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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."
_Zippy_'s picture

I currently use three systems: Paper! Inspiration...

I currently use three systems: Paper! Inspiration as I'm at a school with it on the network; when I bought it I also got the Palm version too. Recently I've converted to NovaMind, primarily for the ease of transfer of data. I map in Novamind, export to Omnioutliner, and finally to Shadow PLan on the Palm if I need a portable version. Another reason for the Novamind is its cross platform licensing - I'm stuck with a PC at work.

I tried others, including the free ones. ConceptDraw MindMap was a freebie on a magazine coverdisc; I didn't think much to it - it looked like someone was running a PC on my mac. Not intuitive, not mac-like enough … although I must admit I didn't go with it form long (interface and transferability of data.

MindManager was OK, as I got a discount offered for being an educator; It just lacked so many features available in the PC version. I was almost sold by the AppleScripting that allowed transfer to and from Omnioutliner Pro

I'm not saying NovaMind is perfect, but it was the best at the time. Now if only it was scriptable...

AS for uses, my main one is for lesson planning, both short term (each day to a branch) and medium term (a whole topic to map). Hyperlinking from a branch in the short term map to one in the medium term map is something I am looking forward to doing, but we'll have to see

Not "GTD" as such, but it is an open topic!




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