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(Fast Company) — Coming up with good ideas is a major part of your job, so you want to have the right tools on hand to generate as many ideas as possible during a brainstorming session. Here are some tools and techniques for doing just that. When you want to do free-form thinking and gather ideas and tasks around a central concept, try a mind map. In the middle of the page, write down your topic. Then, all around the topic, jot down tasks, words, ideas, and connect them by drawing lines between them and branching similar ideas off of them. The most effective offline tool for mind mapping is probably a classic whiteboard, wet marker, and eraser. To mind map online, check out, a free Web app where you can create, share, and publish your maps. The advantage of mind mapping is that it’s not linear bullet points, and because it’s unstructured it can encourage more free thinking.

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