What is mind mapping

Mind mapping is a way to set your ideas free. Even though we get trained by our schooling to think, write and express ourselves in a linear, structured way, for most of us that actually stifles free thought and ingenuity. This is due to the different ways that the brain actually functions left side compared to right side. All of us use predominantly one side of the brain more than the other and it is the right brain that is more intuitive, random and able to look at the bigger picture. Whereas the left brain is logical and sequential and more rational.

Left handed people use more the right brain, which is why you will find that many artists and creative people are left handed. Leonardo Da Vinci being an excellent example of this premise. Ideally schooling and education will encourage a whole brain approach and give weight to the skills of imagination and creativity, even though the exam system favours the analytical approach of the left brain.

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Mind map software

Mind mapping is a tool that helps us to free our ideas even if we are left brain type people. You start with a single idea in the centre of the page or the screen if you are using computer based mind mapping tools. You then draw radiating lines of connections from the original idea to new ideas, these are the branches. Whether it makes sense or not, as you put it in the mind map, you throw it in there anyway. Best to use one word links because that stimulates you to be free in your thinking.

You can draw connectors in between the outlying ideas if you decide there is a connection there to be made. From the starting point you just keep on adding nodes spreading outwards. Each node is a thought or a concept and you can draw pictures too. The more colourful and more images you have in it, the more your brain will be able to add more to it. It is a kind of outlining tool and often the mind mapping software will let you export out the mind map as a linear type of outline, later if that is what you need.

Mind Map Pro

Mind mapping is a great way to start the process of writing an article or book, whether it be for a novel or something of non fiction. It will give you the chapter headings to work from and fill out to make into a finished article later. When using computer software you can if you want, link to larger pieces of text or to external sources such as web pages. The whole process aiding you to provide clarity, organisation and structure to your thinking.

What is really good about doing mind mapping with a computer application is the speed with which you can get the ideas out of your head and looking like something useable. You have colours and images readily available to enhance the mind map. Remember too, that a picture is worth a thousand words. How many words will a video clip be worth then, when you can add them so easily also. A super function you will find is that you can expand or retract branches too, if you want to concentrate on a specific area of your workings.

Brainstorming Software

You should look for how easy a brainstorming software is to use. Can it export the information out in a variety of ways so that you can use it in other applications. Can you get it into writers software like Scrivener for example or in some presentation software like Keynote or Powerpoint. Does the software have clip art you can use or can you easily drag and drop your own images from the finder into the mind map? Does it offer different views, outline, left to right, gantt charts or different types of nodes. Use of colour in a mind map is important too.

Mind mapping has advantages over traditional note taking for students, they are easy to commit to memory. They increase our ability to learn new things and therefore boosts the confidence of students. In contrast you find that the old way of note taking will tend to hide the information and make it more obscure and harder to assimilate. Mind maps become a kind of window into memory providing a route map of sorts. They are the ultimate thinking and learning tool. Mind maps are great for learning a language too

Business Mapping Software

Mind maps are not only for education or for writers, they can also be used in business to do brain storming or blue skying as it is sometimes called. It can make bosses and employees more effective in their jobs as they are better able to communicate plans and business ideas. It is a tool of innovation that is available as free programs or sometimes possibly quite expensive. Mindnode Pro, is a good choice which can be used on the Mac and also on the iPad, easily synchronising mind maps from one platform to the other.

Free Mind Mapping Software

There are open source tools that are free and are web based or as downloadable applications, for all of the computer platforms, Linux, Windows and Mac. If necessary you can break out the coloured pens and pencils to create them in an analogue way. Like the best presentations mind maps are more effective when there is less text and the words are there to stimulate more thinking around the plan, topic or project you are bringing to fruition. So go and make a mind map today and have it help you to visualise your goals.

Mind Map Download

There are a lot of Mind mapping software tools and the best thing to do is to get some trial versions and find out which of the suit you best, in terms of what you can do with them regard facilities and built in tools. Price is also going to be a factor and you will have to look at what is available in terms of value, which of them gives you the most bang for your buck. Try the free mind map software first and then you will know if the extras in the others are worth paying for or not. Search for Mind Map download.