WebSequenceDiagrams and Scribblar

These are two new web-based applications I’ve found recently and just added to mind-mapping.org.

Web Sequence Diagrams

If you use UML Sequence Diagrams, this very easy to use browser-based application makes it really easy to make a diagram from plain text.  You can download the diagram, or share a link to it, and even share a link to the page from which the diagram was made.  There, others can modify your text to amend the diagram, so it supports collaborative development of sequence diagrams, though access would have to be sequential, not simultaneous.

So, I made an example:

Here’s the text that made that:

note right of OrderTakingOnline: adds prices, calculates invoice amount
note right of SalesDept: verifies stock, Customer status
note right of SalesDept:Sends to Accounts
note right of FulfilmentDept:Requisitions Goods
note left of Stores:Issue Goods
note left of Billing: Raise Invoice/Packing List
Billing-->FulfilmentDept:Invoice/Packing List
FulfilmentDept->Customer:Goods/Invoice/Packing List
note left of FulfilmentDept:Dispatch Shipment
note right of Customer:(continues with payment, etc.)

Here’s the page for that and here’s the link to the image above at the site.

You could even use it for a rather limited form of swim-lane diagram


This collaborative whiteboard application supports real-time, multi-user access not only allowing sharing and development of diagrams together, but also image up- and download, text chat and live audio.

Scribblar is free unless you want to have it on your own web site.


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Creately, CUECards, MindDecider, SpicyNodes and Inflow

I’ve done separate posts about two recent findings over the last couple of days: Diagramic and the filling in of a historical entry.  Time now for the remaining new items in Mind-mapping.org:


Creatley is a nice on-line diagram-drawing software with mind mapping as one of the type of diagrams supported.  It has a free version, and a Plus version with a rather special subscription scheme: Pay what you think it’s worth, provided you spare at least US$1/month!  Creately can make Flowcharts, Network Diagrams, Organizational Charts, UML Diagrams, Sitemaps, SWOT templates, Wireframes, UI Mockups as well as mind maps.



CUECards is a hierarchical information store based on a ‘card’ metaphor – something of an outliner.



MindDecider incorporates a form of mind mapping and uses it as a framework for information gathering, analysis and calculation that leads to decision support.



I’ve seen SpicyNodes described as mind mapping software.  It really is not, unless you’re prepared to build a web site for each mind map you make.  But it does use the hierarchical mind mapping style for connections between nodes. 

Spicy nodes is a new approach to web site navigation.  It would be interesting to see mind mapping software that could export the code needed to build a SpicyNodes web



Inflow is social and organisational network analysis software with many ways of displaying relationships.  It appears to be aimed at enterprises rather than individuals.


Hope to see you on Twitter before my next post.  Visit http://twitter.com/VicGee and click on the Follow button on the left.

The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


The Mind-Mapping Wiki

In a post some months ago, I promised to tell you more about WikIT, the mind mapping wiki but kept getting distracted.  Now I have found a few minutes to keep my word.

WikIT is a facinating resource.  It takes the line that different uses of ‘information maps’ (I’m planning a post about that phrase!) are best served by different map types and different rules.  And it goes right ahead and supports this line with examples and advice.

This wiki covers the many types of maps – mind maps, concept maps, argument maps and others.  It explains the variations and how you might choose one type if you’re learning something, another type if you’re planning a new project, and something else again if you’re doing some deep analysis.  The main map types are introduced in a summary article here that branches out to many other pages.

WikIT's mind mapping wiki

Although it looks a lot like Wikipedia, and has the same types of search facilities, WikIT often uses mind maps for navigation – that must be a boon – and takes advantage of MindManager 8’s ability to deliver Flash and PDF mind maps that work, as well as looking pretty.  You can click a link that will open a map from WikIT in your browser and start exploring.

The best place to start is the list of all the subjects covered by the wiki.  Visit that and, if you’re like me, it will set you off on clicking trail from subject to subject.  Not all articles are complete, but the planning has been pretty comprehensive (I detect planning by mind map!)

Information Tamers, who put this wiki together, have also remedied a hole in my site by adding a list of free mapping software on one of its pages.  Price is a selection criterion that I didn’t think to include when I was deciding on the controls in the ‘Refine software list’ tab, and when I was approached for permission to use all the information I was happy to see it drawn on and filtered in this way.  I always am, provided the source is acknowledged and linked to with a “follow” link.  “Free” is the price that people are most often seeking for software, as well!

The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


Mind-mapping.org adds Debategraph, Maltego, MindBerry and Prezi

This week on mind-mapping.org, I have added four new visual thinking tools, Debategraph, Maltego, MindBerry and Prezi.


This is a wiki tool that allows public debates to be conducted in a visual environment.



Described as a forensics application for the mining, gathering and representation of information in a meaningful way, this is a flexible development of an application once known as ‘Evolution’.



Mind mapping for the BlackBerry.  AFAIK the sole offering on that phone, compared with at least eight for the iPhone.  Must be cool to have the market to yourself!



Prezi is a beautifully designed and elegant zooming approach to presentations.  Freedom from PowerPoint’s one-screen-after-another at last, offering a fluid flow through the ideas to be exhibited.



The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


bCisive, GenIE & SMILE, Outliner 2.0

On Mind-mapping.org this week there are four new entries in the master list – three graphical and one a related development platform.


bCisive is software for business decision making and diagramming.  It supports building and communicating business cases as well as documenting the reasoning behind decisions.



GeNIe is a user-friendly development environment for graphical decision-theoretic models. It is the Windows user interface to SMILE, which is a portable library of C++ classes implementing the models.


Outliner 2.0

Outliner is an outliner for mobile phones and PDAs.  It lets you create your outlines with desktop software and import them.



The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


The business of idea mapping

I’ve written before about how Mastering mind mapping can help at work  especially as recession looms. Well now, Chuck Frey has interviewed Jamie Nast on a closely-related topic.  Chuck has entitled the piece “Learn to think visually – or else”.

Jamie says “To this day the majority of people have not heard of mind mapping or idea mapping”.  This is amazing, but true, and it’s what motivates me most in maintaining Mind-mapping.org as a directory of information mapping software, repository of articles, and a go-to place for information about visual thinking.  And I regularly comment on blogs all over the web to get the message out about different ways of seeing and presenting ideas, plans, creativity and information.

We’ve heard Buzan say that mind maping has gone mainstream, but sadly, it really hasn’t yet, though it is increasingly popping up in unexpected corporate environments. Two of the people responsible for that are Nast and Frey!

Vic Gee
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


Origins of mind mapping and concept mapping [updated]

For too long now we have had many statements about the origins of visual mapping but there are too few examples, to my way of thinking.

walt-disney-mind-map-reuse-tny.pngI’ve just written about early visual thinking maps and included a couple of cases.

If any can add to the list by providing other early examples, I’d love to have the chance to display them (with acknowledgement and link back) in this newly-begun collection.  Please email me: vic [at] mind-mapping [dot] org.  Idea Sunbursting is a particular case I’d like to carry an example of.


 [Update, 27th Aug: linked fixed, thanks to Matthew of Banxia.]