Mind maps tools are increasingly popular among companies, business owners, individuals and educators. Using mind maps for a deep dive into a specific topic, project or goal allows you to throw it out “on paper” and get your ideas order.
All mind maps have one thing in common. They have a central structure that radiates out organizing ideas by using lines, symbols, photos, and text to support and provide additional information for each big idea or topic. Mind maps can be either paper or computer-based, both follow the same structure, breaking a topic out from a central idea. The wonderful thing about the process of mind mapping is that you can dive deeper into a subject as you radiate out and continue to brainstorm. The mind map process is both intellectual and creative and is such a wonderful tool for individuals and business’ that are more hands on and intuitive in their goal setting and brainstorming process. The key is to find out which method works best for you, your needs and capabilities.
Paper Mind Maps
Paper-based mind maps are easy to create – you don’t need a computer, internet access, or computer chargers. All you need is paper and a pen, easy peasy! You can quickly jot down everything that comes out of your mind and map it out exactly how you’d like it. A paper mind map is great for those who need to get all of their ideas out quickly and allow for refining later. It can also be a helpful tool for organizing ideas and actions for teams.
Paper mind maps wick and easy to access anywhere, but there are a few downsides to using traditional pen and paper – it could easily get lost, crumpled or get eaten by your dog! You aren’t able to change your ideas with ease unless you use a pencil, and if you are creating a large mind map you’ll need a lot of paper (which isn’t so ecologically friendly) and can take up a lot of space.
Digital Mind Map Tools
There are dozens of mind map software to choose from, these are just some of the most popular and user-friendly systems that I’ve used myself, with clients or heard good things about.
Coggle is a web browser-based mind mapping software that makes creating a mind map simple, easy and fun. This software offers both a free and paid version and it is an excellent investment if you create a lot of mind maps. It allows you to collaborate easily with a team. You can add text, hyperlinks, and images anywhere on your map with Coggle. The attractive branches can be customized with color, making these mind maps easy to follow.
Inspiration Maps offers both computer and web based software that has been newly introduced for iPad and iPhone. Its key features include the ability to create an unlimited number of maps and outlines, a user-friendly interface and the ability to customize, add graphics and photos to any part of your map. You are able to choose from over 100 pre made mind map layouts and hundreds of graphics within the app. With its autosave feature, you can be certain you won’t lose any of your data if the internet goes down and you are able to share it on a variety of platforms. It is very inexpensive for all the features and is worth the purchase!
In addition to its catchy name, Mind Meister is another great software for creating mind maps. It is focused more on business and educational use and has a variety of features that support a lot of users at one time. It is available for download and can be accessed on any platform and has intricate sharing capabilities.
When making your decision take into consideration the pros and cons of each, the features, cost, ease of interface, accessibility and most importantly that it suits your needs. At the end of the day, mind maps are supposed to be a fun, interactive tool that helps you expel all the information out of your brain. Don’t lose sight of that and have fun mind mapping all your great ideas!
Do you already use the mind map process? If so are you using pen and paper or software? What are some of your favorite things to mind map?