Mindmapping… collaboration, mobile, presentation and more

Business Analyist, User Experience, Front-End Architecture Practice MindMap

I looked at my design work from my college days and noticed a serious amounts of Mindmaps. The mindmaps are not as big or as connected as I tend to make them now but I have been mindmapping for decades. For a short while I use to use Outlining tools which can be pretty straight forward but lacks the dimension.

Mindmapping seems synonymous with dyslexic. Maybe something to do with  the leaps of topic?

As I’m a open source and collaborative kind of guy, I looked into something which I can run in Ubuntu and run across over multiple platforms. Collaboration is a nicety which I wanted but thought might not be possible.

Well I found something. Its called Mindmup.

I was using Freemind which is open source and runs every platform and seems to become the defacto open standard for mindmaps. Mindmup is also open source supports import and export freemind *.mm files without any noticeable differences . It also supports similar keyboard mappings and runs completely in a modern browser. It seems to support CSS and SVG too.

The killer features for me is the collaboration. The ability to share and have people add to your mindmap seems to be a killer feature. Because all you need is a browser. I haven’t really used this feature much but I find a few times when it would be so very handy! Collaboration! FTW!

I’m also loving the idea of using mindmaps for project management! You can save locally, Github, Dropbox, Google Drive and even to their own proprietary storage server.

I also spotted something which I have always wanted to see. A prezi killer? Rather than creating a mindmap for the sake of a presentation, imagine if you could just step through parts in a narrative form? Well I have yet to test it but look out soon, I may do it and see how people react.

My only issue is having to use another tool to create mindmaps on my Nexus 7 tablet.  I’m using SimpleMind mindmapping which has its own desktop apps but can generate freemind files easily and also can save direct to google drive. The main reason I bought it is because its quick and easy to create maps. Which was very handy in TedXLiverpool last week. The web version isn’t quite fast enough to keep up with my thoughts unfortunately.

Ok I lied, I have another issue. Evernote doesn’t really understand Mindmaps. Yes I can import them via PDF or something else but it doesn’t natively understand them. Ideally I would find something to store all my mindmaps but would understand them enough to link them together. I know Hyperlinking maps is possible but only within certain applications and it tends to be proprietary.

I’m already imagining something like a XML DB or RDF store to hold mindmaps. Kind of reminds me of TopicMaps which seemed to die. Sure they had a way of holding them in a more native way?

Regardless… the main point is.. I certainly felt like this before.

I have loads of ideas — they’re like a bowl of tangled spaghetti in my head. But, as with many dyslexics, I have a real problem accessing those strands in an organised way. The many benefits of mind-mapping are well documented as being invaluable to both dyslexics and non-dyslexics…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

5 thoughts on “Mindmapping… collaboration, mobile, presentation and more”

  1. Happy to read your thoughts on mind mapping, especially open and cooperative kinds. Have you tried TheBrain? It’s neither open nor particularly cooperative, but I’ve been using it for 16 years to great effect. Here you are in mine: https://webbrain.com/u/16OI

    1. Yes I have heard of thebrain. Heard good things but I deeply worry about filling a proprietary system with my thoughts, just for them to go off and do something which doesn’t work for me (like no linux support). Interesting to see you can show a branch rather than the whole thing.

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