Mind-mapping is a form of "radial note taking" according to Austin Kleon, bestselling author of Steal Like An Artist and other books. In his video, he shows how he uses mind maps to cluster together ideas to creatively brainstorm.
There's not a whole lot to this simple technique, but it's one of the easiest ways I know to get myself going when I'm stuck. It does at least 2 things for me:
1. It serves as a form of "free writing" — it gets things out of my head quickly so I can look at them on the page. (I think because you're starting in the middle and working out, the radial pattern tricks your brain into loosening up.)
2. Because it's nonlinear and the words are spread out, I can see or make connections between things that I might not if I were just writing straight prose.
I've made so many of these maps over the years…