18 August 2012

Using Mind Mapping

Recently, I stumbled upon the Google Chorme app "mindmeister." Always looking for new systems and programs to explore, especially when it comes to advancing my research and organization, I decided to give it a go.

mindmeister (no capital letters in their logo) is a mind mapping program that allows the traditional technique to transfer from pen and paper to computer screen. It appears to be easy to use, and has several available options, even in the free edition, that are appealing.

[Here's the fine print. I am in no way affiliated with mindmeister. They did not communicate with me in any way, and I am writing this review of my own will and of my own opinions.]

mindmesiter allows the use of several templates to use for your mind maps... anything from to-do lists to event planning to writing a good blog post. The app is available on Android and iPad formats as well.

Example of the Writing a Blog template in mindmeister. 

Here's what I like, especially, about mindmeister:

  1. The free version still has enough features to satisfy someone with the tool they've just downloaded. If you need more, you have that option. 
  2. Templates allow you to be as independent or guided through the mind mapping process as you want. 
  3. The ability to move around the page, adjusting as your brain processes through the project, appears to have more flexibility than other apps I have tried. 
I really do enjoy being organized. I have lists of my lists. So, to have a writing project laid out for me like this is really ideal. I anticipate using mindmeister for blog posts, articles, family histories, and much more. I find it helpful to sit down and really examine the various elements of a project; no matter the size. What is the objective? Is there a need? What do I need to be successful in this endeavor? This app really does help me get through all of that... I can always move around the document to add, detract, or adjust accordingly as the project outline comes together. 

Bottom line: I'm giving mindmeister a 4 out of 5 on my personal scale of apps/tools I love. I would give it a 5 if I could get all the features free. But, hey, I get that; everyone has to make a living. 

So. Do you use the mind mapping technique? If so, how? Pen & paper; software; white board?  I'd be interested to see what everyone else is doing. If not... why not?