For those of us with too many ideas, coming up with creative projects isn’t the problem, organization is. You can be the most tidy person on Earth, but when you have too many thoughts in your head organizing them can still be quite the daunting task. Thankfully for us we don’t have to be left to just our own devices; that’s where mind mapping tools comes in.
If you don’t know, mind mapping is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the process of putting down all of your ideas into a graphical form that’s easier to navigate than your brain might be. The goal isn’t to just throw your thoughts onto a piece of paper how ever they just come out though, the end goal should be to have a legible diagram of multiple thoughts or ideas that shows the relation and scale of each while still presenting a whole body of thought. Below is an example of a mind map taken from Mind-Mapping.co.uk.
Mind maps aren’t a new thing by any means, but they are a good thing, especially for those of us who are organizationally-impaired. The general rule is to start with a generic, or more broad idea, then branch off of it with more and more specific ideas. This isn’t a law by any means, though. If you think another way will work for your current idea or thought process, go with it. Just remember that you have to be able to read your map later so don’t go so abstract and over board with it that when you look at it a week later it looks like an M. C. Escher painting or anything.
I don’t make mind maps very often, personally. I’m too sloppy when it comes to making large ones, but I do make simple, two or three level ones in my notes a lot. However, I’ve always wanted to get better at making full scale mind maps, and recently I found an online app that makes mind mapping one step easier.
Bubbl is a free, web-based brainstorming and mind mapping application that anyone can pick up and use almost instantly. I urge anyone who needs to get something out of their head onto something more tangible to give Bubbl a try.
Pro tip: This same mapping process is how designers layout a wire frame for websites. Give it a try!