Mind Mapping


Mind mapping is being used by CEO’s, librarians, students, and basically everyone.  My 15 year old daughter introduced me to this method of organizing thoughts.  Anyone can make a mind map, out of any of the traditional materials such as pen and paper, so why didn’t I learn this when I was in school?

Maybe because doing it online allows for so much more (I’m old enough to have used a typewriter).  For instance, colors for different branches of ideas, ability to move things around easily, and re-prioritize without re-drawing everything.  Online mindmaps give you the ability to add pictures, which makes things much more memorable, and websites, to quickly add links to sources.  And whether in print or online, it is a helpful to get a bird’s eye view of a project or presentation, so you can note the connections between ideas.  Online, you can share your ideas with others by pushing a button.  No wonder it’s being taken by storm.


You can use mindmapping software from various devices , for various purposes, at various prices (I prefer to stick to free). Here are some sites that will help you decide the one that’s right for you, such as http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-mind-mapping-tools/, and http://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/product-reviews/.

I started with Coggle.  I found it easy on my PC, impossible on my ipad.  I mostly just poked around played with the buttons, and figured it out on my own.   There are also tutorials available on the various websites.

My daughter uses xmind, because that’s what her English teacher requires.  Many fit the criteria he was looking for, namely: Free, High ratings, Easy to use, Cross-platform operation and compatibility (windows or mac).  Lynda.com (from from our homepage, under Educational Resources) has a tutorial on xmind, if you want to learn more.



Author: Michelle Harvey

Michelle spent many years as special librarian- serving the business community. She is the mother of three, all of whom have very different learning styles, and has been homeschooling since 2010. During that time, she has overseen the raising of chickens, keeping bees, and loving a Sheltland Sheepdog.

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