When boiled down to its absolute basics and essentials, a concept map is really nothing more than a diagram or a visual representation of the individual and shared relationships between core concepts and ideas. It is similar, but is fundamentally different from mind maps.
As you think of new ideas to tackle a problem, to overcome an obstacle, or to achieve a goal, you’re going to find that organizing these great ideas – and figuring out which one to pursue and when – becomes a real challenge.
With concept maps, however, the process is streamlined and simplified significantly. These conceptual diagrams aren’t just easier to build than other “relationship charts”, but they dovetail nicely with the way your brain thinks about disparate ideas and how it combines them together through their shared relationships.
Learn more about Concept Maps in our Introduction to Concept Maps post.
Concept maps have a structure similar to a tree. Each concept map has one Central Node (or Central Topic). Stemming from the central node are branches (just like the branches of a tree!). In turn, each branch connects the Central Node with Subtopics. Each node can have a Sibling Topic or a Subtopic. Every node may also contain icons, external links, or images.
Concept maps can be used in various ways and all industries. For more inspiration, take a look at our concept map examples article.
Zen Flowchart is the simplest online free software to create concept maps, mind maps, and more. With a minimal and intuitive user interface, creating mindmaps or concept maps with our free online concept map maker is very easy and delightful. Our online software also has Export and Publish features, which allow users to easily present and share their work.