Recently I discovered a post by Darren where he advised bloggers to use mind mapping techniques for new blog post ideas. I had read about mind mapping before but never thought about trying it. But now that I am blogging regularly, sometimes it is difficult to come up with a nice post idea. The ideas are there somewhere in my mind but the problem is bringing them from the locked portions of my brain and to work on them. So this is where mind mapping came to rescue me.
What is Mind Mapping?
There is a wonderful article on Mind Mapping on Wikipedia. But I liked this definition:
“A knowledge organization tool used to elicit ideas from one or more users by placing a topic in the center of a black space and branching out with related ideas.”
Who can use Mind Mapping?
Any one can use mind mapping technique for their own purposes. For example I am using this technique to come up with post ideas for my blogs and for my other writings. Teachers, students, businesses, professionals, software developers, writers, soccer moms and even grand mothers can benefit from mind mapping techniques.
How to do Mind Mapping?
It is very simple. Take a peice of paper write down something in the center like the goal and purpose of the mind map. Now start branching out new points from the central location. Mind mapping is a tool to use both parts of your brain during the thinking process. Mind map allows you to let your mind do the thinking instead of you forcing yourself to think. With a mind map you draw a diagram of ideas coming to your mind and building on these ideas you add new ones. Click on the mind map below to see a mind map drawn by Danny Stevens illustrating the idea of mind maps:
Many people use many different techniques to do create mind maps. I personally feel that it is totally up to the person to decide how he wants to draw his mind map. Some people use software to create mind maps, some people prefer a plain sheet of paper and pencil. Some use colors and pictures, some use curved branches and some use straight lines. Since the idea is to think freely so it is totally understandable that why there are no strictly define approaches to draw a mind map.
Sample Mind Maps:
The web is full of example mind maps. A good place to look for sample mind maps is “NovaMind’s mind mapping examples“. Below is a sample mind map I draw for a story I am working on:
Mind Mapping Software:
I would strongly suggest that first you try mind mapping on a peice of paper with pencil, pen whatever is available and handy. Once you realised the potential you might feel the need of using a software to draw your mind maps and organize your ideas in more effecient ways. Wikipedia has a list of list of mind mapping software, there are some great free mind mapping software available such as Freemind and VUE. I have used Freemind and I liked it a lot.
There are also lots of proprietory software available. Tony Buzan’s iMindmap is probably the most well known commercial tool for mind mapping. It claims to be officially endoresed and approved by Tony Buzan who claims to have invented the mind mapping technique.