Mind Maps: The Best Tool for Sorting Your Thoughts

Mind Maps: The Best Tool for Sorting Your Thoughts

Do you ever feel like all the words, worries, thoughts, and ideas are swirling around in your head and you can’t make sense of any of them? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by everything you need to get done? Does making a big decision cause you to want to hide from the world?

I’m pretty sure this is something we all face from time to time. Our brains long to make sense of the world around us, but sometimes it just feels like it’s all uncontrollable chaos.

I’ve discovered a tool that can actually help you figure things out a lot easier. Welcome to mind-mapping.

In a nutshell, mind-mapping is a way to easily organize your thoughts, ideas, and facts. It’s visual and creative, and it helps you to see relationships easily. You can use words or images, or even a combination of both.


What IS a mind map, anyway?

You start with a central concept in the center of the page, and you work outward. Use anything you want! Symbols, colors, images, words, etc. It isn’t about perfection or “following the rules”; it’s about making the connections and forming the relationships that YOUR brain uses.

Be creative! Create your own style!


How did mind-mapping come about?

The concept dates back centuries! Somewhere in the middle of the 3rd century, a guy named Porphyry of Tyros graphically organized the concept categories of Aristotle.

The term “mind map” was first used in 1974 by British author Tony Buzan.


Why is mind-mapping effective?

It helps you to remember things better. You’re six times more likely to remember information that’s presented with words and pictures rather than words alone. Also, your memory and learning capacity are improved by 10-15% when you use mind maps as opposed to conventional note-taking and studying techniques.


It mimics the way your brain thinks. Your brain naturally bounces ideas off each other; it doesn’t generally think linearly. With mind-mapping, you’re able to connect concepts through natural associations; this means you can come up with more ideas that have deeper meanings.


It utilizes your imagination and sparks creativity. Your imagination is very closely connected to your capacity to think effectively and quickly. Also, your ability to create associations between chunks of information aids your thinking skills. Writing with your hand, using colors, and creating images uses your creativity, and creativity brings fresh ideas.


It helps you cope with mental clutter. You’re not just looking at the overwhelming details; you’re also able to see the big picture. This lessens information overload, helps with problems-solving, clarifies goals, points to plans of action, and identifies thinking patterns.


Mind Maps: The Best Tool for Sorting Your Thoughts | This Kathryn Girl


What are some practical ways you can use mind-mapping?


Sorting your thoughts

At the end of a bad day, doing a brain dump can work wonders for your mind! Get all your thoughts out on paper, see what’s really happening, and sort it all out. For some reason, when it’s not just in your head anymore, it seems a lot smaller and more manageable. This is a good way to prevent overwhelm.

Related Post: 10 Practical Ways to Deal with Stress and Overwhelm


Making decisions

Of course, the traditional pro/con list is always a good technique, but mind-mapping can provide a whole new way to look at a situation. You’re able to see many possible outcomes rather than just a “yes” or “no,” and ideas lead to other ideas, which means you’ll probably discover possibilities you didn’t consider before.



If you’re a student, this is a great way to study for tests! You can easily see the connections among all the facts you need to know, and you’ll retain the information better if you can see it graphically. It’s an effective way to organize bodies of information.

Additionally, if you’re learning a new skill or language, mind-mapping is a useful tool. This isn’t just for students!


Planning creative content

If you regularly present content to others, whether it’s through blogging, video creation, public speaking, or another method of delivery, mind-mapping is a way you can plan your content. Rather than outlining your information in the traditional form or writing long paragraphs, try creating a mind map of your ideas.



Mind-mapping can be a fun way to journal. It’s quick, colorful, and creative. And, as we’ve already talked about, it is a good way to process and organize your thoughts.

Related Post: 3 Reasons to Journal Every Day

Have you ever used mind-mapping? Do you have any other tips or suggestions?

  • I am really liking this as an alternative to traditional list making or journalling, which for me often ends up being really lengthy and rambling. I am absolutely going to give this week, I can already see how it can save a ton of time! Thanks for posting this 🙂

    • Oh, awesome!!! Yeah, I use it in my personal life and when I teach literature in the classroom! Let me know how it works out for you!

  • Okay this was actually an incredible idea. I’ve never had something that so totally speaks to the way my thoughts bounce off each other. Sometimes, I feel like I have so much narration going on in my head at all times.

    Loving the idea of writing everything down just to get it out of your head.

    Your blog is always awesome, girl!

    • I think it’s so cool how everything changes when you approach it from a fresh angle! I hope this practice works well for you!!!

  • Radical Transformation Project

    Thanks for giving me a kick in the ass to start up my bullet journal again. I haven’t been writing anything down lately and my mind definitely is feeling cluttered!

  • Sheerin Siddique

    I will give this a try. Thank you for posting!

  • Kimberly Samantha

    Thanks so sharing this. This was definitely an interesting read!


  • Cadri

    I’ve heard about mind-mapping a lot lately, but have never actual read about it. This really gave me good insight and I reallly need to try it next time I need to make a decision. I’m so a pro/con person, but that can only go so far sometimes!

  • srvnGod

    Thanks for the great idea. In my own way I have been doing something similar to this. So it shouldn’t be hard to pick up. Stopping in from Holley’s. Thanks again.

  • Chrissy Keeton

    Oh my gosh, this is so interesting. I gotta find out more about this.

  • Love this! Brain dumping has been life-changing for me (no exaggeration), and I have just recently started using mind maps. I used them to sort through some blog post concepts, as well as pin down a couple ebook ideas. I knew they seemed to work for me, but your post shed some light on the reasons why. This was fascinating to read!
    I’m glad I stumbled upon this, and I will be sharing it for my readers! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Lisa!!! I’m glad I was able to give you some insight!

  • Hi, What tool did you use to make the cool mind map in the middle of your post?
    Thanks for coming to Inspire Me Monday last week.
    Janice, your hostess

    • I’d like to blog about the tool. What did you use? By the way, I picked you as the winner of the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. You’ll be featured on my blog tomorrow! Yay! Congrats!
      Janice, Your Hostess

    • Hey Janice, it was Canva!!! 🙂

  • I’ve never heard of mind mapping. Sounds helpful! Thanks for sharing at #bloggesrpotlight