Mind Maps

By | August 4, 2014

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program…

Evidentia is one of many tools I use in researching my family tree.  Today I want to talk about a different tool – Mind Maps.

Ron Arons, who some of you may know from his Black Sheep Blog and from genealogy conferences, has published a new book, Mind Maps for GenealogistsI picked up a copy at NGS 2014, and offer this review.

Google “mind maps” and you will find tons of articles on the topics.  Search for “mind maps genealogy” and you will see the potential synergy between the two topics.  Mind mapping offers a creative way for the researcher to visualize questions and possible paths to finding the answers.

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Mind Map Image courtesy wikipedia.com

What Ron does in Mind Maps for Genealogists is bring the two topics together in a clear and easy to understand format, then applies mind mapping techniques to real research problems.

The book leads the reader to a basic understanding of mind mapping principles.  It then introduces the reader to  a few free mind mapping tools, and teaches the reader how to use those tools.  Along the way Ron points out a few mind mapping pitfalls (DON’T try to build a family tree with a mind map – you CAN, but there is little value)
That’s right, I said FREE mind mapping tools.
  

The book includes several case studies, showing how a researcher can break down brick walls using mind mapping techniques.  This was the part of the book that made mind mapping real for me.  I had a basic understand on mind mapping techniques having seen them used in business.

I have long felt that mind mapping would be particularly helpful in doing FAN (Friends, Associates, Neighbors) research.  Mind Maps allow me to harness a creative thought process; Ron Aron’s Mind Maps for Genealogists gives me the information I need to make this happen.

(Now I just need the time!)