: Mindmap & Presentation Software


zlinger
Dec 8th, 2007, 06:52 PM
There are some excellent mind mapping tools out there to help you diagram and conceptualize ideas, tasks, words, etc. in non-linear ways. This is difficult to do and inefficient using traditional word processing packages (like Word or Pages).

I have tried a free solution such as Free Mind, and demos of other commercial products. Worked not too bad, but I found it cumbersome with busy interfaces. But know I'm evaluating a new product called XMIND and I'm quite impressed with it. Using it right now to complete a written report/essay for a uni course I'm taking. I will parse out all the info at the end into a .rtf or .txt file, and then smooth out the sentences and pretty it up.

Not affiliated with this seller/program at all, but its working great for me. There is a promo that ends in 3 days from MacUpdate $50 (http://www.mupromo.com/?ref=4362) which gets you the program plus 9 other apps. Not a bad deal compared to the full price of $130. Check it out.

Bighead
Dec 8th, 2007, 11:17 PM
Interesting...but how is that different from Mindjet Mindmanager (http://www.mindjet.com/us/).

I use this tool quite extensively for work.

iLabmAn
Dec 8th, 2007, 11:37 PM
Inspiration all the way!!!

Inspiration Software, Inc. (http://www.inspiration.com)

zlinger
Dec 8th, 2007, 11:44 PM
I have not tried that program, but it looks good too .. probably more expensive/corporate focused. This is out of my price range for personal/educational use even though I plan to use it at work also (wish the IT Dept would pay for it). I was looking for something that will work on both a PC and MAC, plus USB key chain... as well as XML-based with parsing tools for text output into word or pages.

That's when I came accross XMIND today, and found the bundle deal going on. Tried the free demo throughout the day and it has been working quite well. It is JAVA based (with good performance and intuitive design), and I loaded it on both a Mac and PC and it works as expected.

mclenaghan
Dec 9th, 2007, 09:07 AM
I have used Inspiration as well and I know it does support both platforms. It is great in school , the students like the interface, and is fairly intuitive.

zlinger
Dec 9th, 2007, 12:25 PM
This second program called Scrivener (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html) may end up being a companion in my set of non-linear writing tools. XMIND mentioned above is more suited for writing ideas, diagrams, concept maps, etc. This one focuses on writing and organization.

med8or
Dec 9th, 2007, 01:07 PM
I've used NovaMind in the past, though I haven't yet upgraded from version 3 to 4.

I know NovaMind offers educational discounts and is available for Windows and Mac.

Thanks for all the other recommendations, will compare.

screature
Dec 11th, 2007, 11:00 AM
There are some excellent mind mapping tools out there to help you diagram and conceptualize ideas, tasks, words, etc. in non-linear ways. This is difficult to do and inefficient using traditional word processing packages (like Word or Pages).

I have tried a free solution such as Free Mind, and demos of other commercial products. Worked not too bad, but I found it cumbersome with busy interfaces. But know I'm evaluating a new product called XMIND and I'm quite impressed with it. Using it right now to complete a written report/essay for a uni course I'm taking. I will parse out all the info at the end into a .rtf or .txt file, and then smooth out the sentences and pretty it up.

Not affiliated with this seller/program at all, but its working great for me. There is a promo that ends in 3 days from MacUpdate $50 (http://www.mupromo.com/?ref=4362) which gets you the program plus 9 other apps. Not a bad deal compared to the full price of $130. Check it out.

I have been curious about this type of software for some time, even downloaded some demos. Thus far I have always given up trying to figure them out in favour of the old fashioned method of pencil, paper, eraser and stickies, etc.

It isn't really a matter of not being able to figure out the software (I am well acquainted with learning extremely deep programs; Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut, etc.), I just as yet have not been able to figure out the advantage of these "mind mapping" programs yet relative to the extremely "non-linear" old fashioned methods I mentioned.

It is kind of like the difference between the random access of a book by flipping through the pages, or physical bookmarks vs. an e-book. The physical book is much more reader friendly in the end (easier to take to the bathroom, etc.) Also kind of like drawing with pencil and paper vs. drawing with software such as Illustrator. Software has it's advantages, especially for a production graphic environment, but it still can't replicate what can be done with such simple tools as pencil and paper.

