Girl making a mindmapHave you ever had a great product idea, only to find you struggle when it comes to actually putting your idea into practice? Many people let a great idea for a product go to waste as they simply don’t know how to take their ideas any further. This is where MindMapping can help.

Back in the day I just used toΒ  use a good old pen and paper to record my ideas but the day I discovered MindMapping was a revelation to me, when you create mind maps you always seem to be able to come up with more ideas and it helps you to create a better product.

By MindMapping your ideas you can quickly add structure to your product, come up with new ideas and document your whole product from start to finish, as you record your MindMap you will find your mind flows with new ideas.
To help you with this I am including my complete mind map for one of my product launches WSO Domination, it would probably help if you opened the MindMap as you read this blog post. You can download the MindMap here.

When I came up with the idea for WSO Domination I first of all decided to lay out the modules for my product, as I created the modules the ideas started to flow, in this image you can see some of the ideas I had for the module ‘What Makes a Great WSO?’


The image above just shows a tiny section of that module but if you check the full MindMap you will see the ideas really flowed, as I was MindMapping I started to have lots and lots of ideas, so obviously every time I was having an idea I was putting it into the MindMap. Every time I was having an idea I was putting it into the MindMap and sometimes I was having a new idea and it ended up branching off into new topics which ended up becoming new modules for my product.

Let’s look at this example, you will see above that I list ‘services’ as ideas for WSO’s, then I have what I call a light bulb moment, as you can see when I come up with ideas for services that I branch off many times with other methods such as Copywriting and Ghost Writing, which in turn branches off into eBook writing and Article Writing.

Once I had my product mapped out I then had to work on the sales page.

I decided I needed to add the 5 P’s to my sales page.

  • Identify the problem
  • Make a promise
  • Show proof
  • Reveal the price
  • Add a P.S

Here are the 5 P’s laid out on the MindMap.


If I asked you to add the 5 P’s to a sales page you may struggle, but if I asked you to map it out the ideas would flow, just like they did for me.

Creating your MindMap.

When you begin creating your MindMap start in the middle by writing down what your product will cover in the middle of the page, this could also include possible product names. Then add modules/chapters and see where this takes you, as you have new ideas you can start branching out. Here’s another example from my sales page where I cover the ‘proof’ elements of my sales page.

mindmap3I’d also advise you keep things simple with simple words and phrases, put down every idea you have as you can always remove anything you don’t want later. Feel free to add graphics, images and colors to help make things more visual.

MindMap Software.

There is tons of free software out there and a quick Google search will reveal most of them. I actually use an app called iThoughts HD for the iPad. I find by using my iPad if I have an idea I can just pick it up and add to my MindMap. FreeMind is also a good tool for Mac and Windows.

To help you further I have included some more of my MindMaps, I have included my Affiliate Promo Formula MindMap that also maps out the whole product and also my Simple Traffic Solutions MindMap that outlines all of the modules I covered. You can download all the MindMaps below.

WSO Domination MindMap
Affiliate Promo Formula MindMap
Simple Traffic Solutions MindMap

There you go, my guide to making the ideas flow with MindMaps, give it a go and you’ll start to see the ideas flow!

As always your comments, questions and ideas are welcome.

    40 replies to "MindMapping Your Way to Success"

    • Carl Picot

      Great post John

      Very useful information …. Mindmaps are a visual way that you can brainstorm ideas and make them in to something that can be deciphered and put in to order…

      I love the examples that you have given here πŸ™‚

      I will look at the freebies you have given – thanks again


    • Stuart Turnbull

      Thanks for this interesting post, John!

      I’m a bit old fashioned and tend to jot down my ideas on paper – hadn’t really thought about mind mapping software, I’ll check out your recommendations!


    • Fred

      Unfortunately, too many of us strike out to make a killing on the Internet with no real idea of how to get there. We should all take the time to sit down and construct a mindmap before we even build a website.

    • Rob Corrigan

      Hi John,

      I have been a pen and paper man for years, but just looking at the mind maps that you have presented for you products it does make it a lot clearer than scribbling. Just one question have you found it to be a big time saver?


      • John Thornhill

        I have found it a massive time saver Rob, plus as it’s in digital format it’s a lot easier to edit than using a pen and paper.

