Today, let’s talk about the mind map structure of XMind. Actually, this subject won’t exist if we’re in strict accordance with Tony Buzan’s theory. Because in traditional concepts, mind map should spread out from a central topic, along with curves, colors, keywords and images. But in practical applications, this default structure is not enough and powerful to use. After reviewing all the mind maps we’ve ever created, we must found that, many of the them were not in the pure mind map sturcture, but in org chart, logic chart, matrix or other structure.

Now, we begin to explore the mind map structures in XMind. First, we should introduce you a new mind map structure supported in the new XMind 6, as shown below.

From this map, we can see only 3 branches stand on the right of the central topic, the others, no matter how many they are, will be put on the left. As well, if we add topics on the right, they will be always on the right unless we move them manually. In practice, this structure won’t automatically re-layout the map in order to be balanced. So it will avoid losing focus while we’re in a high speed input.

In former mind map structures (Balanced Map), no matter Up to down, Clockwise or Anticlockwise, it always autoarranges the branch position based on the topic quantity to make the map with an overall visual balance.

In addition to above mind map structures, the distinctive Matrix structure is also frequently used.

In above map, “All Projects” is the centric topic. The left of each is main topic (Project A/B/C). The top of each column is label. We can add subtopics into every grid and each subtopic can have their own subtopics, even we can use different structures to fully show map information. Matrix can be used in some particular scenarios, such as SWOT Analysis

Eisenhower Rule

These two graphical methods work quite effectively on analyzing and solving problems.

And, the Fishbone structure is often used for cause and effect analyzing in project management.

As well as the Logic Chart (Left/Right), which is really helped in making preparations and summarizing.

In addition, XMind also provides Org Chart (Up/Down)

Tree Chart (Left/Right)

Now almost all structures in XMind have been introduced. In fact, different structures will bring significant differences in terms of effectiveness. So rich structure support is necessary for users. Benefiting from a superior design, in XMind, we can apply different structures on different topics in the same mind map. Of course the premise is that it should be conducive to the overall information delivery of the map. Therefore, it’s necessary for XMind users to grasp all the different structures. Maybe a good use of structure will bring you a different future.