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From Chaos to Clarity: Exploring Mind Maps with MermaidJS

·4 mins

Introducing the concept of mind mapping as a tool for organizing complex information, and highlights Mermaid as a user-friendly software that simplifies the creation and editing of mind maps for applications in IT solution design, business decision-making, and knowledge organization.

Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash
Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash

Mind mapping is a powerful technique that can be used to organize and visualize complex information in a way that is intuitive and easy to understand. This makes it a valuable tool for IT solution design and business decision-making. Firstly, let’s explore the diverse applications of mind maps in various scenarios, including project planning, brainstorming, decision-making, and knowledge organization. Subsequently, we’ll delve into how Mermaid.js, a user-friendly tool revolutionizes mind map creation and editing with its intuitive text-as-diagram interface. All the mind map diagrams in this blog are made using Mermaid.js. By the end, you’ll be skilled in creating mind maps with Mermaid through a quick sample diagram walk-through.

In IT solution design, mind mapping can be used to map out the various components of a system and how they interact with one another. This allows teams to identify potential bottlenecks and areas for improvement and communicate their designs to others clearly and concisely.

For example, a mind map of a system that includes various components like a front-end web application, a back-end layer, a database, and an API might look something like this:

Source Code (Edit this diagram)

Mind mapping is a valuable technique in business decision-making. It helps to visualize different options and potential outcomes, enabling teams to assess risks and benefits effectively. With this approach, the best course of action becomes clear and easier to identify.

For example, when analyzing what factors make a marketing strategy great, the corresponding mind map might look like this:

Source Code (Edit this diagram)

Mind mapping can also be used to identify the relationships and dependencies between different elements of a problem, and it can help to promote collaboration and creativity among team members.

For example, in an object mapping context, mind mapping can identify the various elements involved in a data object and how they are connected. For a TODO app, the following mindmap makes it easy to visually understand the structure.

Source Code (Edit this diagram)

Yes, mind maps can have multiple levels, with sub-topics branching off from main topics, creating a hierarchical structure. This can be particularly useful for organizing information and connecting different ideas.

Here is an example of a multi-level mind map using the Mermaid.js code snippet:

mindmap
  root((mindmap))
    Origins
      Long history
      ::icon(fa fa-book)
      Popularisation
        British popular psychology author Tony Buzan
    Research
      On effectiveness<br/>and features
      On Automatic creation
        Uses
            Creative techniques
            Strategic planning
            Argument mapping
    Tools
      Pen and paper
      Mermaid

And this is how this looks:

A multi-level mind map allows you to drill down into specific details and provides a clear overview of the whole structure; it makes it easy to understand the relationships between different ideas and can be helpful in many areas such as project management, problem solving, learning and teaching.

In conclusion, mind mapping is a powerful tool that can be used to organize and visualize complex information in a way that is intuitive and easy to understand. It can be used in IT solution design, business decision making and other areas to promote collaboration, creativity, and effective problem-solving. The examples mentioned above are created using Mermaid.js, a Javascript library that helps create diagrams and flowcharts. We used Mermaid Live Editor, an online free-to-use editor for Mermaid.

Let us look at another example showcasing the power of mindmaps with Mermaid.js:

From this :

mindmap
  )Goals for 2023(
    ))Family((
        Plan a trip together
        Call parents weekly
    ))Health((
        Less Carbs
        Gym
        Nature walks
    ))Career((
        Learn new skill
        Read more books
    ))Fun((
        Join Swim class
        Go to theatre plays

To this :

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