Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Working with Mindmapping

Mind Mapping is a powerful way of expressing thoughts. The basic technique is to combine lines, text, and images to represent related ideas and concepts. Some applications are: making choices, organize own ideas, organize other peoples ideas, stimulate creative thinking, make overview of collective brainstorm ideas, group mind map, way of analysing, problem solving, making a diary, preparing for an article or story. I find mindmapping as a technique very worthwhile to use in so many different ways. Worth trying! For more information, take a look at:

Tools available
The easiest way to make a mindmap is using coloured pens and paper. There are also several online tools available. An overview:

In a face to face meeting on 20th of September with 25 people interested in e-collaboration, we used mindmapping as a way of getting the conversation about e-collaboration started. Some used on of the e-tools, others used paper and coloured pencils.

Questions for small research: What are the costs? Is it worth the price? How user friendly is the tool? Think about aspects like: easy to use, well-organized, freedom of expression, flexibility, attractiveness of result, etc. How satisfied are you with the end results? Can you do with the tool what you would like? What do you see as advantages compared to making a mindmap by hand? What is the added value? How would this tool help you in your work? What are concrete situations suitable for using this mindmapping tool?

Experiences with e-mindmapping-tools

  • A nice way of introducing yourself to someone else.
  • Mindmapping is very helpful in a brainstorm activity. For me it is not so easy to brainstorm behind a computer, using a kind of structure given by a software tool.
  • When you want to present something (e.g. the content of a manual, ideas in a formal presentation, ingredients for a project) and you want to have them in a non-structured way, a mindmap can be very helpful. Using a software tool makes the presentation clear and neat.
  • The software tool Freemind and Imagination are for free.
  • Imagination offers the possibility to work on the same mindmap together. This can be very valuable in e-collaboration.
  • All programmes have the possibility of saving and sending the mindmap to others. When someone else receives your ‘imagination mindmap’, he will also be able to see the ‘development’ of the mindmap; the way the thinking went in making the mindmap.
  • There is a different dynamic in the process as well as in look between a mindmap made by hand and one made by software.. Using visual images (one of the powers of mindmapping) is much easier by hand.


At 1:34 AM, Blogger Joitske Hulsebosch said...

Hi, it may be nice to add the questions raised in the discussion:
• Can you work on a mindmap together at the same time? You can do this with imagination, the other programs, not sure
• What is the added value above a ‘paper’ mindmap?
• The creative process takes place while sketching and making a mess, so this is more about a nice presentation.

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Dorine Ruter said...

Thanks for this list Sibrenne, Joitske. Here's another one:
* The tool needs to be intuitive and support (a lot of) shortcut keys to let your hands keep up with your mind.

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Beth said...

Inspiration is more of a creative thinking tool. I've used in a collaborative setting with a choreography! He used choreography to help people spark a creative process. I used inspiration to take notes of their process - it was projected on a screen live while doing it. It was the coolist thing I ever worked on - it was a long time ago.

Nice post


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