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How To Use 5 Online Mind Mapping Tools To Beat Procrastination

Mind Map

by Jennifer on November 14, 2012

This is a guest post by Reena Cruz of InvestInTech.com

There are many reasons behind procrastination: Writer’s block, distraction, fear, disorganization, heavy workloads—sometimes you can’t even successfully identify where or how it starts.  All you know is that nothing is getting done.

You also know that getting over that hurdle will be a challenge (another reason to put things off!).  Perhaps you’ve even tried a couple of tactics that were only half successful.

Ever try confronting it head-on with a mind mapping tool?

It may seem counterintuitive to use a mind mapping tool to beat procrastination. Most people use these tools to elaborate on ideas they’re already working on.

But keep an open mind.

Take a look at how you can use a few of the most popular mind mapping tools to get over some of the most common causes of procrastination.

1. XMind

Procrastinating because you have too much on your plate?  Create a mindmap to break things down into manageable chunks. Doing so lets you tackle your procrastination by being in control of things.

XMind has a great free version that offers a Mind Toolbox with functionalities that let you group together content, label topics for categorization, and attach specific markers to prioritize tasks.

Once your tasks are tagged and prioritized,  you can start working on them in sections. Give it a shot.


Sometimes procrastination results from information overload.  Who wants to sort through a mountain of unconnected resources and ideas?   No one.

But instead of letting it intimidate you into doing nothing, try organizing yourself into action.

Spiderscribe is perfect for attacking the information overload. It forces you take one step towards accomplishing your task.  Spiderscribe allows you to take your images, files, text—any type of data you have, and work them into a mind map.

3. Bubbl.us  

Procrastination can be a tough hurdle to jump over when you feel like every step you take is going to be the wrong one.  That’s why a mind mapping tool like bubbl.us works. You don’t have to worry about the first or second step.

Its interface set up is similar to a desktop processing application—you can mindmap on sheets and save those sheets into folders. Despite this, it’s still completely free form in nature to let your thoughts roam. This tool has an easy hover context menu for quick access to editing features so you can relax in knowing that you can change things up.

4. Mind42.com

The web is a great tool for researching your writing projects. However, the web is also full of distraction, one of the major causes of procrastination.  For writers who struggle to keep on task with integrating web research alongside their ideas, Mind42 is the tool to check out.

With Mind42 you’re given a no non-sense, no frills tool that helps you concentrate on the bare essentials. Drop down your ideas and attach a link, a Wikipedia article, use image URLs, create a note or even a to-do list to keep yourself going and on track.

5. WiseMapping

For writers, it can be a discouraging struggle to harness and untangle the ideas you have for that great American novel.  Once the discouragement sets in, that writing project gets put on the back burner and that first chapter never gets started.

With WiseMapping, you can easily manipulate, label and move topics around for creating the right connections between your ideas whether it be a plot line between characters or theme development. WiseMapping includes functionalities for adding links, notes, icons and text color.

6. Bonus Tool:  Idea Generator

We all know that creativity doesn’t come easily very often.  Don’t put things off because you’re waiting for that moment of inspiration. Get proactive and give yourself a kick start.

Idea Generator is basically a mind mapping tool that helps you generate  ideas to play around with and get your creativity going.  It drops in words and images you can then rearrange, reformat, edit and work with.

The company’s blog has a number of ideas on how to get the most out of this tool, so be sure to take a look at how to get the most out of this tool.

Try and see what effective results you can get with these online mind mapping tools. Just identifying what’s stopping you from putting things off can go a long way to getting started on it.

How do you use mind mapping to get your writing done?

About the Author: Reena Cruz writes for Investintech.com, a leading developer of  PDF Converter Solutions.  In addition to writing about the latest  PDF and tech trends online, she loves to write about social media and productivity in the workplace on the company’s blog.  You can find them on Twitter @able2extract.

Image courtesy of INPIVIC Family

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daphne Gray-Grant November 15, 2012 at 8:58 am

I’ve tried just about every mindmapping software available and I still always go back to my pencil and a piece of paper. My latest innovation is to use an artist’s notebook. That way, at least, all my mindmaps stay together and in chronological order!

2 Jennifer Blanchard November 16, 2012 at 10:26 am

I’m with you Daphne! I think it’s great that they have online mind mapping tool for those who like them but I’m definitely still a paper and or kind of girl when it comes to brainstorming.

3 Reena Cruz November 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

Totally agree with you guys, too! While everything I do is online, I sometimes find myself back in the pen-and-paper mode. Sometimes I even create a pen and paper version of a few mind maps I create on the web to jot things down as I go if I’m not online :p. But then that opens up a can of worms as it gets hard to update one according to the other. So wherever possible, I try to organize which tools I use for work (online) and for personal (paper and pen) mindmaps.

4 Margaret Montet December 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I spent a sabbatical exploring mind maps and similar tools only to arrive at the same conclusion: I prefer the paper-and-pencil method! I feel that I have much more control over the map, and I have instant recognition of my own handwriting, assigned colors, and small drawing. Yes, it’s true, I’m a mind map geek.

5 Jennifer December 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I’m a mind mapping geek too Margaret!

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