Over the course of my vacation last month, I covered five sheets of notebook paper with mind-map-style notes about one of my possible NaNo projects, a non-hierarchical wolf-shifter-society romance.
As I was working outside of my usual space and without the benefit of a computer, I didn’t mind mapping it all out by hand. But when I got home, I knew that trying to work from paper to screen would irritate me.
Fortunately, around that time, Tumblr introduced me to RealTimeBoard, a free virtual whiteboard app.
From the short introductory videos I watched, the app is clearly geared towards team project collaboration, but as you can see from my consolidated mind-map above, it works perfectly well for single-person projects too. With a little forethought, I managed to plan a layout from the center outwards that incorporated all of my individual maps into one massive, color-coded monstrosity.
As with any new program, the learning curve on using all its features will take a little time–I’m sure I haven’t explored everything yet–but once I got past the initial five minutes of the WTF-does-this-do, I was fine.
And on a more personal level, I discovered I quite like mind-mapping as an outlining tool, and now that I have an app for it, I’ll probably use it again in the future.