I was a reasonably successful software architect, but an unknown outside of the company where I worked. I started blogging, and had a decent amount of success, but nothing to really talk about.
Then I picked up Freemind to help illustrate some research I had done on the Cloud Computing space. I posted a taxonomy of Cloud Computing vendors on my blog that I built using Freemind, and my career hasn't been the same. I get invited to speak at conferences and I get a lot of traffic to my blog now.
I recently changed jobs, and my speaking gigs and blog were a big consideration for my new employer. I might not have gotten my new job without those things. So, I guess I now owe a bit to Freemind for my career.
My mind map: