We’ve known that mind mapping is a very useful tool for idea management, strategic analysis, etc.  But what if meeting big data or complex project? For this situation, the Matrix structure in XMind could be our one effective solution. It has a spreadsheet layout, but has some more special features.

  • Every cell can have multiple topics.
  • Every topic can have its own structure to express content accurately, like logic, tree, and etc.
  • Relationship, boundary and summary can be added for illustrating more logic relationships.
  • Matrix can also be converted into other structures, like mindmap, tree, organization chart, logic chart and fishbone by two clicks.

As you see, Marketing Budget is the Matrix tile. Research/Consulting,  Advertise, Public relationships and Promotion are column name. Quarter 1/2/3/4 are the row name.

Create a Matrix

Matrix is a special mind map structure. And it’s easy to get one.

  1. New a blank mind map
  2. Right click on the central topic, and choose Structure — Matrix
    Martix structure
  3. Click Enter key to get one more row; Click the button beside central topic to get one more column.

Operations to Matrix

The operations to Matrix can be simple and easy. Let’s take a look of the basic operations.

  • Add a column: click the Add Column button besides Matrix title(central topic).
  • Add a row: select any a row title and click Enter key.
  • Add topics to a cell: double-click in that cell directly.
  • Modify column/row title: double click that title and modify its content.
  • Change the Row: select the row title and move up or down.
  • Change the Column order: select column title and move right or left
  • Delete a row: select the row title, click Delete key.
  • Delete a column: select all topics in that column, and click Delete key.
  • Change topic structure in a cell: right click on the target topic, Click Structure — Map/Tree/Logic/Fishbone.

Tips: To add relationship(Ctrl+L), boundary(Ctrl+B), note(F4) and summary(Ctrl+]) , the operations are the same as usual.

Matrix & Mind Map

Since Matrix is a special structure, it can also be changed into the other structures. The process is easy.

  1. Select the Matrix title.
  2. Choose Structure — Map/Tree/Logic/Fishbone from the context menu.

Below is the example about changing SWOT Analysis template from matrix structure to the mind map structure.

SWOT Analysis

(Matrix Structure)

Mind Map Structure

(Mind Map Structure)

As you see, the parts of Matrix actually correspond the topics or labels of a mind map.

  • SWOT Analysis ==> Central topic
  • Internal and External ==> Main topics
  • Helpful ==> Label of Strengths and Opportunities
  • Strengths and Weakness ==> Subtopics of Internal

Tips: “Helpful” is just the label of Strengths, but not Strength1 & Strength 2.

Now, it’s your time to open your XMind and try the Matrix.