Mind mapping is a visual display of thoughts, tasks, resources and other information around a center idea or topic. I use it quite often in early stages of venture creation when many random thoughts run through my mind and I need a flexible container to hold them. Mind mapping is also very helpful for visual display of other unstructured data.
This, for example, is a Map of the Online Advertising Space that I’ve prepared for a client that wanted to introduce a new product for Ad Networks and needed to understand the playing field. It was created with NovaMind, a very feature rich Mind Mapping software that produces great looking maps.
I have recently dropped NovaMind for Mind Meister, a more accessible application that also allows online collaboration. This is another step in my transition to becoming completely location independent. I will dedicate a post to the LIP (Location Independent Professionals) trend soon.
By accessible I mean first, the obvious, that Mind Meister is browser based rather than OS (Operating System) based. This means, you can work on your mind maps from any device that runs an internet browser. You are not bounded to your PC. The second level of accessibility, and this is were Mind Meister is different from other browser based Mind Mapping applications, is achieved by its implementation (via Ajax), which allows it to run with no additional browser plugins (such as Flash or Java). The benefits are that you can use any public computer where you will probably not be authorized to install plugins and that you can collaborate with anyone, without imposing specific system requirements.
Here’s a good Review of three Web-Based Mind Mapping Tools, that also covers Mind Meister and a good source about Mind Mapping Software in general. And here’s more about Mind Maps from Wikipedia.