Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Enter the Mind Map

I've loved me some flow chart. Also, I've threatened quite a few conversations with a Venn diagram. And I've cruelly marked up a few cocktail napkins with bifurcation maps, in my day. My new love, the mind map, I barely know but she's a favorite with yogi gurus and scientists alike.

Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas. They beat a stack of notecards sprinkled over my writing desk. And in my book, one step closer to art. Selecting the right tools to symbolize words and ideas is more essential than every in this technological age. And whether you're corralling ideas for your next grand scheme or coordinating the details of your next work week, mind mapping can help you explore ideas quickly, and in-depth while performing as an aid in organization, decision making and problem solving.

As we enter a paradigm shift as great as the industrial age based on information and technology, it can be difficult to maintain clear focus on our princple intentions and problems (mindless google surfing trap, anyone?). Mind maps are becoming popular non-linear, multi-dimensional diagram to classify ideas. Look at innovative tools like Visuwords (graphical dictionary and word concept map), and LivePlasma (explore band influences in a star chart). And now,
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic is introducing a innovative search using mind maps to explore their content in 2010.

Get started with While sketchy in so many ways, they a very nice list of "99 Mind Mapping Resources, Tools and Tips," that, among other things, will introduce you to mind mapping software. Even more instructive, the Lifehacker recommended "Managing multiple freelance gigs with Mind Maps" from FreelanceSwitch will show you how to use mind maps to organize your week.

Just love information classification as much as I do? Start reading (and have a laugh) Indexed.

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