Tweet, tweet, tweet

Feedburner tells me I have well over 3,000 subscribers to my feed. 

I was surprised when I saw that.  And humbled.  My posts are sporadic, and yet still people follow this blog.  Thank you folks!

Now, please come and follow me on Twitter, and you’ll be more up to date, with between-post happenings. 

Twitterpage

You won’t find out what I had for breakfast, when I got out of bed, or if it’s been a bad day for Vic.  Just tweets about mind mapping software news and related topics.

If you’re not using Twitter yet, you may be staying away because you think it’s all about personal, trivial, and frankly uninteresting stuff.  For me, using TweetDeck (it’s free) got me past that stage, because I can have columns of searches on subjects I’m interested in.  No reports telling me Bill ‘had kippers and cornflakes for breakfast’!   There’s plenty of useful information to be found.

If you’re already twittering, just follow @VicGee, and I’ll see you there.   Come and say “Hi!”

If you’re not, you can go to http://twitter.com to sign up (it’s easy – they don’t require blood samples).  Then visit http://twitter.com/VicGee and click on the Follow button on the left.  I hope I’ll see you there as well, and that you get more out of Twitter than you expected.

Vic    (@VicGee in Twitter)
http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google

MindMapPaper – free hybrid software [Now defunct]

[Updated thanks to Tony Linde (@tonylinde on Twitter) 17 April 2011 – Now defunct]

 New on the scene and in mind-mapping.org is MindMapPaper, a free, Windows-only offering from Lex River.  It is desktop software and needs .Net to run.

MindMapPaper600

MindMapPaper is an original approach to mind mapping with advantages and disadvantages.

In its favour are these benefits:

  1. Simplicity.  It takes just a few minutes to learn all you need to use the software.
  2. The appearance is clear and simple.
  3. It gives you complete control over layout.  Drag any node anywhere and it stays there.  If you are tired of your mind mapping software organizing your maps’ layout for you, or resisting a layout change you would like to make, you might want to play with MindMapPaper for that reason alone.
  4. A rigid tree-structure hierarchy is not enforced.  Really, MindMapPaper is a network drawer rather than a mind mapper, because any node can be connected to any other.  If only it supported relationship descriptions across the linking lines, it would be a true concept mapper.  [Update: Now it does] If you want a dominant central topic, you can organize the map and format the node that way as Lex has done in the sample above, but MindMapPaper is not built around this as a starting point.
  5. Node to node connections have an arrow indicating in which direction they were drawn, so you can indicate hierarchy if you want to, but by dragging connections both ways, double arrows can be shown to indicate a relationship that is not parent to child.
  6. Images, files and hyperlinks can be attached to nodes, and there is a simple comments box as well.
  7. The mind map file is an XML file and is not proprietary, so can be exchanged (import and export) with other software, but the software would have to know the format, or you would need a suitable XSLT file.

I have not used the software for long, but the disadvantages I noticed are:

  1. While the appearance is clear and simple, it is rather plain, and requires node-by-node work by the user to make it more interesting or eye-catching.  The fact that you can, one-by-one, select multiple nodes, and then apply a format change to all at once, makes this easier.  There are a copy-style and paste-style keyboard shortcuts to support style changes as well.
  2. There are no themes or inherited-style capabilities.  [Update: This is improved, with [Ctrl]+[RightMouseDrag] – to create child node with the same style as parent node.]
  3. If you like your mind maps to have curved and tapering connecting lines, you won’t like MindMapPaper’s straight, thin, unchangeable lines.  The appearance is much closer to a spider diagram than a mind map, even if you have made the formatting changes to show a strong central topic.  For business maps, this will be fine, IMO.
  4. Attachments are separate files in the mind map file’s directory, not embedded in a compressed file with the XML file, the technique used by many other mind mapping software packages.  This could easily result in broken maps.
  5. There is no real zoom, just two viewing sizes ‘Schematic view’ which is very small and ‘Normal view’.  So if the map grows beyond the screen, dragging around is the only possibility.
  6. No node folding.  This must be software’s the greatest weakness as a mind mapper at present.  As you can draw networks with it, it’s not immediately obvious how you would fold nodes in all cases.  Fold if everything under the node is a tree, and decline to fold if not, I suppose.

[Update 15/10/2009]
Lex has released a new version with many improvements, including those mentioned above.  MindMapPaper can make true concept maps now.

You can download it from here: http://mindmappaper.com/

Vic
http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google

MyThoughts, Pathway, Thinking Space, ThoughtMuse, ThinkingMap

Here’s the latest on Mind-mapping.org updates:

MyThoughts
A Mac mind mapper with an elegant and flexible organic appearance.

MyThoughts

Pathway
Makes a graphical “network” representation of your visited article pages on Wikipedia. A node represents an article, a connection between two nodes shows your ‘pathway’ from one to the other. You can save these networks.

T359-1

Not to be confused with Wikimindmap which produces a mind map from a specified Wikipedia page.

Thinking Space
Android mind mapping app.  Minimal information, no screenshots. 

ThoughtMuse
Another left-to-right mapper, like Co-mapping and Meadmap.  As with those, I see this as more a graphical outliner than a mind mapper.

T361-1

ThinkingMap
FreeMind-compatible iPhone mind mapping application.

T366-1

Here’s another of those ‘not to be confused with’ iems: ThinkingMap is not connected to ‘Thinking Maps‘, a high-end educational tool.

Grab the RSS feed (hope that works – pls tell me if it doesn’t).

Vic Gee
http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google

Google Wonder wheel, iFreeMind, Mind Map Memo, MindMap Navigator

New at Mind-mapping.org this week:

Google Wonder wheel
Shows search-result topics as a simple information map, with the usual detailed search results alongside.  To use it, search on your chosen term. Just above the results (and probably ads), you’ll see a link + Show options…  Click on that and select Wonder wheel from the list on the left hand side.  Click on the text on the wheel’s spokes to expand the visual presentation in that direction.

WonderWheel

iFreeMind
Neat iPhone software for working with FreeMind files. Can create them too.  Serious challenger to other iPhone mind mappers.  Already blogged about this so I won’t repeat the picture, but it only just found its way into the Master List.  Disappointingly, this app has not been updated for nearly six months.

Mind Map Memo   
A mind map editor for the Android phone.

Mind-Map-Memo

MindMap Navigator
Not stand-alone mind mapping software, but an add-on for Mindjet’s MindManager, aimed at simplifying visibility and navigation when working with big maps.

T364-1

MAPMyself

Finally, in other news, I just noticed that Mapul has changed its name.  Now it’s called MAPMyself.  Can’t think why, but at least they kept the mapul.com domain.

I’ve been catching up with my to do list, and hope to post a few more entries soon.  Watch this space.  Or grab the RSS feed (hope that works – pls tell me if it doesn’t).

Vic Gee
http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google

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.

ifreemind

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.

Vic
http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google

ThinkingMap – another iPhone app

thinkingmap

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.

Vic
http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google

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

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.

Vic

http://www.mind-mapping.org/
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

Google

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?

Vic

http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google

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.

Debategraph

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

Debategraph

Maltego

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’.

maltego

MindBerry

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!

mindberry

Prezi

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.

prezi

Vic

http://www.mind-mapping.org/
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google