Below is a mind map. Behold…
If you’ve never used mind mapping, you might want to give it a try. I’ve found it to be an excellent tool for brainstorming, organizational charting, sermon preparation, memorization of large amounts of data, planning, and collaboration. Essentially, mind mapping is a means of throwing our thoughts out on paper with some kind of spatial representation that our brains tend to enjoy.
I’ve been preaching without any written notes for a long time (other than a few marginal scribbles), but mind mapping has made me far more proficient at it. I recently asked via Twitter what tools others use for mind mapping, and I discovered some pretty useful ones! Here they are…
Pen and Paper
@ralphsaunders pointed this out to me. It seems that in the pre-computer days, there was this stuff made out of wood called “paper” and writing instruments called “pens.” I worked for a boss once who told me to write everything down because “paper is cheap, but brain cells aren’t.”
- Freemind (Opensource)
- iMindMap (Proprietary, Trial Availalbe)
- Xmind (Opensource, suggested by @brewern)
- MindJet (Proprietery, MS Office-like Interface, suggested by @Dot12b and @jayffm)
Here’s a Wikipedia entry about mind mapping. Web Worker Daily reviewed three web-based tools (the three mentioned above). And here are some good books on mind mapping. Here’s an article about how Ed Young uses mind maps and another by Kent Schaffer on 8 Steps to Mind Mapping.
Update: Just saw this great collection of 30+ Mindmapping Apps over at Smashing Buzz.