12 ways authors save time using mind maps

Introducing the easy way to plan, write, promote, and profit from your book

Although mind mapping--popularized by Tony Buzan--has been around for over 25 years, it's growing in popularity because a new generation of software, like, Mindjet's MindManager

can be used on a wide variety of computers, including laptops and tablet computers.

Maps can help you plan before you act, as you identify and evaluate options, organize tasks, create schedules, and allocate scarce resources. Here are examples of how you can use mind maps plan, write, promote, and profit from your book.


Books are planned as much as they are written. Planning involves choosing a title that identifies your book's value proposition. Planning also involves creating a marketing plan that works and a stream of back-end profit opportunities. Here are some of the planning tasks mind maps can help you accomplish.

  • Analyze your book's competition. One of your most important planning tasks is to compare your proposed book to existing books on the topic. Start by entering the titles of existing books on your topic. Then, group the titles into categories. By being able to view your published competition at a glance, it will be easier to identify ways to make your book unique.

  • Choose the right title for your book . One of the most important decisions you make is the title of your book. The right title can lead to years of sales and spin-off profits. Use a map to brainstorm title ideas, beginning by identifying different ways to state the benefit your book will offer readers. Maps may it easy to brainstorm new ideas, without losing track of previous ideas and suggestions.
  • Create your book's table of contents. Use a map to plan the sections and chapters of your of your book. Unlike outlines created with word processing software, which only display part of a document on the screen, a map permits you to display each of your book's chapters in the context of the other chapter. With a click of the mouse, you can expand the map to display the contents of each chapter in detail--including links to files, other maps, blogs, and websites. You can also start writing using the Notes feature associated with each topic.


Mind maps help you not only create a content plan for your book, but also help you make the most of the time you spend researching and writing your book.

  • Create a research plan for each chapter of your book . Identify the individuals you want to interview, and the books and periodicals you want to reference. Know what information you need, so you can figure out the most efficient way of obtaining it.
  • Plan and map your interviews. Before contacting experts in your field, or those with personal experience in your area, create a map of the questions you want to ask them. If possible, conduct a telephone interview, and add your notes and quotes directly to the map. Mind maps ensure that you won't overlook any questions, and helps you get your interview back on track if you guest goes off on a tangent.
  • Schedule your writing. Use a map to create a structure for your writing, allocating your time and what you want to accomplish during each writing session. By building writing time into your daily routine, and specifying realistic objectives for each session, you're far more likely to achieve your goals on time.


Promoting your book is vital to your success. Promotional activities should begin while writing your book. Mind maps are invaluable because they help you allocate scarce resources, co-ordinate your marketing, and keep track of important deadlines.

  • Create a promotion calendar. Create a promotion planning map based on your book's publication date. Identify the various promotional activities you want to engage in before, on, and after your book's publication date.
  • Create a content plan for your website. Use a mind map to plan your website's content before choosing colors, layout, or--even--the designer who will work on your site. Mind maps make it easy to create a navigation system that will help visitors to your site access the information they're after. You can also use the mind map to assign deadlines for completing each page.
  • Create an editorial calendar for your e-mail newsletter and weekly tips. . Writing becomes easy when you know what you're going to be writing about well in advance. Creating a mind map showing monthly topics, weekly tips, and frequent blog postings puts your subconscious mind to work; while performing other tasks, your subconscious mind will be gathering and organizing information so that when you sit down to write, your newsletters, tips, and blogs will go much faster!


Since profits from sales of your book are just the start, you'll want to use the following mind maps to help you efficiently leverage your book and your expertise to additional profit dollars.

  • Identify your best profit opportunities. There's never time to do everything, so it's imperative that you invest your time in projects that will yield the maximum profits for the least effort. Use a mind map to identify the pros and cons of different ways of profiting from your book, in order to come up with a realistic plan with achievable goals.
  • Plan conference and workshop content . Conferences and workshops are detail-filled events that succeed to the extent that their content and promotion is planned months in advance. Use mind maps to analyze the characteristics of the target market you want to attract, then use your map to plan your promotion and to create the desired content.
  • Prepare more effective new business proposals. Many coaches, consultants, and service providers spend far too much time preparing new business proposals. Mind maps contribute to a more efficient proposal preparation process by providing a structure to evaluate your prospect's needs so you can focus on describing the benefits that they will respond favorably to.

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