Sunday, April 4, 2010

Expand your mind

I've been looking around at open source mind mapping tools lately just to see if there is anything that takes Freemind a step further. There is still no open alternative to the cool web-based tools like Mind42 or Mindmeister, but desktop apps have come a long way. Three I've been playing with are VYM, Vue and Xmind.
  • VYM (View Your Mind): very close to the Tony Buzan idea of mind mapping that uses colour and the relative width of the branches to communicate relationships. Has icon and image support too.
  • Vue (Visual Understanding Environment): works like a mind mapping tool should, but this offers the ability to create and lay back 'paths'. "The Playback tool launches VUE into full-screen presentation mode. Presenters can use the mouse, arrow keys or space bar to move through a presentation."
  • XMind: this one looks like the best of the bunch to me. It has smoe really nice features like a presentation mode and the ability to work with Gantt charts too. I'll be adding it to the student desktop image next month. (Although there is an XMind 'Pro' which requires a subscription. I haven't signed up for that.)
Free your mind; use free software.

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