Uses of Mind Maps
The Brain Book
Peter Russell's highly acclaimed book on memory and learning, with many examples of mind maps, how to make them and use them.
Notes. Whenever information is being taken in, mind maps help organize it into a form that is easily assimilated by the brain and easily remembered. They can be used for noting anything -- books, lectures, meetings, interviews, phone conversations.
Recall. Whenever information is being retrieved from memory, mind maps allow ideas to be quickly noted as they occur, in an organized manner. There's no need to form sentences and write them out in full. They serve as quick and efficient means of review and so keep recall at a high level.
Creativity. Whenever you want to encourage creativity, mind maps liberate the mind from linear thinking, allowing new ideas to flow more rapidly. Think of every item in a mind map as the center of another mind map.
Problem solving. Whenever you are confronted by a problem -- professional or personal -- mind maps help you see all the issues and how they relate to each other. They also help others quickly get an overview of how you see different aspects of the situation, and their relative importance.
Planning. Whenever you are planning something, mind maps help you get all the relevant information down in one place and organize it easily. They can be used for planning any piece of writing from a letter to a screenplay to a book (I use a master map for the whole book, and a detailed sub-map for each chapter), or for planning a meeting, a day or a vacation.
Presentations. Whenever I speak I prepare a mind map for myself of the topic and its flow. This not only helps me organize the ideas coherently; the visual nature of the map means that I can read the whole thing in my head as I talk, without ever having to look at a sheet of paper.
Clickable Mind Map of earlier version of this site's home page