    • James Robson

      Good stuff as always John (and thanks for the MindMaps)! I first started using MindMaps a few months ago, and it was such an eye-opener – ideas which I struggled to plan out in a traditional ‘list’ style format almost wrote themselves out as if by magic when I started mind mapping them. Most plans are simply not linear, and MindMaps are great at reflecting that, plus showing the way different things are are connected with each other. I can quite honestly say they’ve taken my productivity to a whole new level.


    • Phil

      Hey John,

      I am more the list guy. I take always notes and make a list if I get an Idea (I do this on my IPad too, so I could go for Mindmaps if I wanted) I like Mindmaps, but creating them can really be a headache in my eyes. Anyway I will give IThoughts a try πŸ™‚

      Thanks for giving inspiration,


    • Gareth Kentish

      Yes John, again great points made. Certainly using MindMaps helped with my launch ( and now applying the MIND MAP technique for AMG2. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    • Val

      I’ve just recently begun experimenting with mind maps and it certainly is a useful way of doing things because it forces you to be totally logical.

    • Ken Soszka

      Hi John, I agree – MindMaps rock! A visual representation makes it easy to see the big picture, and therefore plan and execute your actions in a way that is most efficient. Personally, I usually come up with bigger and better ideas once I see my original idea mapped out.

      I have been using FreeMind, but one thing that I wish was easier to do was to mark parts of my map as “completed” while I go through the execution phase. It takes several clicks at least, to change a node to a different color for example. Have you found a good way to do this in the program that you use?

      Best Regards,
      Ken Soszka

    • Tony Clingan

      Like many other the earlier contributors I have been guilty of planning on paper rather than with mind maps

      Certainly looking at the layout it keeps the thought process flowing better when you are creating products

      Thanks for sharing Tony

    • Katie

      I just discovered FreeMind a few weeks ago. I don’t know how I planned without it now. Lists are so limiting. One thing I like is the ability to color code categories or ideas that go together. It really saves time because I can see at a glance what elements of the map go together.

      As a suggestion for the person up-thread who wanted to mark things complete: FreeMind has icons you can add to your nodes. One is a check mark. When I want to show something is done, I just highlight the node and click on the check mark. To put this icon on more than one node, click each node you want to mark while holding down your CTRL key (Windows – I’m sure there’s a similar function on Macs). Hope that helps!

      • Ken Soszka

        Thanks for that idea of using the check-mark icon, to mark nodes as complete Katie! I never thought of using those icons like that. Sometimes a second set of eyes really helps..


        • Katie

          Ken, I’m glad I could help πŸ™‚

    • Leslie Sprankling

      Well, John, I have always had difficulty following mind maps because they always look to me like a spider fell in the inkwell then crawled across the page. In all the mind maps I have seen they all look like a random web of buttons that seem to have no order. Confusion and Disorder. I have always liked the pencil and paper method (a blunt pencil being better than a sharp memory) and, more recently, just typing things out in main steps then adding things as I think of them, using a table. Your explanation has helped a little but I am not sure I could actually create a mind map although I have downloaded the software. Then, if I were actually able to create one, could I even understand it?


      P.S. I understand the use of P.S. and I just want to say that I enjoy and value your blog and your training and now at least you have me thinking about whether I can use mind maps to drive me forward.

      • John Thornhill

        Try looking at my MindMaps Leslie. It should help.

        • Donald

          Tend to agree with Leslie. Smething I haven’t tried, have seen enough. I will download and see how I fare, no harm in trying.

          Good post John, thanks.


    • Christine Ord

      I use mind maps in a school setting and they’re a realy effective tool. You prompted me to post my experience of using them tonight. Never really thought of mind-mapping for product creation but will definitely give it a go. Thanks for the idea. Christine

    • Glenn Shepherd

      I love mindmaps! Until recently I used to shut off whenever I saw mention of them as I just couldn’t see the point. However, I got a free mindmap to play around with and as I started to experiment everything just clicked in to place. I find them absolutely invaluable now and so much more versatile than I imagined at first. For anyone who, like I used to be, doesn’t ‘get’ mindmaps then I’d strongly recommend you at least give them a try. Sure, not everything works the same for each person and we all have our preferred way of doing things and what works great for one person may not work so great for another. But at least give mindmaps a try if you haven’t done so – you may be pleasantly surprised, just as I was!

