I forgot when I started to draw my first mind maps.
Like I'm sure many others do, I'm thinking slightly chaotic, in the sense, that I get inspiration and ideas after I finished something.
Mind maps are, as far as I know, created for that kind of thinking. So - if you're not one of those rare and rather strange persons who thinks everything sequentially and forward, you'd benefit from it too.
My preference tool is paper and pencil. Yes, I'm bloody old fashioned, but that always works and batteries don't wear out.
However, sometimes it's practical to have stuff on a computer and I've been using FreeMind for years. It's free, it's easy to use and though it's got its fair amount of really hilarious bugs, it's stable and reliable.
So - Paul Carvalho inspired me to write about how I use FreeMind to organise test ideas. I can't show you examples from real life, as they would both be way too big to show and I guess my clients would mind if I map their business (pun intended...).
Of course I would never reveal that, but I am willing to reveal a mockup example to show how I do it.
Here's an example we all know: Google. I only used the front page and followed a few links.