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How to Outline your Book and Chapters with Mindmapping

How to Outline your Book and Chapters with ... Cullins C. 2003 All Rights ... is better than linear ... because authors canuse flexible thinking and ... in wri

How to Outline your Book and Chapters with Mindmapping
Judy Cullins C. 2003 All Rights Reserved

Mindmapping is better than linear outlining because authors can
use flexible thinking and relativity in writing their book. One can add
and subtract a thought or phrase from a mindmap easily. Mindmapping
is an excellent way to start, organize, and finish your book.

What is Mindmapping?

Mindmapping is a color-coded outline of main ideas, sub topics
and details, printed on different colored branches connected to
the center. In the center in a circle, you will list your main idea,
such as your book or chapter title.

For "The One-Minute Sales Person", Spencer's mindmap would
have had seven different colored vertical branches coming from
that center, so details can be put on connected horizontal
branches. (much easier to read)

What are the advantages of Mindmapping?

First, a mindmap is open-ended and open-minded. No more
squeezing new "ahas" or ideas into the strict, tight form of the
linear outline. You can make mistakes in your mindmaps.
Imperfection leads to creativity. When you get an idea for
chapter one, you can just add another branch off the main one.
Mindmapping expands flexible thinking, making for better

Second, mindmaps use only three to five concrete or color
words on a branch. These key words help jog our memory.
Under Chapter One "Attracting Passion," I added several
horizontal lines that represented the format that follows. One
line had "opening quote," the next one "introduction," the next
one "Jerry's Story," the next "Food for Thought and Action," the
next, "Passion Hot Line," the last line, "practice."

Third, mindmaps speed up your writing because you only write
key phrases. When you sit down at the computer, from your
color-coded map, the answers will flow naturally. If you need to
fatten up your chapter, just go to your chapter file folders where
you keep your research.

Fourth, in mindmaps you see the whole related to the parts.
Your thesis, chapter titles, and chapter contents all flow because
you answered each question your readers had. This fast-forward
technique allows me to write at least two or three books each
year, and makes each book more organized, more focused and
clear, easier to read, and finally brings more sales because
people can understand the information quickly and easily.

For a picture of a mindmap of "Your Book's Format" go to

How Do I Create My Mindmap?

Use a large sheet of paper, at least 8 by 11 inches, but I
recommend a large square of butcher paper or poster board, so
you can spread out and enjoy the process! Have at least six or
seven colored felt-tip pens in primary and bright colors ready.

In the center, encircle your title. Arrange your chapter headings,
each on a different colored vertical branch, around the center in
any order (you can number them later) If you can't think of a
title, put a few key words. Use only one color per branch. Off
each main branch, put five or so other horizontal branches of
particular chapter parts.

Even though you later change your mind about the contents, this
initial mindmap gives you the overall picture of what your book is
and what it will share with its readers. I made several mindmaps
of my Passion book before I settled on the best information to

Practice: Create your book's mindmap on a separate piece of

Practice: Create one chapter's mindmap on a separate piece of
paper now.

Wow! You are up to speed. You have your thesis--what challenge
your book will solve, your chapter working titles, your rough draft
evolving with a Table of Contents, and you have questions to
answer in each chapter.

Mindmapping is an excellent way to start, organizeFree Articles, and finish
your book.

Source: Free Articles from


Judy Cullins: 20-year author, publisher, book coach
Helps entreprenurs manifest their book and web dreams
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