    • Stephen Oliver

      I’ve been using mindmaps almost from the beginning (sometime in the late seventies or early eighties, if memory serves me). They’re some of the best tools available. I’ve plotted a book I’m publishing shortly, a second book is in the planning phase using mindmaps, and I’ve also got one going for a novel I’m working on. With software, moving things around and changing the order is almost child’s play.

      Hey John, any chance of getting hold of the original maps? Trying to use a magnifying glass (i.e. zoom function) is a real pain, and there are times when you want to look at only a small part as if it were a separate map.

    • Aynn Daniels

      John, while I haven’t begun creating Mind Maps, I always create an outline with tentacles. I like how you’ve laid this out and will definitely “learn-it-to-use-it”. I would agree that whether we use an old fashion outline with sub-lines, box text, or Mind Map I get the “teachable” moment here is that to formulate ideas pattern matching helps you to see a flow of ideas…

      P.S Thanks John, glad to be a part of your Inner Circle.

      Aynn Daniels recently posted: accomplish-more-each-day-with-these-7-strategies-in-business-and-in-life

    • Michael

      Excellent post John, I like the way you unselfishly share your intelligence, and business acumen to us struggling entrepreneurs; mind maps are brilliant at laying out the relationships between concepts, this is hard to do with a paper and pencil.

    • Tony

      I can’t live without mind mapping. Using mind maps, I was able to finally publish my first book. This was a life long dream of mine. It’s also great to make mind maps while you’re taking a course. This will help you remember even the tiniest details that you are most likely to forget.

    • Shirl

      Hi John,
      Thanks for the post. It’s a good reminder for me. I was introduced to mind maps many years ago so I have used them and know how useful they are. The problem is I often forget and end up with lists and notes in one book and another so things are scattered. Mind maps are great for staying organized!

    • Ome

      Good post John. Was into mindmaps a while back, but gave it up. Your article has shown me a few practical ideas for mind maps πŸ™‚

    • Matt Morgan

      Hello John, Hope you are fine.

      Mind maps are an amazing way to put your plan on a simple diagram format, and help your customers and buyers understand what you are trying to communicate.

      These created for your customers willl give them a way to plan their own projects than if you didn’t give one.

      Spend the extra time to apply and create mindmaps for your projects.

      Give them a try, and you might surprise yourself. They are a great time saver from pen and paper.

      Matt Morgan

    • Randy

      John, I have been using board and A4 size paper and it’s all over my room. Its somehow visual to me and know what to do when I wake up. I like the 5 P Sales page for more idea of my copy.

    • Panicos Varnava

      Hi John,

      Mind maps, is that a 21st century name for the 20th century flow chart?

      I am struggling to come up with an niche and will use mind mapping to try and inspire me. But as Steven says above printing out the mind map makes it pretty much ineligible.

      Thanks for the idea

      • Terence Savage

        Hi Panicos,
        a mindmap isn’t a new name for an old idea. The mindmap precedes the flowchart in that it identifies the essential features of a ‘project’ and their subsets but does not indicate the order in which they have to be performed.

        After first identifying the features one has to go onto sorting out the sequence of completion (order of precedence) and what can or cannot be actionned in parallel. Only then can a crtical path analysis be undertaken.

        Both tools have the considerable benefit of providing an easily accessible visual representation (at least as compared with a text version) but aren’t the same and don’t do the same job.

        Hope this helps.
        Best regards,

    • Glenn Shepherd

      Personally, I use the excellent Xmind which you can get from There’s a paid version but I find the free version more than enough. It’s very user-friendly and so easy to experiment with to get the feel of mindmaps if you’re not too familiar with them πŸ™‚

      • James Robson

        I couldn’t agree more Glenn – Xmind is awesome! I splashed out on a paid version (as i had a student card at the time which entitled me to an awesome discount), but the free version is more than good enough 99% of the time. Recommended!

