Mind mapping is not a new concept. Mind mapping applications that take advantage of new technology are, however, worth your attention.
Mind mapping is a creative tool that can help any writer, artist, musician, entrepreneur, student, business person, or anyone else who has an idea, a project, or a problem to solve.
Traditional mind mapping simply involves a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. The main idea or a word is written in the middle of the page, and circled.
Idea trees are grown from that central idea. Mind mapping is very useful for brainstorming, exploring an idea to the fullest, and for making some interesting connections to sub-topics that may not be obvious in the beginning of the process.
The mind mapping process is a right-brained activity, free from the left brain analysis. This right brain process allows for free thinking thoughts and an almost stream-of-consciousness flow.
By using mind mapping web applications, your brainstorming session can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. With control over the brainstorming space, your idea is not limited by the piece of paper your are using.
Also, it is easier to go back and expand on ideas, andreorganize ideas with a web application than a regular piece of paper.
Paid mind mapping software is also available.
These are the top free mind mapping web applications and mind mapping freeware applications.
Top Free Mind Mapping Web Applications
One of the newest sites any creative person, including writers should check out is the web-based mind mapping application, Bubbl.us.
Bubbl.us is a smart flash-powered brain storming application. Creative types can use this powerful mind mapping tool that makes the best Web 2.0 technology. Bubbl.us is not as intuitive as it could be, and they do need to provide more of a general help feature. In the beginning, users may find themselves stumbling through to discover how to use it.
You can use bubbl.us as a guest or create an account. Also, you do need one of the following two browsers: IE 6.0+ or Mozilla Firefox 1.5+.
Tip: Hit enter to create a “child” bubble.”
Gliffy is a web-based application that allows for collaboration with other users. Gliffy does claim a “desktop application feel” and might remind some users of Microsoft’s PowerPoint.
Gliffy also enables more than mind mapping. Two more of its more interesting applications is the creation of a house floorplan, and the ability to create technical drawing.
Top Free Mind Mapping Freeware
Freemind is a Java-based and open source mind mapping application. FreeMind allows for some complex mind maps that can be color-coded and include links to files, and functional HTML links. FreeMind is easy to use with drag-and-drop technology.
Currently FreeMind does not enable collaboration. FreeMind does require download, unlike other mind mapping applications included here. It is a powerful application that needed mentioning.
Compendium is another free mind mapping application. Compendium is “a software tool for visual thinking.” Compendium is a useful way to link and cluster ideas and concepts, plus web sites and other documents.
Any of these web based or freeware mind mapping tools will help with your next creative process.