Using Mind Maps with Obsidian

Kara Monroe
11 min readSep 11, 2022
The mind map I used to start planning this article

There is a bit of serendipity at play in the universe around this article. When I added this to my list of four possible articles for Obsidian, I simply wanted to explore a bit more about how to work with mind maps in and out of Obsidian. Perhaps because I put that thought into the universe, the universe gave me some personal experiences with mind maps this past week.

I sat down with my dental hygienist and she started chatting as I sat there with my mouth wide open. She was updating me on her son who was running for student council. He had to give a speech — something the 4th grader had never done before. To help him, she had him make a “bubble diagram”. After a little discussion I realized she was talking about a mind map. She told him to just start making bubbles with things he wanted to talk about on his page and put other related things in other circles connected to those circles.

Then, I pulled up the Bookworm Podcast hosted by Joe Buhlig and Mike Schmitz. They just happened to discuss the book Mind Map Mastery by Tony Buzan in their latest episode. I loved hearing their thoughts on mind maps as well as on the book.

So, with all that serendipity in the universe, it seemed like this was the right topic to be writing about — so let’s dive in to learn more about mind maps — and particularly about how to use them with Obsidian.

What is a Mind Map?

I learned from the Bookworm episode that Tony Buzan — who at least credits himself with inventing mind maps — actually owns the trademark to the phrase mind map in three countries — Germany, U.S. and U.K. Per the Bookworm episode, Buzan has a very, very specific set of rules to define a mind map.

I rarely — and possibly never — follow his rules exactly.

So, I’m going to give you my definition of a mind map with the understanding that what I’m talking about might more appropriately be called a concept map, a visual organizer, a spider diagram, or a bubble diagram.

A mind map is a visual representation of an idea that uses nodes/points and lines to connect ideas together. The mind map primarily uses text inside of a node/point connected…

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Kara Monroe

I am a world traveler, part-time road warrior, and home body all wrapped up in one gadget-loving package. Writer, photographer, chef, and aspiring artist.