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How to Use Mind Map Diagrams in Confluence & Jira 🧠

If you’ve never created a mindmap you’re in for a treat. It’s a great way to brainstorm, study, be creative or simply organize information.

Mindmaps are drawn differently than flowcharts. A flowchart shows the flow of information and has a beginning and an end; a mindmap shows information in clusters and everything links back to one main idea.

Because mindmaps are a brainstorming tool, they have their own set of shortcuts, making it possible for you to draw as fast as your ideas flow.

Before starting, make sure you have a diagramming software in Confluence or Jira. We will be showing off Gliffy's mindmapping functionality in the examples below.


How to draw a mindmap

You can create a mindmap by opening a mindmaps template in Gliffy. Log into your account (if you haven't already) and choose “create from a template” or go to: File, New and open the mindmap templates folder. When you open your first one, a handy list of keyboard shortcuts will appear. Memorize them all and become a mindmapping master!


Mindmaps start with a main idea. For example, let’s say you’re brainstorming a new ad campaign geared towards college students and their eating habits.

1. Start by writing down your main idea.

2. Create a subtopic by clicking one of the gray arrows that appear when you click on the main topic (or use the (CMD/CTRL + Arrow) shortcut). When you’ve finished typing hit the Tab key.

3. Create a parallel topic by using (Tab + Arrow) or click on the main topic and then click on one of the gray arrows.

4. Navigate around your mindmap by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.


Color themes: families vs. generations

There are two preset color themes in mindmaps although of course you can customize colors to your liking.


If you select the “Families” theme, child nodes will be grouped with the subtopics they’re connected to by color. So for example, if a subtopic is blue, all the child nodes connected to it would also be blue (like in the example above).


If you select the “Generations” theme, all parallel topics within the same generation will be grouped by color. The generations theme works well if you need to show order or rank (think of generations in a family tree).

Hiding mindmap nodes

Each parent node has + and  symbols that can be used to show or hide the child nodes attached to it.




Brainstorming can be a messy business. Use the layout button to automatically layout your nodes so they don’t overlap.


Interaction With Other Libraries

Because mindmaps are not like other Gliffy diagrams, the mindmap shortcuts won’t work with Gliffy’s other shape libraries and vice-versa.

But enough talk, get mindmapping. We promise it’ll be fun!


❤️ - The Gliffy Team


DPKJ Community Leader Aug 21, 2019

Mind maps are always great.

Like John Almeida likes this

@DPKJ  Is it possible to create Jira issue type from mind map ?

Like # people like this
DPKJ Community Leader Jan 16, 2020

@Neha Arorathis is not readily possible, mind maps are more of a guide line, so you will need to perform some manual work.

I guess @John Almeida can explain this better.

You can't create a Jira issue type from a mind map yet.

I like where your head is at though, would you mind explaining what you are thinking in more detail? i.e. would you want to be able upon creating a Mind Map Node to select what Jira issue type that node represents?

Like Alena Oliynyk likes this

Is it possible to create a Jira issue from a mind map now? Has anything changed since January 2020?

Like # people like this

When I add a link to a mindmap node (I use the search option as recommended in the Gliffy documentation and get a short url), the link is not active in view mode. Any hints?

Hey @Thomas Wohlwend !

I'm taking a look at this right now... When you say "as recommended in the documentation" are you referring to this page?

A few quick qs:
- Are you on cloud or server?
- Are you trying to add the link to a subtopic or child node? Is it not working on any nodes? (Just so I can try to replicate)
- Are you trying to add the link to the node/shape or the text within the node?

Aaaand last, please double-check that the "hide link" box is unchecked when you search to add the link to the diagram:
Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 7.12.24 AM.png

So far, what I've noticed (using our cloud app) is that I can add links with no problem, but that I have to publish the confluence page and click to view the diagram in the diagram viewer, then back out of the diagram viewer for the links to show up. Once I've opened the diagram viewer, the links appear on the page and work just fine. Not ideal, but maybe a quick fix for you while we work on this quirk??

Thanks for your help figuring this one out!! :)


Hey @Samie Kaufman - Your Gal at Gliffy 

Thanks for your quick reply. That was excactly the documentation I was referring to.

  • I'm using Gliffy 9.1.2 on Confluence Server Version 7.4.6.
  • I have been trying on subtopics and child nodes, on the nodes, not on the text.
  • The "hide link" box is unchecked
  • The link icon is shown on the child and subtopic nodes in gliffy edit mode and when I click the node a blue box shows the tiny url links (but only relative, if that makes any sense: i.e. /x/ygvlB) 
  • Upon return to confluence edit mode, the icons are gone
  • When I publish the page there is no function behind the nodes

The workaround did not work in my case.

Many thanks!


No problem @Thomas Wohlwend :)

I'm not able to replicate this problem, but the "playground" they give me for all things server is version 7.8.3. 

(Just FYI, the same sort of thing happened for me where I had to publish the page, click into, and then click out of the diagram to get the links to show up. The icons also don't show while I'm in the page editing mode for Confluence but come back when I publish/update the page — so my version could use some work, too.)

I'm sorry I can't be of more help! Would you mind emailing our support team with this issue? That'll be They might have some more ideas for you.


No problem @Samie Kaufman - Your Gal at Gliffy 

I'll contact support.

Kind regards,


Hi @Alena Oliynyk and @Neha Arora , could you explain your use-case for being able to create Jira issues from the Mind Map?

Have you found a solution?

Like Vincent Coval likes this


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