Monthly Archives: June 2009

A good explanation of why mind mapping works for writing projects

Dan Woods, CTO and editor of Evolved Technologist, recently wrote an article (link at bottom) on, and explained very well why mind mapping works for long writing projects, especially when you ?have to work on multiple projects at the same time.

Dan first stated two problems of the traditional, linear way:

  1. First, writing is a series of creative activities, it’s not a work that you start from the beginning?all along to the end, it’s rather a non-linear way like Dan explained:”We brainstorm, interview someone, or review a transcript and want to add a note to another part of the outline. We page up or down, find the right spot, and then add the note“,and the problem is that

    It doesn’t take long for paging up and down to become frustrating and exhausting, like running up and down flights of stairs to do your work.

  2. The second problem happens when you return to a writing project from other work or another writing project -when?the information is stored in an outline and notes, you?have to slog through pages of material to refresh the context and recapture your thoughts, and actually most of the case the context you captured isn’t quite complete.

Dan then explained how mind mapping solves the above two problems:

  • The two-dimensional space of mind maps allows you to navigate around quickly with mouse, and put an idea in the right place in the hierarchy, expanding and folding the level of detail as needed. Because this is quick and easy, ?engages capturing more ideas and reorganize them faster.
  • When you return to a mind map of the writing, the context of the latest thinking is quickly restored, nothing is missing or lost, because you can see the big picture of the writing project and the relation between different parts.

Other benefits of min mapping for writings:

  1. Capturing ideas from an interview. I think this is because with mind maps you don’t have to write long sentence, you mind will not be interrupted so that you can follow the?interviewee.
  2. Taking notes when ?reviewing a transcript or other material.

BTW, I’m excited that some features of the upcoming professional version of MindVisualizer mind mapping software will make the long writing projects easier 😉

Click here for Dan Woods’ great article about mind mapping for wring.

Mind mapping for GTD?

GTD (Getting things done) for time management and productivity invented by David Allen is really a great way ?for task management and project management, and it’s becoming more and more popular nowadays.

On the other hand, according to Chuck Frey’s survey, to do listing and project management are two of the most frequently used areas of mind mapping.

So this question came to my mind: How good can mind mapping play for GTD? Mind mapping is well known for its ability to see the big picture of information, maybe this can be used for the process of determine the next action and reviewing?

Mind mapping example

Well, since we are working on the professional version of MindVisualizer, it’s been a while since the last major upgrade of MindVisualizer Standard. But I’d like to let you know that MindVisualizer is actually being improved constantly, so I am posting a mind map example that shows the new gradient style that’s added recently. In this mindmap example, the diagonal gradient style that’s is one of the three supported, the other two are vertical and horizontal gradient. No mind map samples will be posted for the later two, because you’ll be soon able to apply that look and feel to your own mind maps after the next new version of MindVisualizer Standard is released.

BTW, if you are an existing MindVisualizer Standard user, you’ll notice the improved graphic quality, that’s true because we’ve also changed some underlying code for the drawing part.

the 'SQ4R reading method' mind map example
the 'SQ4R reading method' mind map example