Blumind has been around for a while, and I’ve been trying it out and have now added it to Mind-Mapping.org. This is a simple mind mapper, but is free and has a wide range of preformatted colour schemes and map layouts.
It can produce pleasant-looking maps like this (click for a full-size image):
It’s free, so I mustn’t be too critical, but its main drawback is that it makes no provision for including images in the map, other than icons. It does come with a generous selection of icons built in, though.
- Can import and export FreeMind/Freeplane .mm files.
- Task completion status can be shown as a progress bar – a novel approach which I like.
- Many colour-schemes are built in.
- There are seven map layouts to choose from.
- You have detailed control over colours of many aspects of nodes
- A selection of icons is included.
- You can choose whether to have a spaced out map or a compressed one – I found I wanted to compress the map more than the default settings allow. The image above uses the default settings. To compress it more, click the map and in the Properties area on the right of the window, you would choose smaller values for Items Space and Layer Space, then insert a new node, to see the change take effect.
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Notes for Blumind developer, a few issues I experienced:
- “Add link” between two nodes. Undo. The Undo doesn’t work.
- I imported a FreeMind file. Some nodes that showed text in FreeMind appeared as empty nodes in Blumind. They appear to be nodes that were rich-text, implemented with HTML in FreeMind.
- Occurrence of keywords like VSHIFT=”-5″ in the XML of a FreeMind node results in a node in Blumind that is much too large for the text it contains. I don’t know if negative values of VSHIFT are valid in FreeMind, but the map looks OK in that software.