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Academic Productivity Tools

What is Mind Mapping?

Mind mapping is a method of writing down information that encourages you to group related ideas together around a central premise. It can be used for personal goals and business, but it's also very useful for academic work.

The Robert W. Woodruff Library owns a copy of Tony Buzan's The Mind Map Book, a useful guide to learning the process. The University of British Columbia produced this video for students interested in mind mapping:

Mind Mapping Software

There are dozens of products available for mind mapping for desktop computers, mobile devices, and on the Web. Some of them are paid downloads, others are shareware, and a few are completely free. Although it might be worth experimenting to see which software does best for you, Jason Fitzpatrick of LifeHacker put together a list of five good choices. Here are some others:

  • FreeMind
    FreeMind is mind-mapping software (written in Java) for PC or Macintosh. One drawback is that the program doesn't support simultaneous collaboration.
  • MindMup
    MindMup is a very basic mind-mapping site, still in beta (as of this writing). No account required.
  • Mind42
    Pronounced "mind for two," this site helps you create free (ad-supported) collaborative mind maps.
  • Mindomo
    Another free mind-mapping software website, Mindomo works on multiple computer and mobile platforms. There's also a version that's compatible with Google Drive.
  • Coggle is a newer free mind-mapping tool that's easy to use. You'll need a free Google account to sign up.

How to Create Mind Maps

ThinkBuzan has posted an article on its website that explains how to create mind maps. For those new to mind mapping, this could be the information you'll need to get started.

The company also has an article written on how students can use mind mapping, listing seven techniques that you may find helpful.

Still another article suggests study methods using mind mapping.

Tips and Tutorials

James Cook University in Australia has put together a guide for students to learn mind-mapping techniques. Gina Trapani at LifeHacker