Ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of different facets of a large project you’re working on? Feel like it’s not a coherent whole, because you have no reference point for where to start and what to be doing next? Feel like all the seperate little parts make a lot of sense, but the whole picture is still quite vague?

Then mind mapping is for you. Mind mapping is a technique whereby you literally map all your thoughts, in a visual and structured manner. You start for instance with the goal you’re trying to achieve. Then you draw lines from there to nodes that are fundamental to getting that task done. From these tasks, you can then build trees of information, that you can easily re-arange, and more importantly, take a fresh overview.

If the above sounds technical: mind mapping is NOT. Also, I’m saying tasks in the text above, but anything that is in the mind, can be mapped and structured. So if you’re depressed and your life is a mess, then mind mapping could help but things in context.

There’s a great list of mind mapping software at Wikipedia. One of my favourite mind mapping apps that I’ve used is Mindjet’s Mind Manager; Try the demo and you’re hooked. A nice free package is Freemind.

There are also other forms of mapping tools. For instance, Visual Theasaurus is a great way to find words related to other words in many ways. Opte is an organization trying to map the web, see this 11Mb sample of 4000 x 4000 pixels of the internet. A very literal way of mapping is Google Maps, now covering streets in almost all the world. Also, check out this table of visualisation methods.

Hope you find your way!