One of the software services I used during the multimodal writing course (June 18 – July 25, 2018 at the Bread Loaf School of English Santa Fe campus) was Venngage. I continue to use the Venngage subscription service, because (1) the software has proven to be intuitive, robust and stable (speaking as a retired software engineer); and (2) because Venngage’s templates and other tools help me structure information visually, something I seldom did as a traditional writer. Thinking visually is the key to transitioning from text writing to multimodal writing. And for me, thinking visually is very hard to do.
As a part of the Venngage service, I receive occasional emails from their staff of information designers giving tips on how to use infographics templates. I received one of these August 15 with a link to an article by Venngage’s Sara McGuire: “15 Mind Map Templates to Visually Organize Information.” I recalled a conversation with one of the writers in Laurie Stolarz’s “Story Structure” workshop who had mentioned using her blog to journal goals for the coming month. I decided to try something similar. I would map my goals instead of writing them. The result was a six-month timeline, a mind map.