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Introduction to Legal Research: Research Plans & Organizing Tools

Class guide for Prof. Bradley's sections

Mind Mapping - Free software

How to Use a Mind Map to Organize Your Life — Feel the inspiration


 Mind Map Inspiration - focuses on the visual and artistic aspects of creating mind maps but very inspirational

 10 Ways to Use Mind Maps Over Text Notes, Asian Efficiency

Mind Mapping for Lawyers


  • Free or paid. Use the free products to develop the mind mapping habit then you'll know which features you must have and which you can do without. Many of the for pay services have basic plans that allow you to create three free maps.
  • Offline or online. How good is your connection?  Do you deal with any confidential or sensitive information? Will you be collaborating and/or sharing?
  • Ease of use.  Compare any software you pick with the ease of pen and paper. The ease and speed of putting your thoughts on screen matters in brainstorming.
  • Look and feel. The aesthetic appeal is a factor, if you need to display your maps to a team or make presentations. Beautiful mind maps are just more pleasant to use.
  • Template variety. Templates save time when every mind map is imagined around a few common organizational processes.
  • Import and export options. Does the tool accept other formats for import. An export format like PDF is necessary. Export to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, or Project helps with document integration.
  • Collaboration/Sharing. Critical when working with teams, managing partners, and clients.

Academic Orientation - designed for or with special features for students and researchers like reference and literature management

Mind Map Maker - works with Google Drive

Other Applications - usually with a business orientation

* Law Librarian pick

Lots of Apps

To Do Lists & Task Managers

 Image result for evernote icon Evernote

Image result for todoist icon   Todoist

Flowcharts & Decision Trees

Canva - free flowchart maker

Image result for creately icon Creately - free flowchart templates

Image result for edraw icon    Edraw - free flowchart templates

Image result for lucidchart icon  Lucidchart - flowcharts and decision trees

Image result for smartdraw icon  Smartdraw - decision tree


Image result for answer garden icon AnswerGarden

Image result for direct poll icon DirectPoll

Image result for poll everywhere icon Poll Everywhere

Citation, Note-Taking, & Research Management

  Clearbrief analyzes documents and then finds the best evidence you have to support your argument.

Notion logo - United States in 2021 | Notion logo, Letter n logo, Letter  logoNotion is a note taking and organizing tool

PowerNotes PowerNotes helps with online research by gathering and keeping track of source materials, staying organized, and creating a research outline.

Roam Research on Twitter: "If you've been wondering about our logo:… "   Roam is a note taking and organizing tool


Juris M is Zotero for legal materials. It is based on Zotero but it has been modified to specifically support legal writing and research.

Case Organization

CaseMap - sign-in with your Lexis+ account

Plans from Other Law Schools and Services

Research Services

Research Plans


Search Strategy Builder -  a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic.

  • It is not a database and is not designed to input a search but you may be able to cut and paste the results into the standard database search boxes.
  • The search strategy builder was actually developed by the University of Arizona Libraries but I think the one from Missouri is nicer looking.
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