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Mind Maps are a fantastic way to get your thoughts down and organised, as well as spark the creative process. They can be used to free associate ideas for your novel, to organise chapters, to brainstorm ideas and to ‘brain dump'. I have used mind mapping since I was taught it for Psychology – it actually uses a similar structure to the brain so it helps you remember things. I have also used mind maps to achieve outstanding exam results, as well as the basis for my creative books and products.
So what is a mind map?
It is essentially a version of information generated around a subject. In the example, I am creating a teleseminar on how to create your own Author 2.0 plan. The central topic goes in the middle of the page and then the spokes become the key points from that topic, and from those spokes, more detail emerges.
Mind maps can be words, pictures or phrases, colourful or not, done on software or drawn by hand, about your work or your play or your psychoses. They can be done in 10 minutes or can be a work or art compiled over months.
As the very basic level, mind maps are a tool for you to use to achieve a result.
Recently, I was reminded of how useful Mind Maps are for authors by Tom Evans, The BookWright who uses them in his excellent course, Unleash The Book Inside (review to come on that!). Another great author who swears by them is Roger C Parker who integrates the templates into his Published and Profitable website. This blog is all about helping you and I believe mind maps are a fantastic creative tool!
Here is a great video on creating hand drawn and creative mind maps:
Software for Mind Maps
I like pen and paper best as I have oodles of journals full of them, but others swear by the different mind mapping software and books out there.
FreeMind – free mind mapping software by the excellent Sourceforge
iMindMap (looks great – but beware auto-playing video).
This is from Tony Buzan who also wrote the books on Mind Mapping – his “About” MindMap is lovely!
There is also Mindjet Mind Manager .