I'm not trying to "diss" this type of software, I just would like to know what people here think the advantages are of this kind of software vs. the old fashioned means of brainstorming. Sometimes we jump at technology just because it is there (build it and they will come) but a technological solution isn't always better just because it is high tech.

Maybe I can be shown the "light". By the way I am just playing devils advocate so no reason for facetious comments that sometimes certain people like to through around here, just looking for open discussion.

redheadgod
Dec 11th, 2007, 07:49 PM
For me mindmapping applications are an important tool in my work. I have always used mindmapping as a form of brainstorming. I tried several of the different mindmap applications out there, Nova, Freemind, Mindmanager and a few others to see what works the best for me. I lean towards Freemind when I am working in a group and I want other to be able to access the file. When I am working on my own, or do not need to share the mind map file with others I use Mindmanager.

It took a bit getting use to mindmapping on the computer but now I would never go back to just paper and pencil. For me the benefits are worth it and I have found my productivity go up. It is very nice having everything neatly typed in and not have to deal with my horrible handwriting :)

The ability to add notes, files, etc and move things around is very handy. Then the ability to move this info into another application for developing a project, report or presentation is really sweet. For example I will flesh out a presentation in a mindmap with text, images, charts, whatever I am trying to get across. Then once I think I have it laid out, its like a storyboard, I will then move this data into Keynote. Lets me have fun focusing on the message I am trying to convey.

The other thing that I am starting to really appreciate is the ability to layout a project in a mindmap, organize it a bit and then import it into the project management application Merlin. I am really liking this feature and it is saving me huge amounts of time with not having to retype everything in.

Hope this helps, and there is nothing wrong with sticking to paper and pencil. In really large groups this is still a good way to go, of course having someone inputting it at the same time into a mindmap on a laptop is sweet ;) Plus people love getting a nice pdf of what was captured.

screature
Dec 11th, 2007, 08:40 PM
For me mindmapping applications are an important tool in my work. I have always used mindmapping as a form of brainstorming. I tried several of the different mindmap applications out there, Nova, Freemind, Mindmanager and a few others to see what works the best for me. I lean towards Freemind when I am working in a group and I want other to be able to access the file. When I am working on my own, or do not need to share the mind map file with others I use Mindmanager.

It took a bit getting use to mindmapping on the computer but now I would never go back to just paper and pencil. For me the benefits are worth it and I have found my productivity go up. It is very nice having everything neatly typed in and not have to deal with my horrible handwriting :)

The ability to add notes, files, etc and move things around is very handy. Then the ability to move this info into another application for developing a project, report or presentation is really sweet. For example I will flesh out a presentation in a mindmap with text, images, charts, whatever I am trying to get across. Then once I think I have it laid out, its like a storyboard, I will then move this data into Keynote. Lets me have fun focusing on the message I am trying to convey.

The other thing that I am starting to really appreciate is the ability to layout a project in a mindmap, organize it a bit and then import it into the project management application Merlin. I am really liking this feature and it is saving me huge amounts of time with not having to retype everything in.

Hope this helps, and there is nothing wrong with sticking to paper and pencil. In really large groups this is still a good way to go, of course having someone inputting it at the same time into a mindmap on a laptop is sweet ;) Plus people love getting a nice pdf of what was captured.

Thanks redheadgod, your experience and the reasons why you use mind mapping software make a lot of sense especially the aspect of being able to export it as a presentation for others to view. I can see where in a work group situation where the ideas need to be presented later to "pitch" to others it could be very useful. Thank you for "enlightening" me.

redheadgod
Dec 11th, 2007, 10:44 PM
Thanks redheadgod, your experience and the reasons why you use mind mapping software make a lot of sense especially the aspect of being able to export it as a presentation for others to view. I can see where in a work group situation where the ideas need to be presented later to "pitch" to others it could be very useful. Thank you for "enlightening" me.

My pleasure, I would also recommend Scrivener, been playing with it off and on for a while and I think it will be a new tool to add to the arsenal. Slightly off topic but this link here (http://homepage.mac.com/kvmagruder/hsci/resources/workflow.html) has a great rundown on a paperless workflow. Its academic focused but is also good for any type of writing. This is basically what I do but his is more refined and I also use the mindmapping and project management applications. :)