Mind Mapping

In May'2020 I use:

  • FreeMind at work as my NoteBook; also for taking notes at talks/events. It's chronological, I have 3-4mo of notes in a file. It's basically a fast visual outliner, though I also use: visual-links to connect across the hierarchy; 1 and 2 icons for tasks to (manually) transfer to Asana.) (My detail tasks are in Asana, my data explorations go straight into Jira for share-ability.) It also pastes as nice HTML bullet lists into some software, which is how I usually share.
  • Scapple for thinking, personally and at work (sometimes a FreeForm MindMap, sometimes a crude flow diagram, sometimes a decision-tree). If I want to share, I make a screencap.
  • Miro for maps that might be more collaborative, or where I want to make sure my latest-version is always available for others to view. Mainly for being able to view/edit from my phone or tablet (which mattered more when commuting than during virus lockdown). Unfortunately, it feels a little clunkier than the other apps.

A Thinking Tool

older notes

I use FreeMind, an Open Source app.

I used to use EMindMaps, a package which I think has been cancelled, replaced by various MindManager products. http://www.mindjet.com/products/compare.htm

I typically prefer Mind Mapping to OutLining (at least up until writing a bunch of body text) because the visual arrangement of nodes allows quick shifting of perspectives while keeping what's "similar" in a given a perspective close together. Now in English... one second I might be thinking just about the top-level nodes; in a Mind Map they're all pretty close together, clustered around a shared parent. But then as I mentally "zoom" into a particular node, all of its children are close by. To make the same mental jump while OutLining I have to keep expanding and collapsing, which I find mentally disruptive.

Will Reed has a whole newsletter about Mind Mapping strategies.

To ditch (at least temporarily) the Hierarchal Structure, try a Free-Form MindMap

A couple ideas, parallel to Wiki And Outlining

Provide a Mind Mapping GUI for a Thinking Space, so that I can quickly create and organize nodes, then fill them in while still being able to drop back to a Mind Map view. This would be like an extension of The Brain. For a read-only view of relations among Wiki nodes, a great example is the Visual Tour feature at the original WikiWikiWeb: http://www.c2.com/cgi/tour?WikiWikiWeb

Provide a Mind Map of the top few levels of a single Wiki page: see WikiPage As Mind Map.

Really old notes

Pico Map software (for PDA) was developed at a university program for students (based on the idea that a PDA is cheaper than a PC).

Thought Stream http://thoughtstream.org/ is also a Palm package, with a Windows version in the possible future...

or you might want to work on a White Board :)

Pocket Mindmap (PMM) http://www.pocketmindmap.com/ is available for the Pocket PC PDA platform (Pocket PC, Pocket PC 2000, and Win CE 2000). Very mature and usable. Open XML file format allows custom reports with XSLT. Have never used the (Windows) Desktop viewer as it seems to be overly focused on integration with Mindmanager/Mindjet (something that I do not use). 4/5 stars.

I'm looking for an open-source Concept Mapping software tool. The one I'm a fan of is from Robert Abrams - originally done in Super Card. http://www.RobertAbrams.Net It only works on a mac and might be a bit dated. Some maps are at http://CLOH.Org (my hobby site).

Open source mind mapping tool written in Java --2003/08/08 08:16 GMT
Check out FreeMind at http://freemind.sourceforge.net/ - Sub Munition likes it and notes it uses a clean XML format.

Ooh, Gimini is based on WxPython. Looks like it hasn't been touched in over a year, though...

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