mind up to look for alternative solutions to common problems and to visualize the impact those solutions can have.
  • The ability to communicate ideas and concepts to organizational shareholders with easy-to-follow printable reports that can be created from the information contained in the map.

How to Make a Thought Map

A thought map is a way to organize your thoughts into actionable knowledge and ideas. Thought mapping software from MindManager allows you to do this cleanly while also enabling you to pull information from integrated apps or to collaborate and create the map with your team. In order to create a thought map, you should start with a concept you want to explore deeper. From this central concept, you can create branches to explore specific aspects of this concept. Additional branches can be created off of these aspects in order to explore each of them thoroughly.

Thought Map Software

Thought map software allows you to create thought maps digitally. Most of the time, they offer more than just thought maps. It is usually a mind mapping software that allows you to create many types of maps and charts. Some things to look for when looking at thought maps software:

  • Price: Make sure that the software is within your budget. But don't compromise quality for cost. If you plan on using the software often in your business or organization, it is worth getting quality software.
  • Features: Make sure that the software has the features you need. It may also be useful to check out their features and see if they have anything that can help with some of your other processes.
  • Template: Templates save a ton of time, so if the software offers templates for different maps and charts, it can save you a lot of time, headache, and money.

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


MindManager provides the tools to create a comprehensive thought map, including color-coding capabilities to help your brain make connections between visual and logical elements. This software also provides an ample selection of templates to use and a healthy image library so that you can incorporate images into your map to engage additional sections of the brain. Try MindManager software for free today and see why more companies and individuals rely on our tools to bring structure and clarity to business plans, procedures, and processes.