Microsoft Visio is a program used to create diagrams with vector graphic based objects. It is a powerful piece of software with good integration with the Microsoft office suite. It is capable of many different tasks, one of which is mind mapping. In this article we will talk about using Visio to mind map and where to find the best Visio mind map templates.

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Using Visio for mind mapping

Microsoft Visio has the ability to make mind maps in the vector format, making it brilliant when producing reports and when you want a mind map diagram that will scale so it can be displayed at a large size without losing graphical quality. Microsoft does provide a basic mind map template for Visio but it is under the title of brainstorming, rather than mind mapping.

Why you want mind map template for Visio

You might want to produce your own Visio templates because you want your company’s logos, color scheme or other aspect uniform across all your maps. You might also want a mind map template as it can make it quicker to produce your mind maps or to allow less skilled users to “fill in” the mind map.

Basics of creating a mind map in Visio

These are the basic steps of creating a mind map in Microsoft Visio

  1. Launch the application.
  2. Go to File -> New ->Flowchart -> Mind mapping diagram.
  3. In the centre of this should be a box, in this add your central keyword or phrase.
  4. Use the text box function to add keywords around your main keyword or phrase.
  5. Use the branch handle to connect the central keyword box to your keywords.
  6. Format the mind map to your liking.
  7. Finished!

Creating your own Visio mind map template

Using the above instructions you should be able to create a mind map template in Visio. You should spend some time focusing on the layout and making your template re-usable. If you fill in the text boxes with additional information, you can help other people (or yourself) when you come to use your template. Information you might include is examples, potential images, phrases or links to more information stored elsewhere.

Sites you can get Visio mind maps

There are several sites you can get example maps from. Most sites focus on software other than Microsoft Visio for mind mapping but you can either use their maps for inspiration or you may be lucky enough to find one that has the right Visio map for your needs.


Biggerplate calls itself “The Mind Map Library”. Biggerplate is a large repository of user uploaded mind maps and has one on virtually every topic imaginable. It has links to custom mind mapping software but usually provides an image of the mind map that you can examine as well.


Mappio is similar to Biggerplate as it is basically a huge repository of mind maps. Mappio claims to have thousands of different maps and again allows you to look at images of them, rather than downloading them.

Finding a mind map template for Microsoft Visio can be difficult, so it may be easier to adapt maps you have already created or Visio’s own template.Whatever you do remember to save it for others so that your organisation can be more efficient.

Where do you get your Visio mind map templates? Do you make your own Visio templates? Feel free to write a comment below.