Although I’m conscious of the limitations of Mind Maps, I’ve always kept a mind mapping program on my computer as a way of keeping a record of my developing thoughts on any subject which I want to think about over a long period of time. All three of my books started life in this way.
The program I’ve used up to now has been FreeMind, which contains all the basic functionality and has the great advantage of being a free program.
Lately though I’ve been trying out MindManager, which has a lot more bells and whistles but has the disadvantage of being quite expensive. I’m still undecided whether to buy the program, but I must say I do like a lot of its features and find it overall easier to use than FreeMind - at least once I got past the initial steep learning curve.
There’s one feature I particularly like and that is the Brainstorming function. This is brilliant for carrying out timed thinking sessions of the type I wrote about in my article Hard Thinking and elsewhere. They even include the timer!
The great advantage of doing this sort of session on a mind mapping program is that, when you’ve finished writing down your thoughts in random order, you can then order them, group them, prioritise them, edit them and extract tasks from them easily.