Dan Woods, CTO and editor of Evolved Technologist, recently wrote an article (link at bottom) on Forbes.com, 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:
- 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.“
- 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:
- 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.
- 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 😉