Disclaimer: I, nor For Bloggers, By Bloggers, am affiliated or being compensated by MindNode for this post in any way, shape or form. I am just an avid user of the tool and want to recount my experiences with it. Any flowing admonition of MindNode found in this blog is completely of my own will.
Alright, now that that disclaimer is out of the way, let’s talk about MindNode. But first, let’s define “mind mapping”.
The well-known motivational speaker Earl Nightingale was famous for saying, “All you need [in life] is the plan, the map and the courage to press on to your destination.”
I would say the same thing is true about blogging. If you have a plan, a well-defined map to get there and the motivation and courage to keep going till you get there, you can surmount any online obstacle. When it comes to blogs, I prefer to use a mind map to help me on the way.
According to Wikipedia, a “mind map” is defined as the following:
A diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.
To give you an idea if you aren’t familiar with them, the picture that started this post is a mind map about what mind mapping actually is. Pretty trippy, I know.
Basically, a mind map is a free-flowing, flow chart for how you process the information and ideas surrounding a specific topic (*cough cough* like a blog post *cough cough*). They are handy because they grow and deepen the same way your mind processes information, unlike the list outlines used prior.
There’s a lot of mind mapping software out there for you to use, but I’m going to talk about one, in particular.
Introducing, MindNode for Blog Outlines
(At this point, many of you may be saying, “Jeez Joey, we already know about MindNode and use it all the time. You’re not telling us anything new.” Well, keep your panties on. If you already use MindNode, be thinking of some fun examples to share in the comments to help those who may not be as familiar with it as we are.)
MindNode is a Mac OS app that can be downloaded from the Apple Mac Store, on your iPhone or iPad. It’s got an incredibly clean design and is almost too easy to use. Whenever you open a new map, you’re started with a blank canvas and a single point in the middle for you to start building whatever you’d like. (See figure below).
The more you build and branch, the more detailed and intricate the mind map can be (as seen in the opening image of this post). That’s the great thing about MindNode, it’s incredibly versatile and can be a detailed or streamlined as you need.
Also, the files can be exported as PNG, TIFF, PDF, RTF or HTML. Pretty handy indeed.
Our brains process information in series of connections and samples, so mind mapping can be a very effective process by which to get the full spectrum of your thoughts out “on paper”.
Why Mind Mapping?
Are you outlining your blogs? Are you coming up with your streams of thought before you sit down at the computer to type everything out?
Throw those ideas and topics into MindNode and control those connections, ideas, and thoughts into a map you can use to reach your destination quickly and easily.
One thing that tends to happen when you just sit down and write is that you begin to ramble. Errant thoughts sneak in there and throw off the flow of your topic.
I’ve found that mind mapping as a good way to easily avoid that nasty habit because once you connect everything via your map, those errant thoughts can’t sneak in there because they aren’t branched into your MindNode already.
I’m a very visual learner and writer, so it also helps me personally to see my ideas spread out on the map, so I know that I’ve covered everything I want. It’s not as easy to scan and correct in an 800 word blog post as it is in a 5-branch mind map.
Have you tried mind mapping? Have you had success? What are your favorite tools if you think one beats MindNode?
I know there are others out there, but this is the one I’ve found that works best for me, so I wanted to tell you all about it. Have you found any that you like better? Why? Did I leave out any of your favorite features about MindNode?
Fill in where I might have left some things out.