You start by drawing a picture and a word or two in the center of a piece of paper that represents your subject. It may be body systems for a science project, a character for a novel you are writing, or an upcoming family reunion that you want to plan. From there you draw different colored arrows out from the center, for each main topic; so for the body systems, you'd have an arrow for the digestive system, another for the circulatory system, etc. You may have arrows branching to body parts with in each system. You can draw arrows between topics, for example, the oxygen from the respiratory will mix with the blood in the circulatory system, so add a word or picture and some arrows to show the connection.
I make a mind map each year (my new year starts in the fall with school), to chart my goals and vision for the upcoming academic calendar. I always place a balanced, happy life in the center, which often includes a picture of my home, because home is where my heart is. But the parts that I make goals for include work and finance. Health goals split into physical and spiritual hopes. Family is split into each child and the goals and things that I can help them achieve. I have a fun section that usually includes small, medium, and large trips I want to take. Going to Peru and Italy are long term goals that may not happen this year, but I want to keep them on my radar. Travel is with family and requires financial planning so it makes sense to place travel between the two. Other goals float between sections such as date nights with my husband, which pertains both to my "fun" and "family" topics; reading the New Testament this year is both a family goal and spiritual goal.
I keep my "vision board" mind map in the front of a new sketchbook every year and look at it often. It's not set in cement, but is always open for more scribbles. I check completed goals off with the dates, and sometimes write more detailed plans in the margins, like this last year as I approached the goal to pay off the mortgage and started charting out month by month how much to pay. I finished that goal early thanks to the reminder my mind map gave me.
While I use mind mapping to outline the goals I have for the future. I use other visual ways of remember events from the past. Several recent sketchbook pages have allowed me to look back with more gratitude for the gifts life has given me, such as adventures of scuba and sky diving, snow and water skiing. Rather than just listing out all of the fun things I've gotten to do, I made very simple illustrations to help me remember at a glance.