As any successful blogger will tell you, organization is one of the key aspects of having a blog. You can mark-up your planners and make endless to-do lists, but how do you organize your evolving thought process? For me, jotting down notes can be useful but also so confusing! I’ve occasionally entered what I thought was a great idea as a note into my iPhone; but then when I go back and read it I have no idea what my thoughts really were. This is where MindMeister comes in.
MindMeister is an online mind mapping tool that lets you visualize your thoughts and map out content ideas on a canvas. Here are 5 reasons why I love MindMeister and why I think every blogger should give it a try:
1. You can completely outline your blog posts
Have you ever had a thought that you just knew would be a great post? On MindMeister you can create a node of your map solely dedicated to that thought. For example, my main mind map is simply called ‘Blog Topics‘. The name is written in the center of the map and my various blog topics just branch out from there. On my blog I recently published a post about the new app beme. Before I started writing the article itself, I created a new node for beme in my mind map and then mapped out all the specific topics I wanted to cover in the article. As you can see below, I used simple keywords to outline and structure the entire article (note: some were edited out).
2. You can add start & due dates
This can be super useful if you are doing a specific series on your blog. I usually set dates up so that they remind me when to start individual posts and when to draft/edit/publish them. This allows me to apply my mind map to my editorial calendar and keep posts on a perfect schedule. Of course, you can also do it for individual posts. Knowing exactly when to start an article and when to post it helps you create a deliberate schedule which leaves plenty of interim time to edit your heart out.
3. You can insert photos right into your map
Let’s say you want to write a post about a trip you took and you have different sub-sections that require lots of fun pictures. With MindMeister you can not only map out your entire vacation and highlight the parts you want to touch on in the post, but you can also include all the pictures you want to use in the map so you don’t forget any when it comes time to publish your post. To upload and attach images to your topics you do need to have an upgraded account but it is a really useful feature if you are photo-heavy on your blog!
4. It can really help you with your brainstorming sessions
One thing I have learned is that if you don’t brainstorm and get all of your thoughts out, you have the potential to miss something HUGE. That can be said for a blog post, a thesis paper or even a simple email. I can’t put enough emphasis on how crucial brainstorming is… So go brainstorm! By using MindMeister to do it, you can create a node for your central thought and then branch off from there to note down all the related thoughts/keywords/links etc. that come to mind. The mind map format seems ideal for this kind of brain dump as it creates a natural flow of ideas and lets you grow your outline organically.
5. You can share your mind maps with anybody
Even If you’re not a blogger, sharing your mind map with people is a great option. You can show others your thought process or outlines and get feedback through comments and votes. If your blog is run by multiple authors you can share each other’s mind maps to work together on creating the best posts for your audience. In order to share a map you just need to go to the bottom footer of the map and click the Share Map button. You will then be allowed to enter e-mail addresses and can send your mind map on its way!
If you want to keep your thought process as organized as possible and visually outline your blog posts, then using MindMeister is probably a good choice for you. You can download its mobile apps for free from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, or access its web version online. It has definitely helped me with the organization of my blog and I hope it will help you, too!