If it has been a while since you’ve read a book, it can be helpful to read a summary. We will show you how to create a book summary in a mind map. In this case the book Getting things done by David Allen is used as an example.

Central theme & keywords

First the book title, the central theme Getting Things Done, is placed in the centre of the mind map. The next step is selecting and ordering the most important keywords. Luckily there’s a summary available on Blinkist (paywall) that contains a lot of  keywords.

The keywords, that reflect the book content most, are ordered, structured and connected. All the keywords are ordered the same way; from general to specific or from abstract to more and more concrete. W-questions help to make the map easier to read. This process always needs some time…

The result is a map with lines of connected keywords from its central theme. This mind map can be read clockwise and from inside out.

Keywords are ordered and connected to the central theme

Fig.1 Keywords are ordered & connected

Style & color

After this phase, a style is chosen to give the map more color and curves. It makes the mind map more powerful and easier to read.

Keywords and lines are now in color: blue theme and green keywords that fade out in more orange keywords

Fig.2 Style & color best matches with the central theme

Central image

The following step is to choose  a central image. In this case, the book cover image, represents the central theme. The theme title could be erased, because it’s already in the image.

The central theme is replaced for a picture of the blue bookcover

Fig. 3 A central image replaces the title

Icons & quotes

As a final step smaller icons and quotes are added to make the mind map more interesting and lively.

Smaller icons, like a red priority flag and speech bubbles with text are added at the end of the keyword lines

Fig.4 The finishing touches: icons & quotes