Zoom +  =

Mindmapping on Zoom using MURAL

Place a central concept that you want to explore at the center of your Mural board. Have participants use stickies to generate all the ideas, themes, and sub-categories that branch from it. Encourage them to continue to explore those sub-themes, creating more branches extending out to the edges of the board.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Introduce the activity by describing what a mindmap is, a model for visualizing information by having a central theme and creating branches of all the related ideas.
  2. Optional: show an example of an already completed mindmap that starts with a very different central theme from what you’ll be focusing on (e.g., “Breakfast Foods” is a great example mindmap, unless you’re facilitating a breakfast food workshop, in which case where do we sign up?).
  3. Share the central theme with the group, and give them a moment to consider it, and ask any clarifying questions they have about it.
  4. Provide the instructions and rules for how you’re going to be using MURAL. (e.g., if you’re limiting participation, using certain sticky types, colors to denote the levels of hierarchy)
  5. Check in for questions or clarifications on the instructions. Make sure people understand the central theme you’re going to be mapping (especially if it’s jargon), the tools you’ll be using in MURAL (or not using), and their individual roles.
  6. Invite everyone into the Mural by sharing the link in the Zoom chat. Optional: mute all if you want this to be a silent activity.
  7. Map from your central concept, using stickies for nodes and drawing lines for connections. Keep going until you feel you’ve fully fleshed out the idea, run out of space in your Mural, or run out of time.


Create a MURAL board with your theme in the center, and have the invite link ready to copy-paste.

Depending on your group's comfort with MURAL, you can decide whether to start from an empty Mind Mapping Template (for less experienced groups), or let them create one from scratch (if they're really comfy with MURAL).


Mindmapping on MURAL is actually easier, in a lot of ways, than doing so in-person. The main hiccups you're going to face will be your participant's familiarity with MURAL. If they've never used MURAL before, it is probably worthwhile to set up some practice time before the workshop, or on a break before you do Mindmapping. Encourage everyone to learn how to add sticky notes, edit them, move them around, and delete them.

Substituting Apps

If you're using apps other than Zoom and MURAL, here are the specific things your software will need to be able to do:

MURAL allows you to type text, move it around, and draw lines connecting it.

Additional Resources

Reusable Template:


Author HeadshotAustin, TX

Activity by Sam Killermann

Co-developer of Facilitator Cards and co-author of Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation. Longtime facilitator of gender/sexuality education.

Facilitation Testers Needed

This activity by Sam Killermann would really benefit from other facilitators testing it, tweaking it, and reporting back. If you give it a try in your virtual facilitation, all we ask is that you tell us how it went.

The main things we're wondering are regarding the context you facilitated it in (with whom, and toward what goal), how well it worked (what worked and what didn't), and in what ways you altered the instructions to make it work for you.