2014-12-16 14.13.25Are you buried under sources and information for your ancestor, but can’t see the answer to your research question? You probably feel the same way standing under a bunch of balloons because you can’t see what’s above them.

What if you could organize your information in a way that you could see how it’s all connected? You can!

Mind Maps are a great tool to visualize and correlate your research findings. Once you’ve put in the connections, relationships, locations, etc., you just may see the missing elements of your research.

There are several mind map programs available. A simple one is found at Popplet.com.  You’ll want to set up an account so you may come back to your map and add to it as you discover more sources. Then, it’s just a matter of creating new boxes and adding links between them. Here’s a simple example of Thomas Francis Farrell who was born in Ireland, lived in England, then immigrated to the U.S. and lived in the Boston area.

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Once you’re ready for more robust mind mapping, you should tap into Ron Arons’ website.

His pdf titled, “Mapping Madness,” has a section with links to other “Mind Mapping Tools.”

For further information how to use mind maps in your research, Arons’ has written the book, Mind Maps for Genealogy. It is available for purchase on his website, RonArons.com. He is also lecturing at the Association of Professional Genealogists, Professional Management Conference, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and also at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, both in Salt Lake City.

Mind maps are a tool to help you take your research balloon findings and organize and correlate them!

Have you used Mind Maps to help visualize your research problem? Which programs do you like best?

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