Mindmapping is something I first came across at Yanik Silver’s UK Underground Seminar in 2006, at a time when it was all done on paper.
Since then various software tools for working with mindmaps have appeared on the scene, some premium and some free mindmapping tools.
On the free side these include Freemind (the most popular and the one I use), XMind and The Brain, all of which you download and install on your hard drive, as well as bubbl.us that you use online.
MindMeister, a collaborative program that lets users share their thoughts in the cloud, is a hybrid based on the freemium model, providing three free mind maps, new features and updates, but charging a subscription for unlimited maps.
It is a web app you can access from your browser or mobile, and by using cloud storage it can distribute any changes to your mind maps to all users on all their devices in real time.
Then there are the premium mindmapping tools, such as MindJet MindManager (previously called MindMan and then MindManager, in case you have heard those names before).
A number of people have meanwhile done mindmapping training in the use of the various mindmapping products available on the market today.
In the past I have seen training from e.g. Marlon Sanders (The Brain), Bob Jenkins (now Sparkins!) aka Bob The Teacher (Discover Freemind), Robert Plank (Freemind training as part of Video Sales Tactics) and Jason Fladlien (when I took his Product Creation eClass).
More recently, in the lead up to the product creation section of John Thornhill‘s Partnership To Success mentoring and coaching programme, John has provided course participants not only with training in the use of mindmaps (Freemind), but also with some of his actual mindmaps he has used himself to create some of his own well known products, such as Simple Traffic Solutions, Affiliate Promo Formula and WSO Domination.
And Paul Myers has gone a step further and created a full product called Mindmaps For Marketers that, according to Marlon Sanders, can have you up and running creating your own mindmaps for marketing purposes within 30 minutes, using Freemind.
Marlon was so enthusiastic about this training that he did a walk through video of the product and also offered bonus training about applying the information to XMind, which he favours.
In a very magnanimous gesture, Marlon made both his walkthrough and the bonus training available to Paul to provide to anyone who decides to buy the product.
On top of that, Paul provides an interactive version of one of his mindmaps for prospective customers to play around with.
You can also actually download a static version of the same mindmap (you can export these mindmaps in PDF format), and of course if you buy Mindmaps For Marketers you get the actual mindmap to work with yourself and use as a basis for your own marketing mindmaps, e.g. for product creation, planning the launch of a product or a number of other marketing activities that require thoughtful planning (that would have to be all marketing activities, don’t you agree?).
I have also recently acquired “How To Use XMind To Turn Your Ideas Into Profit” from James J. Jones through his Buckguru website, where I was able to “purchase” it using “Bucky coins”.
You collect these just by visiting the site (once you have signed up, which gets you 25 coins right off the bat) as well as hitting “Spin” on his digital poker machine and using his (free) Buck Guru Watchboard software to access the videos and PDFs of his products through a central Adobe AIR dashboard. They add up quite quickly.
Bucky, in case you don’t know him, is a whacky kangaroo persona James has used for a number of years.
The name originally came from Seven Buckaroos:
The products on the site sell for $27, but practically every weekend he does a special where one product is just $7, i.e. “seven buckaroos”, until midnight on Sunday, when it goes back to full price.
You can pay the $7 with actual money, or if you have accumulated enough “Bucky coins” you can use them.
James/Bucky also has something witty called a Zombie Coin – for the Bucky coin equivalent of $7 (700 “coins”) you can bring any offer “back to life” at any time and buy it with the Zombie Coin instead of paying $27.
It’s fun, it’s clever, keeps you coming back to the site and/or interacting with his products, and you can get some really good internet marketing training in a wide variety of topics for just pennies on the dollar or no pennies at all.
Coming back to his mindmap product, I will probably stick to Freemind, but I figured I can still learn something there that I can apply to the process of mindmapping as a whole, and it only cost me some Bucky coins!
Do you use a mindmapping tool? Leave a comment below and let other readers know what you have found works best for you!