If you’ve ever been involved in some kind of project where you needed to manage tons of ideas and filter unnecessary ones you might have wished you could materialize them into the physical world to organize them. With this issue were familiar many teachers, engineers, and psychologists throughout history. Eventually, this conception became the basis of mind maps, that are frequently used today in brainstorming, different methods of teaching, memorizing and visual thinking.
How to keep your ideas structured by using special tools
Mind maps are a visual way of collecting and capturing your thoughts/ideas in order to solve a problem, create a plan or memorize something. The idea of visualization is widely used for studying purposes and business. Illustrated books for little children help to study basic notions of life and presentations with slides and b-roll can be essential for students to comprehend and understand difficult scientific conceptions. Brainstorm during business discussions requires a visual representation of ideas of all participants of the talks. People studying languages on the initial level use images-stickers to create visual associations with a certain word in their mind so when a word is forgotten an image brings the memory back.
A mind map is basically a diagram that attracts your brain and makes it perform certain functions (memorizing or problem-solving) by using colours, connections, and keywords. In the era of technological adaptation, mind maps get a lot of attention from software developers. One of the best apps for creating a structure of your ideas is XMind for Mac, which is a mind mapping tools and one of the most popular programmes for visual thinking.
Any mind map starts with putting an image in the centre of the page, which will be the focal topic of your creation. In XMind you get to choose from different templates that represent the design of the icon that will designate your central topic. You can pick one straight away or change it once your whole map is done, by clicking on the central topic you type in the name of it and start to structure your project. The next step is to add main branches that will represent the central subject. So let’s say the central topic is “My Day”, then the main topics can be “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday” etc. You can always add as many subtopics to the main topics as you need, like “Morning”, “Lunch” etc. They are like smaller branches and keywords that somehow reflect the main and central topics. With XMind you don’t even need to use your mouse that much, easy keyboard combos will help to speed up the process. This feature will come in handy while brainstorming. You want the app to work simple and quick since it’s important not to miss an idea of the flow of thoughts. You also get to choose the style and colour of the font, wallpaper or just a background colour for the map and markers. The latest is a very useful feature since when you create a map with a regular piece of paper you got to draw everything yourself or glue stickers on etc. But in XMind you have them installed and you can also add files like Word or PDF by copying them onto your map or adding the link. This is an amazing option for those who need to share their projects with others, so they can easily access the files. Finally, if you need to share your mind map there are a bunch of options like Evernote or you can export the map to your desktop in different formats as text, image and more.
XMind is deservedly one of the most well-known tools for mind mapping today. Used for personal purposes as well as studying XMind can help you to simplify everyday routine and create some business or scientific projects. You can try out this free mind mapping tool and experience what it can do for you.