How to create an online thought map

What is a thought map?

A thought map (also known as an idea map or mindmap) is a popular way to brainstorm ideas, concepts or to organise your thoughts, making complex ideas more manageable.

At its essence, a thought map is a visual representation of ideas, concepts, or tasks, arranged around a central theme or topic. Picture a network of connected nodes, each representing a different aspect of an overarching idea, creating a web of information that lends itself to the way our brains work.

For instance, consider using a thought map to outline the structure of a project: at the core, you have the main objective, with branches extending outward to cover various tasks, resources, and potential challenges.

For a deeper dive into the practical applications of thought maps, explore some of these articles:

Thought map examples

The applications for thought maps are limitless, but here are a few examples of what you can use thought maps for.

Map out areas of research

Example of a simple thought map showing different ideas for research topics

Outline the structure of a project with the high level tasks that are needed in each area

Example of a thought map with a central node for the project name with multiple child nodes each comprising of an area of the project such as Design, Development and Marketing

Use it as a decision tree

A decision tree showing what to do on the weekend given energy levels

Plan where you want to go on holiday

A mindmap showing potential places to go on holiday, nodes for places like Japan, Spain and Italy

Using Simple Mindmap to create thought maps online for free

There’s a lot of thought map software or thought map generators online, but it couldn’t be easier to get started using Simple Mindmap.

Although the tool is called Simple Mindmap, thought maps and mindmaps are actually the same thing so you can use our tool to create thought maps for free, without needing to download anything or signup.

Simply head over to the homepage, and click “New Mindmap” to get started. If you get stuck, you can read our how to guide for a walkthrough.