On one hand, mind mapping might just be another distraction created by progressive educators to make students look like they're doing something when in fact they are wasting time when tried-and-true classical methods would do just as well if not better. On the other hand, mind mapping might be a way for disorganized students to learn a step-by-step method in a visual way -- who can then move on to outlining and the proper format of paragraphs.
There are ways to do mind mapping with pencil and paper which may serve either to outline an essay or as a variant form of note-taking. A simple Google search can turn up many resources and YouTube videos such as Ten Mind Mapping Strategies or Using mind mapping as a memorable fact-retention tool.
There are mind mapping programs which can be installed on computers or cloud-based services often cost money which frugal classical Lutheran educators have learned to do without. With WiseMapping.com, however, you (and your children or students) can determine whether cloud-based mind-mapping is a useful tool or just another distraction.
Have you used mind-mapping successfully and can offer some sample classical lesson plans? Do you have outlining and paragraph-building exercises you'd like to share?