Regardless of whether you are new to using graphical mapping techniques; the value of Mind mapping at the base level, is an excellent personal development tool for creating, managing and expressing your thought processes.
While your at the stage of discovering the real power of Mind mapping, you may eventually become aware of the power of an expanded scope of the tools you use. This expanded scope may be the vehicle that transports you from mere Mind mapping into an expanded visual freedom that is more expressive within Visual mapping (multiple graphical formats).
Visual mapping while including Mind mapping, allows you to be more expressive while mapping out information, enabling the creation of knowledge maps that can, and in many cases, are so beneficial to your personal, academic and business environments.
In many cases your Mind maps are so personal, they may be rather misunderstood by many who view them. Mind maps tend to be within this personal category, and IMO many who share their personal maps should have thought twice about doing so.
Clarity may be the "AHA" moment for you at the personal use level, yet when you become more proficient at mapping out your information and knowledge within an academic and business level; it becomes more convenient and even necessary to share your maps with your students, colleagues and clients.
This is where the advantage of Visual mapping has been experienced for me.
A number of years ago, I experimented with printing many of my mapped information off as poster formats. I initially wanted to see if they resonated with me, they certainly did, so I then shared this large printed format with a few colleagues.
The results were quite impressive; they actually asked me if I would make one available for them. At that time it seemed I had stumbled upon a way to make mapped formats become more exposed and acceptable.
I also trialed this format with a few of my clients too, and the response was very encouraging. I found that the over sized prints were becoming an "in demand" format, and also found my mapping skills were becoming more known and I therefore realized this format could become a business service.
What was really interesting regarding the poster sized prints: I noted an interesting observation while I was trialing them within a few client locations. I either laminated the prints for preservation or had a plaque made for presentation purposes.
Regardless of the presentation (poster or plaque); I noted that many students and employees made a habit of gathering around these formats and engaging in discussion and debate relating to the content. I jokingly remember; when I hung a graphic on the wall in a dinning area of a clients location, I noticed the dining tables began to be moved towards the maps, and interesting conversations relating to the content were regular.
So it was very clear this format of printing and display was something that may be useful to my clients, and this therefore became a part of my service offerings from that point onwards.
I encourage you to investigate creating relevant knowledge maps for use within your academic and business environments. The monetary opportunities for you may be similar to what I experienced some years ago.
For your interest, below is an example of an actual map that was made available to a client within the manufacturing arena. The software used for this particular map was MindGenius
In my experience though; Mindjet MindManager is by far the most effective information mapping product; it deals with the insertion and management of attachments and images with absolute ease. All other developers lag behind this corporate leader.