Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On the Bookshelf: Ron Arons' Mind Maps for Genealogy

I'm a big fan of genealogist and author Ron Arons. Ever since I read his book The Jews of Sing Sing I've admired his research and approach to telling the stories of his ancestor's lives.

Ron's latest book is Mind Maps for Genealogy. Enhanced Research Planning, Correlation, and Analysis. This is an important work that provides researchers with ideas not only on how to incorporate mind maps into their research but also how to navigate mind mapping software. Ron writes of the book,

 "This publication introduces you to the basic concepts of mind maps: what they are, how to create them, and how to use them for planning genealogical research, logging, correlating/analyzing, and reporting. This publication also shows how mind maps complement the Genealogical Proof Standard..."

Why is this important? I'm visual, I like images and photos. No, I'm not an artist  but I do draw mind maps, either by hand or using software on my iPad. I use mind maps to help me visualize connections between people in a community. I draw them to flesh out ideas for my writing. I even draw them to better understand what questions I have about a particular ancestor. This book is a creative and much needed approach to research planning, analyzing and reporting on research.

While I am a frequent user of mind maps I will be the first to admit that I am not utilizing all of the capabilities of my mind mapping software. I don't have the patience to read software manuals but with Ron's book I don't have to. Ron takes readers through a  tutorial of how to use various mind mapping software programs including Free Mind, Simple Mind and X Mind. This section helped answer my questions and give me ideas for how I can be building better mind maps.

Looking for ways to plan out your research or share facts about your research with others? Go visual and use mind maps. Not sure how to do that or need some help? Check out Ron's book, Mind Maps for Genealogy. Enhanced Research Planning, Correlation, and Analysis.

Disclaimer: I had the honor of being a beta reader for this book and am proud to call Ron a friend. I was also gifted a copy of this book by Ron. However, that doesn't mean it influenced my review. Believe me, I wouldn't have a problem stating my opinion even after getting a free book.

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