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Mindmaps will never go out of fashion because they allow you to take any and every idea and put it in a context in a single sitting. They are great for collecting, structuring, evaluating, and communicating information, but if not done right can have the opposite effect. Keep these 14 mindmap mistakes in mind next time you create one so that you can keep your audience engaged and informed.

1. Too Many Colors or Unnecessary Decoration.

As with any task, mindmapping has its own do's and don'ts when it comes to designing. As you're brainstorming ideas during the creation process, resist the temptation to over-decorate your mindmap with additional colors or unneeded design features.

2. Too Many Branches and Ideas on One Branch.

Here's where you need to use your own judgment about how detailed you want your map to be. If the topic is simple, such as a grocery list, feel free to go as deep as you want. If the topic is more complicated, however, it may be best to shorten your list and omit branches that are not relevant.

3. Forgetting To Use Colors.

If you're creating a mindmap for an audience, the color-coding specific topics will help them understand the context of each branch. Use color sparingly, only where it's truly needed for emphasis.

4. Too Many Branches on a Level.

As with point #2, here you have to trust your judgment about how detailed you want the map to be. If you need the topic to be more detailed, by all means, add additional branches, if it's getting too busy and unorganized, omit the irrelevant ones.

5. Not Spacing Your Information.

If you're working with a word processor that automatically spaces your text, go ahead and skip this step. However, if you're working in a simple notepad, take the time to manually space your branches. You'll be glad you did when it comes time to print, as the layout will look far more professional.

6. Too Much Detail.

As with any design project, less is always more. While you want your ideas to be detailed enough for your audience, there's no need to pound them with endless facts and figures. When in doubt, leave it out.

7. Same Size Branches.

As you're developing your branches, take the time to vary both the font size as well as the spacing between lines depending on what information you're presenting. Not only will you create a more visually appealing mindmap, but it will be easier to read as well.

8. Not Using Arrows.

When two branches are closely related, use an arrow to connect them. This allows your audience to easily see the relationship between the interconnected topics.

9. Not Using Symbols.

Some symbols can add a great deal of flavor to your map. A few that you might consider adding are clip art, hearts or stars (for things like favorite brands or places), dollar signs, and so on. Just be wary of using too many of them in one mindmap, or it will start to seem overcrowded.

10. Using Too Many Different Symbols.

Since there are so many symbols at your disposal, you can use them as often as you like without overusing them. A great tip is to change the color of your text for different symbols, making them stand out even more.

11. Not Grouping Branches.

Use grouping symbols to group related branches together, especially when there are too many of them to fit on one page. This will give your map more visual clarity and prevent your audience from getting lost in the small details.

12. Not Using Labels.

Don't forget the label! Place them to the left or right of your branches and orient them vertically, depending on whether you want to emphasize a general topic (top) or a more detailed one (bottom).

13. Writing Too Much Text.

Write only what's necessary. Don't be tempted to answer every possible question or provide all the answers; stick to the essentials and you'll make your point perfectly clear without overwhelming your audience with useless information.

14. Not Using the Right Font.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but if your map is for an audience, use a font that's suitable for everyone. Comic sans font is not appropriate no matter what the occasion. The idea here is to make things easier to read and follow, so play it safe and pick something that suits the topic of your mindmap.

One great tip when making mindmaps is to use Venngage—an online mindmap maker and the best infographic maker that offers a wide range of mindmap designs for everyone. Here are some mindmap examples from their website!





Practicing these basic tips will help you create professional-looking mindmaps that your audience will love. Remember, when in doubt, leave it out. Keep your map simple and to the point, with only what is necessary included in the final design. If you follow this advice and get a little help from Venngage, chances are you'll be creating a stunning mindmap in no time flat. So what are you waiting for? Make your own mindmap today!

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