Mind mapping is a process of laying out and then organizing ideas.
I find it useful for organizing high level ideas and then switch to a Feature Driven Development (FDD) method for greater refining and time estimating.
Others find it useful in collaborative environments (such as meetings) where a lot of creative thinking is taking place.
I just found an interesting site that for creating and saving mind maps online – http://bubbl.us/edit.php.
For those who prefer more traditional desktop software try http://mindmanager.com