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Author Topic: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Mind Mapping Software Applications (MindMap)  (Read 5772 times)

Paul Keith

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Some may feel like editing the contents in this page. Requires MindMeister or OpenID accounts.

http://www.mindmeister.com/32128559

mouser

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Hey! That's pretty cool, sorry I missed it the first time.
It's a mind map of mind map software:
Screenshot - 12_9_2009 , 11_02_11 AM_thumb.png

J-Mac

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That's a pretty decent overview of the various software packages out there currently for mindmapping, or at least that refer to themselves as mindmapping apps.

I have used mindmaps for about five years, but purely as a personal tool. When I was still working I tried to get my employer to spring for a few licenses but they were not prepared to spend money on software - any software - unless they could tie it directly to a client project and pass the costs through. Understandable of course, so after I became unable to work I ended up buying a license for myself.

Some claim that they use it as their note-taking application of choice but I could never understand that; it just doesn't lend itself to quick/easy note-jotting IMO. I used it primarily for brainstorming (though some who think they know me claim the most I could muster would be minor brain flurries!   :o   :'(  ) However it really can be a great brainstorming tool IF you are visually stimulated. I have read a number of posts here at DC where many say they don't know where to begin. When I need to come up with a solution for a particular task or ideas for a project I start right there: I create a main topic with the project or problem stated clearly and then as I think about it, pace around, throw a ball against the wall - whatever you do when you're thinking about something - and as something comes to mind, no matter how weakly related, I throw it on the screen as a subtopic. Subtopics can all be tied to the main topic or you can have them free-floating; whichever way works for you. Once I get a bunch on the screen I sit down and start tying them to the main topic, each other, or leave then floating. I group ideas that seem to be connected in some way. Usually this begets a bit of synergy, if that is even the correct term here, and wholly new kinds of ideas spring from them.

Some subtopics/groups get discarded, some get worked more, until I have a fairly firm framework (alliteration unintended) of a project/solution. Then I usually convert it to an outline and proceed with a more detailed plan from there.

As I mentioned I don't see mindmaps as note-taking tools, nor as GTD guides, nor as much else except as an idea mapping tool.  Actually I do occasionally use the software for purely charting a group of items that I want to organize, but I would not be using a mindmap for this if I didn't already have the app.

Sorry if this post is out of line with the thread's intent, but I was searching mindmapping posts in here and saw that this one was fairly recent.

Thanks!

Jim

mwang

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I guess I of those who use a mind-mapping tool (Freemind to be exact) for note-taking, though not exclusively. I also use such tools (XMind mostly, though Freemind will do) for presentation, as I mentioned in the "must-have programs" thread.

J-Mac

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I guess I of those who use a mind-mapping tool (Freemind to be exact) for note-taking, though not exclusively. I also use such tools (XMind mostly, though Freemind will do) for presentation, as I mentioned in the "must-have programs" thread.

I'm not saying that they can't be used for note-taking; however they certainly don't work for me for note-taking! Just not convenient/spontaneous as taking my notes by hand.

Thank you.

Jim

mwang

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Jim, what I said certainly didn't mean to be a rebuttal. Sorry if it came across that way.

I totally agree, when it comes to note taking, nothing beats hand writing in convenience. And yet it's a huge problem for someone as inept at sorting paper stuff (in ways that can be retrieved later) as I. I don't have a scanner, and I doubt how often I'll use it should I have one.

I started using Freemind for note-taking only a few months ago, and have found it to be surprisingly useful. I used to rely on Emeditor or Word for the job. Emeditor (or any text editor) is too limited due to the lack of basic highlight tools, and can't make simple drawings. While Word is more capable, it's slow, and drawing simple diagrams is Word is never easy for me. Since the kind of drawings I make at work are usually concept maps, Freemind is excellent. XMind is even better (for allowing floating nodes, among other things), but it's slow.

J-Mac

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I have a couple versions of Mindjet's MindManager but none work on Windows 7, and it is too expensive for me to upgrade. I used it but not enough to justify their increased pricing. They aim primarily at the so-called "enterprise" market, and that sure ain't me!

I am thinking of subscribing to MindMeister, and online mind-mapping app, mainly because it can import my MindManager maps - and I have a lot of those I would like to be able to use again.

Thanks!

Jim