Despite XMind is not a software exclusively dedicated to Concept Mapping like CmapTools, it can be very useful for building rapidly Concept Maps. Here are the 5 steps in recommend to follow in order to create a Concept Map using XMind.

1. First Step

In my opinion, the first step should consist in sketching manually a map or a list of the key ideas and concepts. This gives you the opportunity to organize your thoughts and explore various possibilities.

2. Second step

Open a new blank map on XMind and write the main concept of your map into the central topic.

3. Third step

Insert quickly new concepts and ideas using the “CTRL + L” shortcut. Once you have selected a topic and pressed “CTRL + L”, just click in the white space and XMind will automatically create a new linked topic. You can also link two existing topics using the same shortcut: select a topic, press “CTRL+L” and click on the topic you want to link with it.

Tip: Ones you have created linked topics, it is important to maintain the “Alt” button pressed in order to move them freely.

4. Fourth step

It is important to add short phrases on the relationships arrows between the concepts and ideas. You just have to click on each arrow and write a short phrase. XMind will add it to the relationship.

5. Fifth step

Complete the Concept Map with all the concepts and their relationships.


Tip: In order to balance your map, select various topics and use the alignment tool
(Modify–>Tool–>Alignment) to align them.

You may also improve the visual aspect of your map adding color. You can see the final map below.

PS: the article is from the famous mind mapping blogger:  Philippe Boukobza