Software for mindmapping and information organization

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Vegetable or royalty – take your pick with mindmapping

Whether you have vegetable or royal aspirations, I can confirm that you'll find mindmapping a great way of calming yourself down when you have many calls on your time, ideas buzzing round your head and objectives to meet. But it must fit your own personal style of thinking, and you must set aside the time to do it! That's how I bust stress, not by mapping out my stressful times. But we're all different, and maybe this will work for you.

How to Be Cool As a Cucumber and King of All Your Survey with Mind Mapping

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The most common syndrome affecting each one of us is stress. The fast pace of life has brought in its wake, a great deal of stress. The incredible range of automation and convenient commodities and products, far from relieving us from the mundane, has only added to more problems and stress. We seem to be under constant pressure on all fronts that stress has become an inevitable process.

To fight the stress, you need to analyze the causes of your short-term and long-term stress in your life. This will give you a clear insight into how you react to stress, and help you to identify the areas and levels of stress. One effective means is to maintain Stress Log on a regular basis to record information about the stresses you are experiencing so you can analyze and help manage them effectively. This is of great significance, as we tend to forget how we reacted to a particular situation over time, and thus such stress situations fail to get the attention they deserve. Stress Logs will indicate the causes of stress in detail, the levels of stress at which you are at your efficient best, how you react to them and whether your reactions are appropriate to the situations. Mind Maps can best serve the cause of such Stress Diaries.

You can maintain a daily log of your stress routine and those that occur occasionally. Using Mind Maps you can divide your different areas of stress, and log in your stress situation under each of them. Your reactions will form another core detail, and a separate link to causes will reveal the subjective element that is playing within for triggering such stress responses. If it is not possible to note them by the hour, you can, at the end of the day, note all these aspects in your Mind Map Stress Book.

Also, you can use a subjective assessment on a scale of ten to record the happiest and unhappiest moments of the day. You can again rate your work efficiency and inefficiency levels for different activities. You can then identify those situations that caused you maximum stress and those in which you were most relaxed, using the rating scale. You can, in addition, note the kind of reactions you experienced, such as anger, headache, shooting back pain, raised pulse rate, sweaty palms, flushed face, etc. The way you handled stress solutions either by solving or inflaming them more will also help in assessing your stress reactions.

Unlike the conventional method of orderly listing of facts on a sheet, using Mind Map Stress Logs or Diaries will provide a broad canvass for noting the different areas and aspects of stress that you experienced. At a single glance, you can gain the full picture of your stress and know your stress patterns. Since the whole aspects of your stress life is captured in a single Mind Map, you will find it easy to identify your stress routine, plug those stress areas, learn the causative factors and generally reveal ways to tackle and manage your stress levels.

The frequency of your stress syndrome and how well you handled various stress situations are other indicators for throwing light on your stress profile. Based on your analysis you can then work out appropriate responses and solutions. By going beyond the mere obvious and surface, and digging deep into your inner pattern of attitude and emotional response, Mind Maps reveal your inner stress self. For any solution, you need to have a clear picture of the causes and effect of stresses, before working out answers for mitigating them. The judicious use and application of your Mind Map Stress Logs can indeed prove to be your most efficient stress busters.

About the author:

Dr. Vj Mariaraj is a Mind Map enthusiast and has been using Mind Maps for the past twelve years. He has created over 5650 Mind Maps. To learn more about mind mapping send an email to . He is the founder of that creates Mind Map Summaries of Businees Books. To learn more visit

Written by: Dr. Vj Mariaraj

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What do you think? Producing a Mind Map Stress Log could help you get a view of what's going wrong if you're overstressed. But if it turns out to be your project manager's demands, there may not be much you can do except show her your Stress Log.

ppdesai04 at gmail dot com 2010-04-06 16:56:57
Wonderful insight of gathering and analysing data. The challenge however is to first develop habit of recording facts (data)!!!

as a novice, can you suggest a effective and simple mind mapping software?

Thank you in anticipation
vic at mind-mapping dot org 2010-04-06 23:44:01
The simplest mind mapping software I know is which runs in a browser, and can therefore run on PCs and Macs. It is free and you can access your maps from any computer connected to the Web: No software to install, and no need to carry mind map files around on a portable drive.

Xmind, FreeMind and Freeplane are other free mind map software packages that run on PCs and Macs. These are desktop applications so can be used when a Web connection is not available.

Xmind, is business-oriented, and FreeMind and Freeplane appeal more to techies - they have underlying power but are not quite so easy to use (but still, are not too difficult).

Vic Gee (@VicGee on Twitter)
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Visual representation of knowledge

Here are some links to articles on the visual representation of knowledge by Sigmar-Olaf Tergan, an academic leader in the field

An overview of concept mapping

This is a 1997 article by Eric Plotnick, from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology Syracuse NY

Concept maps and web research

For me, web research and concept maps are a good pairing. As I research - I build a map. As I map - I realise new areas that need research.
This papers variously by Arguedas, Cañas, Carnot, Carvalho, Dunn, Eskridge, Gram, Leake, Maguitman, Muldoon and Reichherzer have helped me to understand why, and see other possibilities.

Assessment by concept map

This piece discusses the nature of knowledge, the difficulty in measuring achievement in the three types of domain knowledge, and how concept maps offer one way of judging students' knowledge structure.

Framework for mind mapping

Here is a link to a set of free templates for many types of mind maps. This is good solid stuff, and if you have MindManager, there's no reason not to get it.
But if you don't have MindManager, well, there's still no reason to hold back - go and pick up the MindManager Viewer from MindJet's site. That is also free.