After reading Chuck Wendig's hilarious and helpful post on how he uses mind mapping to find out who the characters in his book are, I stumbled onto yet another fabulous use of mind mapping at Visual Thesaurus. Check it!
I'm a visual person, so seeing things mapped out like this is helpful and also sends my mind off into new corners. Connections I didn't understand before seem obvious, and words become like planets, each with their own rings or moons or asteroids orbiting.
You can download free mind mapping software from Free Mind here.