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Freemind: A great mind-management tool


Freemind
I discovered a bit late in life that I was a visual person, thanks to my discovering mind mapping. Mind mapping is a brainstorming technique discovered by Tony Buzan and then evangelized by Michael Gelb.

The synopsis of this technique is that one starts with a main theme that he puts on the centre of a blank sheet of paper or, if you are using software, the centre of the screen.
 Next, you expand on the theme by adding branches(nodes)  and naming ideas on the branches. You continue the process as long as necessary or adequate. Mind mapping works on the premise that the mind does not think linearly or with words. It thinks in pictures and with thoughts that come randomly.

Mind mapping seeks to synthesize right brain creative thinking with left brain creative thinking. As far as I could tell, mindmapping works well, atleast for me.

At MIT I used Mindjet which was more than adequate for me. Then I discovered Freemind which is a decent open-source cross platform alternative(It is built with Java). Freemind is easy to use and has a great set of features like the ability to add images to your nodes which is a key to great mind maps.

With Freemind one can also export the file into several formats including image, xml, pdf and open office types. Mindmapping has saved me many hours of effort and pstimulates creative solutions quickly.

If you are new to mindmapping, try using Freemind and see if it works for you. Do you have a favourite mind mapping tool? Please share your ideas on this subject in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.

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