Are you one of those people whose brainstorming abilities are barely under control? When you have an idea, do the details come pouring forth in a tidal wave, and get lost as they crash to the shore and pour back into the sea?
That is me in a nutshell. I'm full of ideas, but when they come it's hard for me to get them under control and organize anything. I've tried notepads, using my good friend Evernote, and a whole host of other stuff to get those crazy ideas under control and in some semblance of readability. But that's tough sometimes when you have eighty things going on at once.
Enter my new favorite tool, the mind map. I don't know if you've ever come across this concept, but basically it's something like this:
The basic idea is that the shape at the middle is the "main topic" at hand. The branches out from the main topic are the subtopics, and then the smaller branches are the details, etc. It's a simple enough concept. And the beneift is that it's quick and you can get as detailed as you want (and as you have room for on your paper or whatever format you use). You can use images to dress it up like the one in this example, you can keep it simple with just text, etc. It's a quick and easy way to record and organize this stuff, especially if you're a visual person.
Okay, so that's easy enough to understand, I think. But let's take this one more step. As you may have picked up, I love having my stuff available to me online or on a mobile device. And I've discovered an app that may be the best of both worlds.
The app is called Connected Mind. And yes, there are tablet versions of it for both iPad and Android-based devices. But here's the first neat part - there's also a Google Chrome add-on for it. And here's the second neat part - it uses your Google account (assuming you have one) as cloud storage for your maps so that you can access them anywhere. You can edit the map in Chrome and have those changes show up on your tablet, and vice versa.
And it's easy to use - it's very intuitive and the app comes with connections to video instructions from the makers on how to use it.
So now you can quickly, from multiple locations, make changes and additions to your mind maps no matter where you are. The usual limitations about where you last made a change and the availability of wi-fi for the tablet you have apply, naturally, but that's about the only drawback.
I've got a major project in mind right now, and I'm brimming over with ideas for it. And every time I have an idea, I can just open up my Chrome browser on my PC and make the change or addition, or grab my Kindle Fire and do the same. No more lost ideas!