If you aren’t using mind mapping as a resource to enhance various aspects of your life and writing process, join great minds such as Da Vinci, Beethoven, and Darwin, by learning the process today. Creating a mind map and the accompanying process works as a catalyst by harnessing your brain’s organic way of doing things, stimulating both creativity and logic, and giving you the freedom to explore unlimited thinking potential.
London University research studies demonstrate that people who use images and color in their imagination to learn and remember do better with recall than those that don’t. You can use this process to enhance just about any area of your life from personal to professional. What better way to do this than to take advantage of free mind mapping software available on the web?
To create a mind map, you place one keyword in the center of a blank sheet of paper and then let your mind explore outward, using single words or short phrases to explore all areas of a topic.
What is a Mind Map Used for?
- Organize information, facts, or ideas visually in one place
- Quickly produce ideas around a central topic or theme
- Explore alternate options by encouraging your brain to look in all directions
- Learning a new language
- Building better habits
- Career planning
- Transform thoughts into visual form
- Group ideas and link concepts through association
- Break a complex subject or topic into colorful sections or images that are easier to remember and understand
Benefits of Mind Mapping
There are many benefits to mind mapping. It can be done manually, by hand with blank paper and crayons or colored pencils or by using any number of free mind mapping software programs or web-based applications on the market today.
- Learn to unleash your creative side, generate ideas, and look deeper for meaning and connections
- A mind map can provide a big picture summary of a broad subject and hold an impressive amount of information in its branches
- Make a subject or concept more enjoyable and remember more details later
- Unlimited ideas, thoughts, connections make it applicable across your life
- Six times easier to remember information than words alone.
- Increase memory and learning up to 15% over linear note-taking and study methods.
- Save time by using free mind mapping software
- More efficient problem-solving
- Incorporate regularly into your life routines for increased productivity and fulfillment
Ways to Structure Free Mind Mapping Software for the Writing Process
Ask Questions: Place your central idea or word in the center of a blank page. Ask yourself the Five W Questions, who, what, why, when, where concerning that concept or word. For novel planning, you can answer the questions from your audience’s viewpoint or the viewpoint of one of your characters.
Solve a Problem for Yourself: Place a word that represents a problem you are having with your book in the center of your mind map. Brainstorm out from the center by adding obstacles, resources, and solutions until you come up with a good next step.
Solve a Problem for your Character: The center of your mind map should be your character’s name or a problem or challenge that they are facing. Brainstorm out from the center, thinking of next steps, resources, and options until you find a solution that works.
Worldbuilding: Put the name of your world in the center of your mind map with branches out from there for things such as government, climate/weather, landmarks, history, currency, etc. and free associate until you have a solid idea of your story world.
Character Development: Place the name or role of your character in the center of your mind map and branch out from there brainstorming things such as family, physical traits, history, childhood events, mannerisms, career, relationships/love life, etc.
Six Free Mind Mapping Software
- Coggle is just one of the free mind mapping software options out there. Try it out and then upgrade to the commercial option for private mind maps and presentation modes. Collaborate with friends or colleagues or work alone with version tracking and a history mode.
- MindMaple is a cross-platform offering available for Windows, Mac, Mac OS X, and iOS devices. Be more productive with task scheduling, project management or brainstorming. Import templates and formats of popular mind mapping software such as MindManager, Freemind, and Xmind into MindMaple and export your finished maps into PDF.
- Visual Understand Environment (VUE) is an open source project based at Tufts University. It provides a great visual format for organizing, presenting, and sharing information digitally. Use for creating interactive presentations.
- MindMapfree is a free education resource with a step by step tutorial to guide you through creating your mind map.
- Semantik is available for Linux and with different format views including a linear option with the retractable and expandable function for branches.
- Wisemapping is a free web-based application with offerings for use by individuals as well as schools or businesses. It takes just minutes to be up and running and uses vector graphics and HTML5 to work on all modern browsers. Because it’s a web-based application, there are options for collaboration with friends, classmates, or colleagues.
- NovaMind offers a free Lite subscription that enables users to create up to 25 Mind Map topics. When you upgrade to their paid subscription, it’s only $6 monthly when you pay for the entire year or $7 if you pay by the month. Use the presenter mode to transform your completed mind map into an animated presentation or export the results to MS PowerPoint for more traditional slides.
SimpleMind Free Mind Mapping for Android
With both a free and a paid version, the SimpleMind app for Android makes mind mapping mobile for those moments when you’re out and about with free time on your hands.
In addition to the six we’ve listed above, there are more free mind mapping software options out there. So, no matter what you want to use mind mapping for, whether personal or business related, chances are you can find a free online tool that can make learning the process of mind mapping quick, enjoyable and painless.