Concept Map Template
Generate new ideas and structure them to innovate quickly.
About the Concept Map template
What is a concept map?
A concept map is a visual tool used to depict ideas and concepts, draw connections between them, and then organize them into a hierarchical structure.
Concept maps are similar to mind maps, but mind mapping is a flowchart that focuses more on specific topics, whereas concept mapping is more about the relation and connections between ideas.
When to use a concept map
Concept maps are useful in a variety of situations, from helping someone learn a new idea to plotting out user flow or customer journeys.
Teaching someone a concept
One way that concept maps are often used is to help teach visual learners a new idea or concept in an intuitive way. Some people do better with visualizations rather than lectures or written instructions, and a concept map also allows you to demonstrate the relationships between different ideas in a visual manner.
Learning a new subject
Just as you can use a concept map to teach someone else a new concept, you can also make your own concept map to understand an idea better. Many people use a concept map in addition to other learning methods to get a better grasp on a topic.
Mapping out a user flow
Businesses commonly use concept maps to walk through a customer journey or user flow of their product. Concept maps can help you understand a product as the customer sees it, and also allow you to identify gaps in the customer journey and ways to improve.
The advantages of using a concept map
There are many benefits to using concept maps, because they provide a unique visual depiction of concepts that allows you to draw novel connections.
One of the big advantages of concept mapping is that it’s entirely visual. Many people learn and think better visually than from something like reading a lengthy essay, and a high-quality concept map plays to the strengths of these types.
Clarify your ideas
Concept maps also allow you to see ideas in a new light and better understand a topic. Let’s say you need to present something important to executives or cross-functional partners, but you don’t have a firm grasp on the concepts. A concept map allows you to spell out these ideas and their various connections beforehand.
Draw new connections
Concept mapping also allows you to develop new ideas by formulating how different concepts, words, and phrases are connected. One way that makes concept mapping different from classic brainstorming is that you put ideas in a hierarchy, which allows you to organize and understand the relations between them better.
How to create a concept map
Creating a concept map is easy—there’s no right or wrong way. Typically how it works is, concepts are written in boxes or circles, then label arrows are used to connect them with related ideas or information in a downward-branching hierarchical structure.
Miro’s concept map maker is the perfect canvas to create and share your concept map. Here’s one way to use it when you're trying to learn a new topic:
Step 1: Setup the template
Get started by selecting this Concept Map template. You can customize the template in various ways to meet the specific needs of your concept mapping.
Step 2: Choose a topic
Identify a topic you’d like to understand better and add it into a box or circle shape. This is the starting point of the concept map, and can be a specific topic or a more general idea.
Step 3: Brainstorm related concepts
From memory, try creating more shapes that contain concepts and information you know is related to that topic—note the areas you feel you know and the areas you need to review or dig deeper into.
Step 4: Draw connections between these concepts
With all your concepts in place, it’s time to spell out how these concepts are connected to each other and to the overarching topic of the concept map. Concepts can be linked by lines or phrases that describe the relationship between them.
Step 5: Establish a hierarchy
As a rule, the broadest and most widely applicable ideas are positioned at the top of the hierarchy in a concept map, with the more specific and less applicable ideas placed at the bottom. The purpose of this step is to delineate which ideas are most important and formative in shaping your thoughts on the topic, and which are more downstream and specialized.
Step 6: Draw from research
Go through your research to fill in any information gaps you may have missed. Focus on how concepts are related to each other and to the parent topic.
Step 7: Collaborate with your team
Invite other team members to collaborate on the concept map in real-time, or simply share the finished product to help them learn what you know about the topic.
What is a concept map used for?
Concept maps are a diagram tool that are used to map out the different relationships between ideas. They are used for helping visualize complex data sets, learn new materials, draw new connections, and clarify ideas.
How do you create a concept map?
To create a concept map, first start with a central topic or theme that you want to explore. Then, conduct a brainstorming session where you plot out interrelated ideas and draw lines to explore the various connections between these ideas.
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