Orbiting the Giant Hairball MM - Smaller

Vision - Getting Started - Color Version (2)People attending my Idea Mapping Workshop often ask me what the difference is between an Idea Map and a Mind Map, so today I thought I would show you a few of the differences. Mind Maps are governed by a strict set of laws as defined by the trademark and other published materials. An Idea Map throws out the laws giving freedom to the creator to make their application most valuable to them.

For example Mind Map laws state that you can’t have more than 7-9 branches per map, only a single word per branch, and all words or images must be on a line or branch. Shown to the left are two Idea Maps from my Idea Mapping Book. (You can find the pdf versions and other Idea Mapping examples at the Idea Mapping Success website.) The top Idea Map is a book summary of “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” by Gordon MacKenzie created by Megan Clark. (BTW – Excellent book on creativity written by a past V.P of Hallmark.) She has more than 10 main branches, has floating images and topics and has more than a single word on many branches.

The bottom Idea Map follows more of the traditional Mind Map laws. So a Mind Map can also be an Idea Map, but an Idea Map is rarely a Mind Map in the strictest sense of the Mind Map laws.