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Software for mindmapping and information organization

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This is the website-of-record for software that supports planning, creativity, knowledge management and information organization in visual form. Do let me know of any software that isn't here but should be: roygrubb [at] this domain.
Software for ...
•mind maps  •concept maps
•argument maps  •outlines
•hierarchical organizers
•2D/3D knowledge managers

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Current: available & supported. Historical: Not supported (may be available on software download sites).
  Est.Vic Gee/2006, curated by Roy Grubb since 2013 
  From:  Instrumind   Product:  ThinkComposer    Added:  2013-10-12
Screenshot mind mapping software ThinkComposer     Screenshot mind mapping software ThinkComposer     Screenshot mind mapping software ThinkComposer    
What they say:  " With ThinkComposer you can apply the power of comprehensive visual documents to get the job done and work better. Your flowcharts, concept maps, models and other kind of diagrams can be much more than just embedded images in text-docs or presentations, they can represent the insights and knowledge of your very specialized domain or environment.
Evolve into the Benefits of using comprehensive, composable and adaptable visual documents!
  • Brainstorming Capture and develop those bright ideas you have!
  • Knowledge Organizer Help your mind to organize and visualize complex thoughts!
  • Presentation Tool Clearly present your ideas, to be convincent and fully understanded.
  • Semantic Mapping Define graphic and semantic elements for your specialized domain.
  • Knowledge Representation Express your solution designs and knowledge with precision.
  • Productivity Software Improve your productivty and creativity with this easy and flexible tool.
Observations:  This is an interesting product in many ways. It can produce a wide range of diagram types and visual models immediately after installation, it allows users to specify new diagram types, and can generate code when that is appropriate and specified by the user.

The visual models pre-installed with the software are: Business model, class diagram, concept map, data model, fast-food cuisine, flowchart, genealogy tree, mind map, organization chart, sequence diagram, timeline, use-case diagram, web environment and an 'all-purpose' diagram.

ThinkComposer refers to each of the diagram types as 'domains'. Each pre-defined domain provides access to a set of diagram elements, but you can add to the set, and you can define new domains using the very many additional diagram elements and shapes.

Each diagram node can contain a whole diagram, so you can drill down through multiple levels. Objects in the diagram can include text, images, attached files, links, custom-fields or tables.

ThinkComposer makes a good job of concept maps. Although it doesn't have all the functionality of CMAP Tools, it has additional capabilities beyond CMAP. I made a small one myself and found it easy and usable. Here's a more complex one.

Define your own diagram type ('Domain')

ThinkComposer's designer doesn't see the built-in diagrams as the main motive for using the software.

The fact that you can assemble your own diagram elements, describe how they interact and what they contain, means that for many cases where no existing visual tool fits your needs, you can build a Domain from the ground up with the components provided by ThinkComposer. You can use your own template from then on, to work visually in a way that suits you.

File generation

Some software that helps us produce diagrams can also generate code. ERwin, can generate SQL that will create a database as described in an ERwin data model diagram, UML diagrammers can generate program code. But these are specific to a purpose.

ThinkComposer offers a general-purpose file generation capability and that is unusual.

ThinkComposer offers HTML output, PDF or XPS files from a diagram. This is fast and to an advanced level of detail that you won't always need, but for technical work is likely to prove useful.

See Roy Grubb's review at the blog:

OS: Windows
Price:  Free; $50; $100; $150.
Categories: business plan, concept maps, mind maps, organisation charts, timeline, UML diagrams
Vegetable or royalty – take your pick with mindmapping

Whether you have vegetable or royal aspirations, I can confirm that you'll find mindmapping a great way of calming yourself down when you have many calls on your time, ideas buzzing round your head and objectives to meet. But it must fit your own personal style of thinking, and you must set aside the time to do it! That's how I bust stress, not by mapping out my stressful times. But we're all different, and maybe this will work for you.

Mindmapping to plan your life

To each individual reader, mindmap topics don't come much bigger than this -- on the personal level, anyway.

The mindmapping route to project-team building

This piece sets out what seems to me to be a novel use for mindmapping: Staffing a project, functional unit or department. It is a good illustration of the flexibility of the mindmapping approach. I often use mindmapping in drawing up job specifications and candidate profiles, but not quite in the way described here. I think I'll give it a try.

Research and mindmapping to kickstart your writing

Here is another slant on getting your writing going -- research and a dash of mindmapping.

Writing, come what may

There's only a brief mention of mindmapping here, but it's obviously important to the author. Anyway, to me it's a great article on getting moving with writing. I hope you find it so, too.