iFreeMind – yet another iPhone app, and this one is serious!

A serious challenger to existing iPhone mind mapping apps swam into my view today: iFreeMind.

The site says “iFreeMind is a native software on iPhone for reading, showing and modifing the files created by FreeMind, and also for creating, writing the FreeMind compatible format files.”

This appears to hold an impressive hand of FreeMind capabilities and sets the bar for other iPhone apps to beat: Icons; detailed colour control; built in help (press a button an keep it pressed to see what it does); import from and export to PCs and Macs; and portrait and landscape modes.


The sample map suggests that nodes can contain followable links, but I think they imported a FreeMind mind map that makes the claim for FreeMind itself (it does have this capability) but as far as I can see, iFreeMind does not have it yet.

There’s a blog (probably the software developer’s) that gives a potted help file.

Update: There is a free, read-only iPhone app from the same author call FreeMindLite.  You will need to create your maps on a PC or Mac, and can then import them.

The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


ThinkingMap – another iPhone app


A new mind mapping application for the iPhone (OS 3.0 required) has just appeared.

It’s a FreeMind look-alike and boasts compatibility with FreeMind files. To an extent that’s true: I can make a mind map and export it via email to a PC and open it in FreeMind.

$2.99 won’t buy a lot of software, of course, but this one is very limited.  Central node, branches out, all one colour, and that’s about it.  No import capability, no association lines, no colour or styles.

It’s likely they will update with greater capabilities soon.

The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


Eric Blue’s collection

I recently dipped a small toe in the Twitter water (@vicgee) and am starting to find some interesting sources.  It’s a stream of very mixed information – some twitterers telling us they’ve just got up (oh, really? . . . yawn), some quoting aphorisms or saying what their own thinking is just then, others pointing to interesting finds on the web, and some making their own articles known to a larger audience.

“Just got up”  No comment. 

Aphorisms and thoughts  The second can often be variously stimulating, amusing, provocative, challenging and mind-opening.  Some twitterers reveal deep thoughts.

Pointer to interesting finds  The third help me find things I might never have seen.

Announcement of articles  And an example of the fourth type is one I want to let you know about: Eric Blue’s recommendations from his analysis of 15 tools for visual knowledge management.

Well worth a look.

Vic Gee

The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


Mindmaps unleashed!

Arjen ter Hoeve has just started a new site called Mind Maps Unleashed.

He believes that many mappers make maps and don’t use them, and now offers a training course to remedy this.  So far he has covered topics like:

  1. Looking & Seeing, Knowing & Understanding
  2. 3 Questions Regarding Children, Age And Mind Mapping
  3. The Next Bad Thing – The Standalone Mindmap
  4. Mind Mapping And Focus – We’ve Only Just Begun!
  5. Trends in Mind Mapping Since 2004

Why not surf on over to Arjen’s site and see what you think?


The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


Freeplane pushing for visibility

I’ve been meaning to add Freeplane to mind-mapping.org for a while, but its alpha status was holding me back.  Now I’ve heard from Ryan Wesley, Freeplane’s project manager, that overall it is pretty stable.  

They are putting out a call for more contributors and more users, so let’s look at Freeplane:

It is an open source and free mind-mapping program that resulted from the forking of the FreeMind code base 18 months ago.  FreeMind developers had different ideas about how that software should develop, and the result was a split.  Freeplane has a 6-member team and registered at Sourceforge in November 2007.  Since then they have been refactoring the code so that they can be more reponsive to requests from the user community.

It is still in alpha so it should only be used for testing for now. The Sourceforge wiki for Freeplane says “Our main goals for Freeplane are: Better Mind Map editor than FreeMind”.

There is no policy identification of feature differences yet – and these are what I believe a user will want to know before making a commitment to Freeplane.  I think it would be positive to have a strong statement of where they are going, based not so much on what Freeplane is not, but more on areas that will be different – a vision that will tell potential users why they should consider Freeplane. 

In fairness, they do say “already we have some long asked for features such as labelling graphical links, spell checker and improved filtering functionality” but I think it will take more to move FreeMind users.  When I asked him about it Ryan agreed, and said “In terms of the real difference, this does need to be clarified – inside and outside of the team. I have a vision for the software, but I’m not actually a coder.”  He went on “I think we should support LaTeX, [node] clones, and maybe some maths/logic functionality.”  He promises that users “should see a pace of development that will keep them excited.” 

I did prise a list of the present differences between Freeplane and FreeMind out of him, and have included that at the foot of this post.

Here’s a Freeplane screenshot:


Freeplane can open FreeMind (.mm) files at present, but there can be no guarantee that this will always be so. In fact, forum discussions about changing the file extension, and working towards an Open Document Standard format suggest that there is no desire to stay aligned with FreeMind.  That’s not to say that import and interoperability will not be maintained as an option.  I hope it is:  Vistors to my interoperability pages will know my enthusiasm for mind map file interchange capabilities.

There is a Freeplane forum at sourceforge which shows plenty of activity, and they promise frequent releases, so why not download it and provide some feedback?

Update: Ryan Wesley has posted a comment to point out that Dimitry Polivaev is the Freeplane project administrator on Sourceforge as well as being the driving force behind the code redesign.  I know that in the past he was a major contributor to FreeMind, so he’s someone the FOSS community, and mind mappers especially, owe hearty thanks to, together with others involved in both of these great projects.


The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Differences so far from FreeMind:

  • Spell checker
  • Labelling of graphical links
  • Load last used maps on start-up – save tabs between sessions
  • Improved search options – Ctrl+F
  • Filter usability improvements including filter menu and icons, filter history and date-based filter
  • Categorized icons
  • Selected node position is kept after filtering
  • Map background colour can be changed for each map
  • Note editor can be positioned to the left, right, top or bottom of the screen
  • Structured HTML paste
  • Zoom saved between sessions
  • Zoom keeps selected node position
  • Personal modification colour
  • Centre selected node. User setting and action.
  • Hidden Edges option to emulate free floating nodes and annotation
  • New edge style – horizontal
  • Hot keys can be set by pressing mouse button1 + ctrl on menu item
  • Use default font and paragraph spacing for notes too
  • The same zoom applies to all maps
  • Plain text search for filter in html nodes added
  • Tool tips for nodes can be switched off in preferences.
  • Link Navigation History can be used if CTRL is hold when you press navigation buttons
  • Menu bar can be turned on and off in the right click (in empty space) menu.
  • New XSLT export dialog translations from Eric (Ewl)
  • New options for saving folding


Offer to join a Beta test of a MindManager 8 add in

Craig Mecham of upcoming Strengthsmapper.com has put out an invitation for a limited number of Beta testers for the company’s “personal development and team-building” add-in for MindManager 8.

He did this in the form of a comment on my most recent post.  Blog comments are rather hidden unless you’re looking for them, so this post is to make it more visible and provide you with a link.

For participation, Craig promises “a free download of the software add-in along with the best selling book ‘Strengths Based Management'”.

To know more, see the full comment here.

If you join up, after your participation, why not come back and tell fellow subscribers to the mind-mapping.org blog what you thought?


The master list of mind mapping &
information management software