If you are mind mapping and get stuck for inspiration there are several different things you can try. One possibility is to use an online tool to help you semi-automate mind mapping. Start by producing a mind map as you would normally, but when you feel you have exhausted your ideas try using some of these tools.
The Visual Thesaurus – automatic mind mapping of words
Let’s try inputting the word “sight” into the visual thesaurus. It provides you with an automated mind map of related words. You can then click on one of those words, I chose spy, and it expands to a mind map around the word spy. Take these words and add them to the mindmap you started previously and see what new directions it takes you in. You can also press alt and click on a word to be taken to google images, which I will cover later.
www.visualthesaurus.com – cost $19.95 year
Visuwords – automatically mind maps related words
Visuwords is similar to the Visual Thesaurus, but it is not as clean looking. That said it’s free to use. Just as you did with the Visual Thesaurus type in a starting word, I tried lens this time and it created a mind map around that word. Then click one of the words it produces and it expands again. I find that its a bit glitchy and sometimes you have to click more than once. Add any interesting words to your existing mind map and see if they help spur more new ideas.
Rhymezone – find words related to your subject
It’s nowhere near as pretty as The Visual Thesaurus, but Rhymezone can still help with coming up with more ideas for your Mind Map. Type in a word and then choose the type of words you want such as related words, descriptive words, phrases, rhymes etc. Then hit search and see what words it suggests. Add any words to your mind map that you think might be useful and use them to generate fresh ideas.
www.rhymezone.com – free
Google images – use images to find ideas for your mindmaps
Try typing some words from your existing mind map into google keywords and see what images you get back. You will probably need to try a few. I tried typing in the word “sight” and as well as hundreds of eye pics there images for “love at first sight, out of sight, musical notes which kind of looked like eyes – music to your eyes theme, fight for sight, miracles in sight. These could all be added to your mind map to springboard new ideas.
What tools do you use to help with mind mapping?
see also Mind Mapping for Ideas The Basics – part 1