What is mind mapping?
Mind maps are a type of visual graphic organizer (you can see many mind mapping examples here). You can use graphic organizers to help you solve problems, summarize large blocks of information, note taking, project planning, and organizing your thoughts generally speaking.
Since there are many styles, you can select a type based on the task at hand or what is most workable for you. Each person has unique ways to solve problems and the tools that you use in that endeavor should complement the work and the user.
I like structure so most of the time I prefer the Concept Map. This shows relationships between items, at-a-glance. I can see the entire project on a single page, i.e. apparently being a right-brain thinker, I need to see the big picture). Now, of course some projects are huge and may not fit on a single page. It that is the case then several modules would have to have their own “page” or section. But I still think it works great for most applications.
Now, you may be familiar with a mind map looking like a tree structure (organic form). Indeed this can also work well. It does take some practice as it is a bit like free hand drawing.
Here are two mind map examples, showing different styles:
|Chart Form (Concept Map)||Organic Mind Map Form|
Well, which is better? That will probably be a matter of personal opinion. What it boils down to is how does your brain work. By now you should know that most human brains are much more suited for processing materials visually, i.e. graphics works best. So, if that is the case then you just need to find a graphic form that is very compatible with you brand of thinking.
The organic form is great to look at, it will show all of the details, and this format is supported by many different mind map maker software packages. The concept map is also great in showing exact relationships of all the items. The problem with this is not all mind mapping applications support this type of structure.
A few reasons why I like Inspiration 9:
Although mind maps are typically thought of as something for adults, mind maps for kids are an excellent way to help them think in a structured way, and to get their creative juices flowing. (Inspiration has been around for 20 years or so, and while they started off creating this software as a tool for writers, they later figured that kids could use it as well, so now they’re big in the educational market too.)
Now, if you want to go with the traditional or corporate mind mapping software (warning, these are a bit pricy – although they both offer a free mind map download so you can try them out first), then check these out: