It is typically an organic multi-colored chart laid out on a large sheet of paper. It contains words and drawings that are connected in various ways.
A Mind Map can be used for keeping notes, or for developing a concept, or for getting an overview of an activity.
It is both rational and artistic, both logically ordered and spontaneously expressive.
Mind Maps use and stimulate the visual abilities of the mind. If represented visually, a bigger subject can be understood and remembered much more efficiently.
Mind Maps are an example of Radiant Thinking. A central idea branches off into many different directions. The branches themselves branch off into finer details or associations. Radiant Thinking is both Creative and Organized. Like a tree.
A Mind Map is not just a systematic chart of a subject. It is a fun and interesting expression of the way a subject is experienced. It is more important that it is workable and feels right than that it corresponds to any objective standards.
Mind Maps provide a way of relating to the world one lives in in a more meaningful way. They are a tool for making sense out of anything and for realizing one's priorities.
Anything can be mind mapped. A birthday party, a book one is reading, one's plans for the day, flower arranging, the economy, the meaning of life, or one's experience of a piece of music.
Reference: "The Mind Map Book" by Tony Buzan.