Concept maps are extremely popular and with good reason: they help generate new ideas and structure them to bring them to life quickly. Designed as tools to represent knowledge and ideas, concept mapping can help teams visualize complex concepts. Learn how you can quickly take advantage of using a concept map for your next project.
A concept map is a diagram or a tool that visually represents relationships between concepts and ideas. They are used to draw connections between them, and then organize concepts and ideas into a hierarchical structure.
You might think concept mapping is the same as mind mapping, but they are different. Mind mapping is a flowchart that focuses more on topics, whereas concept mapping focuses on the connections between ideas.
The majority of concept maps depict ideas as nodes or circles, which are then structured hierarchically and connected with lines or arrows. To make connections between ideas, these lines are labeled with linking words to help explain the connections between the concepts.
Concept mapping can quickly help teams visualize relationships between concepts and they help to simplify and understand complex subjects. By visually representing relationships between ideas, you can establish mental connections that improve the retention of knowledge.
There are several benefits to using concept maps, regardless of the kind of work you do. For example, concept mapping facilitates comprehension with a friendly format. They also:
Concept maps are a great learning tool and they’re able to adapt to what you need; whether you’re developing a new idea, learning a new subject, developing your company’s customer journey, or brainstorming for your next marketing campaign, the process of connecting ideas can work wonders.
The good news is that there’s no right or wrong way to build a concept map, and it’s a relatively easy process. Commonly, concepts are written in circles, and arrows or lines are used to connect them with related information. Let’s take a look at what to consider when building concept maps:
- Choose and identify the topic
This is the most crucial part of concept mapping. Identify a question or a topic you’d like to understand better. Think about the issue you’re trying to resolve: this main idea or topic should connect to all others and guide the structure.
- Brainstorm related concepts
Now you need to identify all the key concepts that relate to the main topic you identified. Brainstorm for words and information, go from the most general concepts to the more specific concepts. Make sure to identify the areas you feel you need to review later.
- Link the concepts together
Create a preliminary concept map linking the concepts together. Concept maps typically have text, or linking words, written on each line to demonstrate how the concepts are related.
- Establish a hierarchy
It’s always a good idea to establish a clear hierarchy between ideas. Make sure to position your most applicable ideas at the top of the hierarchy, with the more specific and complex ideas placed at the bottom.
Now, you can review your concept map and brainstorm to make sure there isn’t any information missing. You can always revise how concepts are related to each other and the parent topic and reconnect and reorganize as necessary.
Concept maps have the power to generate new ideas and to represent knowledge by visualizing and simplifying complex concepts. But what happens after your team has brainstormed new ideas and you’re ready to put them in motion? You’re going to need the right tool to organize, strategize, and execute your ideas. Luckily, Instagantt is the perfect tool for that.
Instagantt is an online Gantt chart software for project management that helps teams all around the world plan, coordinate, schedule, and execute their projects.
Wondering how you can organize ideas, schedule tasks, and execute a project with Instagantt? Take a look at this example.