Mind Maps Organize Thinking

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One of the most moving (long) blog posts I have read in a long time was written by Andy Jenkins in his Blog with the tagline, Irreverence, Rebellion and interweb marketing.  Among other things he covers the reasons why he left StomperNet, the company he set up with his partner, Brad Fallon.  It’s a great read. There is a somewhat tangential comment about Mind Maps:

Mind Maps and I get along swimmingly.  I made a mind map of this post before I wrote a single word.  There’s something about mind maps that just make sense to me – they work far better than flow-charts or check lists or any other organizational tool that I’ve ever used.

I made mind maps for Email Subject Lines, Email Copy, Landing Page Copy, Sales Funnels, Sales Copy, Shopping Carts, Upsells, Video Script Writing, Joint Venture Partnering, Video Sales Letter structuring, Lead Generation…

Yeah, I’ve got a Mind Map that I use just about every time I write an Email Subject line.  I don’t know what that says about me personally, but I do know that when I was figuring it out, I had a damn good time doing it.

Mind Maps is a tool I have not considered for some time, although I have always found it useful. His comments inspired me to check them out again.

The technique was developed in the late 1960s by Tony Buzan, and they are now used by millions of people around the world whenever they wish to use their minds more effectively. His explanation is a little over the top but is as good as any.

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.

In tuning in to Mind Maps again, I find it is a current hot topic among the movers and shakers.  For example, recently Robert Scoble and Michael Deutch looked into Mind Mapping with MindManager from Mindjet.  For Scoble this was apparently a somewhat recent interest:

I’ve been getting more interested in mind mapping lately (the act of getting ideas into the computer). I’ve found MindManager from Mindjet to be the best software out there and I sat down with their evangelist to learn all about how to use MindManager and why it’s important.

Steve Rubel also in Mashable used a Mind Map to explore What is the Future of Blogging? He suggested using MindMeister, an Online Mind Mapping system.  MindMeister is a free web-based collaborative mind mapping tool for brainstorming and project-management although there are premium versions incorporating more features.

Looking around, I was pleased to find FreeMind, which is free mind mapping software and having now downloaded it I can thoroughly recommend it.

Why don’t you use FreeMind? You have a tool at hand that remarkably resembles the tray slips of Robert Pirsig, described in his sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called Lila. Do you want to refactor your essays in a similar way you would refactor software? Or do you want to keep personal knowledge base, which is easy to manage? Why don’t you try FreeMind? Do you want to prioritize, know where you are, where you’ve been and where you are heading, as Stephen Covey would advise you? Have you tried FreeMind to keep track of all the things that are needed for that?

I’m sure you can do that and much, much more.

If you really want to get your teeth into Mind Maps then I would recommend the Topicscape Blog.  Through that I found the ultimate resource that includes all you could desire on Information maps.  You may wish to check it out: it is called WikIT.

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2 thoughts on “Mind Maps Organize Thinking”

  1. Barry, it is not until i would dare say the past couple of years that mind maps have entered my seo existence but they definitely do exist in my perception of ways and means.

    There are so many sub categories to every thought you have on a route to where you want to be.

    In other words A to Z is not always straightforward and i consider the mindmap as the guide to get there.

  2. I recently rediscovered mind maps and I used FreeMind to create a video. It was enormously helpful as the complex project is now all on one page in a useful format instead of roiling in my head where it was threatening to become a useless snarl of sticky spaghetti, nothing more. I think you see where I’m coming from.

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