Mind maps are a kind of network diagram representing ideas and concepts and how they are connected. The mind map, sometimes called a "brainstorm," begins with a central idea, with categories extending out from this node. Further subcategories are extended from these categories, and so on. The diagram thus acts like a tree, with ideas stemming out from its branches, and sub-branches. This tool is useful for idea generation, organizing thoughts, and structuring information and is thus useful in the initial stages of a project.
Mind maps can be used for a simple task such as writing a letter, or a complex task such as strategic analysis. Mind maps can be created alone or in groups. In a workshop setting, collaborative mind maps are also effective in improving team work and generating consensus.