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Open Thread: Mac Mind Mapping, and how you use it

I've recently revived my interest in doing mind mapping as a way to capture ideas and plan out projects.

Back in the day, I'd use Inspiration (which registration regrettably died a few years ago), and in more recent times I've played with free apps like My Mind and FreeMind, as well as tested more costly apps like NovaMind and MindManager.

If you also like to mind map, I'm curious to hear which of these you and your Mac are using, how you're using it, and what made you choose one app over another. Got a preference? Prefer regular old paper and markers? Using lots of images in your mind maps? Which pay app is most worth the dough, and why?

And for folks who are new to mind mapping, here's a few links to get you started:

  • Mind map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "A mind map (or mind-map) is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making."
  • Mind Maps [peterussell.com] - "Mind maps were developed in the late 60s by Tony Buzan as a way of helping students make notes that used only key words and images. They are much quicker to make, and because of their visual quality much easier to remember and review. The non-linear nature of mind maps makes it easy to link and cross-reference different elements of the map."
  • Learn how to draw Mind Maps with Mind Tools - "Mind Maps are more compact than conventional notes, often taking up one side of paper. This helps you to make associations easily. If you find out more information after you have drawn the main Mind Map, then you can easily integrate it with little disruption."
  • how to make a mind map - "Your initial words and images stimulate associations. Attach whatever word or image is triggered. Allow the 'random movement of your thought; you do not have to ‘finish’ one branch before moving on"
  • Uses of Mind Maps [peterussell.com] - "Whenever you are confronted by a problem -- professional or personal -- mind maps help you see all the issues and how they relate to each other. They also help others quickly get an overview of how you see different aspects of the situation, and their relative importance."
Tim Benest's picture

I have been mind mapping...

I have been mind mapping for almost 27 years now, having being taught it by a forward thinking teacher in the late 70's

On the Mac, i used to use novamind, but recently switch to using mind manager, which I find has a cleaner less cluttered interface, and has that certain "je ne ce quois"

Mind manager allow fairly rapid entry of ideas and thoughts, with non-mouse navigation being pretty good. There is also meta-data on the nodes of the map, which can be usefull.

With mind manager, there are also a couple of Apple Scripts that allow you to bang maps back and forth between Omni Outliner Pro.

There seem to be two schools of thought on what a mind map is. Some folks would class a simple outline as a mind map, but in Buzan's books all the examples tend to have pictures and diagrams as visual queues. A lot of mind maps, can be seen a works of art.

Like alot of things in life there is no correct answer as to which mapping software, I think it is often a case of picking the best tool for the job, which often will be the faithfull pen and paper. Very often I will scribble maps in the Moleskine notebook that I carry with me. I also often use dip pens and coloured ink. I tend to do most of my goal planning, and day to day planning with maps.

Well I could rattle on for much more, but other stuff beacons.




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