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Mind-mapping on the mac April 14, 2008

Posted by CK in Productivity, Software.
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Mind-maps are a great way to keep information about a project organized visually, just like it’s organized in your head. I love their functionality, especially when it comes to brainstorming sessions; I have realized they speed up design (and consensus) significantly. But even for one’s use, as long as you can attach arbitrary files to branches (nodes), they become an excellent note-taking tool. Just as a side-note here, I am using mind maps together with Journler and iGTD for some time now, and this combo really works. Although I’m eagerly waiting for the stable release of Things.

I have been a Novamind user for some time now. Novamind is a great tool in many respects: It’s feature-complete, flexible, stable. Version 3 was ugly and the interface was painful, but v4 fixed that. However, some problems persisted. Chris Heard has written about some of them last year, in a comparison with Mindjet’s MindManager. I had tried MindManager for Mac in the past and I was far from satisfied, but this latest version (v7) seems to actually work pretty well. I downloaded and gave the trial version another shot, and it includes all the functionality which I seem to need (except for multi-page maps, which is a fantastic feature of Novamind). I also prefer the looks of the maps that it creates, but this is only a matter of taste.

I am planning to re-try Freemind, which is free but had a few problems last time I checked. If it doesn’t work out for me, I’ll probably move to MindManager.