Recently I’ve discovered a terrific tool for brainstorming and thoughts organizing — FreeMind — and it became one of my favorites in the blink of an eye. Everyone, or at least good deal of us, knows what brainstorming is — it’s a process of the exploration of some idea when you analyze its aspects and aspects of an aspects from all sides. Often, people use white- and blackboards to write down their thoughts or just a plain paper for the same purpose. Personally, I always wrote some kind of text, explaining the idea, digging deeper into it. The time wore off and what I found myself doing was dealing with proper statements, language structures, text formating, breaking things into lines and paragraphs and doing other time consuming actions distracting from the main goal — focusing on the topic. Can it be better? Absolutely.

The mind mapping software is one of possible answers. We always look for a way to map our thoughts onto the results in a most short way. Musicians are looking for quicker ways of recording musical images from their minds in the form of compositions, painters dream to create paintings right when they have got an inspiration, programmers and businessmen are worried with forgetting the brightest ideas of their lives just because it’s too hard to write them down in solid text. We could do better if we had this way from some idea to an implementation as short as possible and mind mapping software serves this goal excitingly well.

For me it’s always hard to repeat all that I have already thought about in order to write it down onto the paper or in the word processor window. I often have two rounds of brainstorming: the first when I start to think about something and the second when I try to recall all wonderful conclusions and brightest ideas I have produced while writing them down. The last one is always painful. So, why not simply record everything during the first round? Because the writing is always a hurdle. It’s distracting and really not quick enough to follow the flow of thoughts.

That’s why I found this new tool extremely valuable to me. I don’t have to concentrate on the organization tasks completely. Right when I have got a thought, I’m writing it down in a short sentence. Then I go further and connect subthoughts without thinking about how to motivate this connection in written English. Further and further the same way until I have a really bushy tree of thoughts recorded. Then I do some reorganization and can decide to make another round as I have new thoughts coming or leave everything as is. Exciting and fresh!

All these mind-maps are extremely bright invention and I wonder why they aren’t shouted out loud at schools, colleges and univerities? They were originated in far 1960 by Tony Buzan and have made a long way of evolutions. You might also be interested in the site dedicated to original idea of mind-mapping as well. Here it is.

Well, I would like to recommend everyone to look at this application and the approach in general. If you have to deal with creativity of any sort, you are going to give yourself a question — how, on Earth, I lived without it all that time!