Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hints and Tips - Mental Connections

Perhaps a strange name for a feature but mental connections are useful to visually demonstrate links between ideas. Let’s take a look at how and when to use them.



To apply a Mental Connection between two branches;

  • Ensure the Insert tab is selected
  • Select the Mental Connection tool from the General group
  • Click on the first (primary) branch to which the Mental Connection will link and hold the mouse button down
  • Drag the cursor to the second (secondary) branch to which the Mental Connection will link and release the mouse button
  • When prompted, enter a title for the Mental Connection and click OK

 Mental Connections should be used to illustrate logical links between information on the map. The connector styles can be altered to show a direction (using arrows) if required. To change this, go to the Format Ribbon and select “Connector Style” and choose your required style.

Here are some examples of where you would use them.

As a problem solving aid, identifying related pieces of information:


Resistor Failure Problem Solving using 6M's
Mapping relationships between people when building teams:


Myers Briggs Exercise
Helping to develop understanding of a subject for revision purposes:


English Revision Notes
Do you use Mental Connections and can you beat this example below? The map was created to illustrate an Account Management process and is affectionately known as the ‘Atom’.
Account Management Process

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this today and this email came in. I was looking for a function like this and it proves useful to establish how two ideas are link espcially in a map with many scattered branches.

Kelly Robertson said...

Glad you found the article and function useful.

Anonymous said...

How do I change the format of the mental connections from dotty yellow to something else. I have tried branch style but it doesnt do anything

Kelly Robertson said...

If you have problems applying Styles do this;

Select the text of your mental connection and press F3, the Branch Appearance dialog appears.

On the Font Tab, Select ‘Return to Default’ from the Existing Styles drop down.
On the Connector tab, Change the Line Style to Solid.
Select OK.

Jeyaraj Shankar said...

Hi Kelly,

How do I edit the position of a Mental Connection? I don't want it to overlap or cross the branch next to it. Is there a way similar to 'Edit Points' for a polygon in a Microsoft Office program, where you can just drag the points to change the direction or shape of the polygon or line?

Alternatively, if I wanted to manually add in a line or arrow, how do I do it?

Kelly Robertson said...

Hi Jeyaraj,

To reposition a Mental Connection you can Drag the Text box (the middle of the connection). The end points of the connection and the lines cannot be dragged.

Floating lines and arrows cannot be added to the map.

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