    • Mark Salmon

      Hi John,

      I use mindmaps extensively using Freemind. I remember reading a book by Tony Buzan who advocated mindmaps as a way of coming up with creative ideas. They work well with the way our brains function.

      I also like to create flow charts with yEd which is a free graphical editor.

      I think more products need to be presented graphically because often, when you can see the overall plan at a glance, everything comes into perspective. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words (or something to that effect!)


      Mark Salmon

      • Ed

        I concur…Mark…I too have only recently discovered the actual power of mind mapping…you know I was actually getting bogged down mentally and extremely frustrated because my mind started developing far too many ideas for me to compute and handle…

        …SO I decided to use *mind mapping* to put it ALL into perspective…and BOY has it…I actually printed my complete on-line business onto 26 A4 pages to overview it SO I could break it down further into a start to finish model!

        It completed filled my dining table…BUT the point I am trying to make is…when I just looked at it…man it ALL just fell into place with ONE LOOK!

        Extremely powerful I was blown away!

    • Michael Orth

      Great post John,

      Mind mapping is a concept that I have just begun to use, by putting my thoughts down in a Mind Map allows me to more clearly define the concept all the way through to its execution. I have started to use it a work as well.


      Michael Orth

    • Chris & Lisa

      Hi John,

      Been a fan of them for more years than I care to remember now! For those that love their lists, fair enough, each to their own, I used to be a list man myself back in the 90’s but it’s a fact that the human brain thinks in images, not lines of text.

      Try it, think of something random, an elephant….does a big block of text in 72pt Verdana come flying into your mind? No, most likely it’s an image of an elephant. For the real creatives, I’ve even seen mindmaps without a single word of text on them, the images did all the talking to the person who created it. It was a work of art!

      That’s not for everyone coz it must take up a lot of time making them all visual and pretty like that and for the busy marketer, we want to save time, not waste it and the thing is, your brain makes several connections to a piece of information normally not just the one you have with a list.

      That’s where mind maps excel as you can link several maps or nodes together and that knocks plain old lists of text into a cocked hat. You’d have scribbled lines all over the shop if you did it that way and it’s good to see so many marketers catching on to their usefulness and including them in their products. It really does help to figure out some quite complicated processes.


    • dave ball

      Great Post John,
      What I do is bring a small notebook around and use pen and paper to write on my mind map the old fashioned way and when I get home transfer the new edition to the mind mapping software.
      I was coming up with great idea and forgetting them before I got home to add them to the pc.
      I also add them onto my iphone notes if I cant find a pen that works.
      I started mind mapping in college and found it great for writing large assignments or smaller answers , thanks for the post John

    • Terence Savage

      John, Fanatastic work I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more comprhensive set of marketing mindmaps.

      I switched onto mindmaps in the 70’s/80’s when Tony Buzan presented series of TV programmes on UK television. They’ve since served me well throught out my career.

      I’m now lecturing postgrads and would like to use your mindmaps if that’s OK?

      I also lecture on Project Management in Marketing (PMiM) where mindmaps are one of the tools I recommend before preparing the work breakdown schedule etc. Have you published any other articles that connect with PMiM? Please advise if you have.
      Best regards,

    • igor Griffiths

      Well hello John

      Mindmaps are a great tool but as you rightly point out they are no miracle cure, you still need to create structure to your mindmaps which you illustrate really well in all of the mindmaps you share during this post.

      The mindmap serves as a great project checkpoint, as you should never begin the build phase until you are clear on what you are building, a mistake I repeat all too often!

      thanks again, igor Griffiths

    • Danny Howard

      Hey John

      Thanks for sharing your process for product planning and coming up with new ideas.

      I use Mindjet Mind Manager it has a few cool feature that FreeMind doesn’t have but they both get the job done.

      I’ve downloaded a couple to see how you plan and structure your ideas, thanks for the tips John


    • Ed

      Hey John…

      Awesome post….I recently have spent countless hours building my business plans in the form of a mind map…they’re extremely powerful as a *brain dumping* tool you can use them as a kind og mental external hard drive!

      I have found that this gives you room and leverage to actually start to take action on your goals and plans…because you NOW have a freed up your thoughts…to break it ALL down and attack your mind map as a *step by step* plan…excellent post!

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