A recent article in a European engineering magazine suggests that you can get more out of mind mapping tools by utilizing them in conjunction with a brainstorming program like IdeaFisher (actually, now called eXpertSystem). This program contains a sizeable library of associated words and phrases, plus a "QBank" with thousands of questions focused on common business and ideation tasks. One way that mind mapping software can be used together with this ideation tool is to utilize eXpertSystem’s stimulating questions to help fill in the gaps in your maps. The article also suggests that eXpertSystem’s tools can help mind mapping users to "find indirect, associated ideas that might not emerge from the usual linear thinking process."
I can see how this technique could work very well for many users of mind mapping software. After all, even though the visual interface of the typical mind mapping program is creatively stimulating, it’s still possible to get "stuck" – in a place where the ideas have stopped flowing. In a situation like this, thought-provoking questions and intriguing keywords can jump-start your brain in some fresh, new directions, which can then be captured in your mind map.
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