Trying Mind Mapping again

I’m just finishing up a 3-day weekend today and I spent a good amount of it trying out mind maps again. I’ve had several false starts, but I was inspired by a post I saw from @RosemaryOrchard regarding a new course. Here is the post:

I decided to give it a try and I’m already using a mind map to take notes on a book I’m reading. I never thought about trying that and it turns out to be a really good way to take notes on a book.

I’ve also started mapping out several app ideas I have. I finally can see the power of mind mapping now and hope it will help me think through my ideas in new ways.

In what other ways do you use mind maps? I’m eager to try out new applications of this idea.

Can you elaborate on what makes using a mind map better for you in the two examples you gave? How has mind mapping changed or improved your process in those two cases?

I use mind mapping for several things:

  • Brain storming my book
  • Mapping out article ideas and outlines
  • Mapping out significant presentations
  • Staying on top of strategic initiatives. I have a large number of complex projects in Asana–which works great for projects involving a lot of other people and departments. However, I have to ensure I stay focused on the strategic initiatives and avoid getting lost in the weeds. I call it my “Big Rocks” map.
  • Mapping out a draft of department level or organization wide org. charts

I’m glad this is working for you.

Concept maps are closely related to mind maps, but more freeform and action oriented. Apps such as Cmap (free), or Scapple ($18) allow them to be created easily.
Somewhat related is TheBrain ($219), which has its own visual interface into a semi-hierarchical map (recently copied by Tinderbox).

The difference between Concept Maps and Mind Maps.

He also mentions the Kipling method, as framework for creating mind maps.


Edit: Learned from the videos, updated my thinking.

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99% of my sermons start out as a mind map, even if they start resembling an outline very quickly. If I am giving a presentation of any sort, it will also likely start as a mind map. I have a lot of unfinished mind maps because at some point I shoot if over to an outline. Sometimes they are kind of like WD-40 for a stuck brain for me. It’s funny because I hate leaving stuff incomplete for most other stuff, but I have found them to be pretty disposable, which is cool for me.


I use use Scrivener so I like scapple. The problem is there is no iOS version so it is not feasible for me.

Well, I’ve only been doing it for a couple of days, so I’m sure I’ll have more to say after I get better at it. In the case of book notes, it turns out to be good to have a hierarchical view of the book. It is a book on developing iOS apps with Swift. I’ve been playing around with different MindNode features, like tags, so I can quickly go back to sections I’ve tagged with ideas or quotes or important things I’d like to delve more deeply into. It’s also nice to be able to zoom out and in to see the big ideas and delve into details and be able to make connections. For example, the book has 3 major sections, the Swift Language, IDE (Xcode) and Cocoa. I’ve been able to read things in the IDE section and then tie them back to specific Swift language features I learned about in the first section. MindNode allows you to create these connection lines between nodes.

For the app idea map, I’ve been mainly brainstorming ideas. In the past I would’ve just jotted down ideas in Apple Notes. Of course it is possible to rearrange things in Apple Notes with copy paste or drag and drop, but it just isn’t as fluent and easy as dragging nodes around on a mind map. I also like how you can quickly jump around the map. I might be down one leaf of a node and think of an idea that belongs in a completely different section of the map. I can then just quickly zoom out and go to that section and add the idea, then go back just as quickly.

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I liked this overview of Mindmapping by Kam Knight – Mind Mapping: Improve Memory, Concentration, Communication, Organization, Creativity, and Time Management

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