Buzan's guidelines simply stated

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Here is a consolidated list of the guidelines that Buzan has published from time to time for making a Buzan-style mind map:

  1. Start in the center of a landscape sheet of blank paper.
  2. Use a picture for your central idea.
  3. Use colors throughout.
  4. Connect your main branches to the central image and connect your second-level branches to the first and so on.
  5. Make your branches curved rather than straight-lined, the central lines being thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate from the center.
  6. Use one keyword per line.
  7. Use images throughout.
  8. Develop your own personal style of mind maps.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mindmap.
  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radiant hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.

There’s much more to the Buzan guidelines than just following the list, as discussed in this WikIT article.


There are many examples of mind maps that strictly interpret Buzan’s model of a central topic, colors, curved and ‘organic’ lines, and single words per node on the Web. You may click on in this link to see a selection of Buzan-style mind maps.

For free information about the hundreds of
visual thinking tools available, visit the

Visual Thinking Center