MindMeister makes connecting to the cloud even easier

image In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the online Mindmapping tool MindMeister. The developer continues to update his product, recently adding Google Gears capability – allowing MindMeister to be taken offline – among other things. The most recent developments are tied to extending access via widgets. This is really cool:

So, we’ve taken that feedback very seriously and now are proud to give you not one, not two – but three new versions of Geistesblitz, for Yahoo! Widgets, iGoogle and the iPhone. We hope this will make everybody happy!

Read more about it here.

I especially like the ability to send quick thoughts to a default mindmap via my iGoogle home page. I continue to use mindmapping to churn through ideas and concepts that need further development, and now I can quickly send snippets to MindMeister without having to log in and add a node. It is certainly getting easier and easier to function on the cloud.

MindMeister updated

Screenshot of the MindMeister mind map editorImage via Wikipedia

MindMeister, an online mind mapping tool I wrote about a while back, has recently been updated.  Some highlights:

New Features:

  • Links on ideas (URL and email links, links to other maps and nodes)
  • Note and link previews
  • Automatic layouting (no overlaps)
  • Automatic canvas resizing (for large maps)
  • Export as PDF
  • Start new map from idea
  • Changes view date slider
  • Browse public maps (with rating)
  • Zooming in public maps (iframe)
  • Team Edition
  • MindMeister API


  • Reworked, more organic lines
  • Enhanced printing (choose size)
  • Remove icon via right-click
  • Display only changes since last visit
  • Cut & Paste between maps (not only copy)
  • Link to node (in Copy as Text)
  • Simplified main menu

Steady improvements to MindMeister have really made it a powerful online, collaborative mind mapping tool.

Mindomo: Yet another online Mind Mapping tool (from Europe)

I’m not sure what it is with the Europeans, but they seem to be obsessed with Mind Mapping. I just wrote about MindMeister, an excellent online mind mapping tool that is in private beta at the moment (I’ve still got invites available if you’re interested). Along comes Mindomo to up the ante. Thanks to Nick Duffill, a principal at Gyronix – Mind Mapping and Productivity Consultants – to pointing this one out on his blog.

As Nick points out, this online application is simply stunning for it’s ‘desktop like’ interaction and flexibility. You have the ability to assign task information (due date, start date, task assignment, etc.), associated graphics (both default graphics, and importable ones), and change the layout of the map, just like MindManager.

Similar to nearly all online applications today, Mindomo’s abilities from a collaboration level also shine. Nick’s gone as far as to explain the Wiki-like qualities that collaboration may enable with Mindomo.

Mindomo can import MindManager files just like MindMeister, but just like MindMeister, some formatting features are lost. I’ve just started to play around with Mindomo, but can already tell that this is one heck of an online application.

There is a standard ‘free’ edition, and three other options. This one is definitely worth checking out.

MindMeister beta invitations for anyone who is interested

Last week, I wrote about a great new online mind mapping tool called MindMeister. Well, as it turns out I have 20 beta invitations to hand out. If you are interested, leave a message on this post (remember to put your correct email address in the email address section), and I’ll send out an invitation.

Mindmapping with FreeMind

I love the concept of mindmapping. I’ve used Mindjet’s MindManager for several years now, and have found it useful for a wide array of situations. MindManager has become a core part of my collaborative presentation technique when I work with prospects, colleagues, and customers. I’ve also used MindManager extensively on my TabletPC in Ink mode where it serves as a superb note taking platform. Mindjet’s tight integration to Microsoft’s inking Framework is second to none. That integration extends deep into the entire Microsoft Office Suite making MindManager a compelling solution in the business world, albeit a very expensive one.

When I first starting looking at mindmapping as a way to visualize concepts, I had stumbled upon a free alternative on SourceForge called FreeMind. It was nice at the time, however it lacked the ease of use and grace of Mindjet’s solution. FreeMind is developed in Java, essentially making it platform agnostic. That early version of FreeMind reflected this generic pedigree, lacking many of the features that I’ve come to expect in a real office application. I followed FreeMind’s development for a while, but eventually lost interest, choosing the easier to use MindManager. Recently, however, I ventured back to FreeMind and was pleasantly surprised on how much it had evolved from that early stage product.

Clean and effective

The new FreeMind, currently at beta 0.9.0 beta 8, is a wonderfully built application that has evolved substantially, and should be considered a real, viable alternative for mindmapping. I’ve started to use FreeMind for personal mindmaps, while sticking to MindManager for work related purposes. What I’ve found is that the core concept of mindmapping feels, and works, nearly identically in both applications. MindManager’s integrations into Microsoft Office certainly make it more powerful, but I’m using those integrations less and less, as I move toward an Office 2.0 approach to working. There is one other, huge, positive that FreeMind offers which MindManager simply cannot deliver., that is portability.

Mindmapping on a stick

FreeMind is light enough to fit onto a USB Flash Drive, so I can literally take FreeMind and my mindmaps with me anywhere I go. While this isn’t truly an Office 2.0 solution, it is certainly more portable than a single license instance of MindManager. Portability is becoming increasingly important for me, as I begin to rely less and less on a single computer to be productive.

My use of FreeMind will continue to increase, I believe this year, as I begin to diverge from platform dependency, but more importantly, return to a simplified approach to generating mindmaps. I’m finding the lack of bells and whistles to be a strength of FreeMind, since I can focus on the visual outcome of a map and not how to intertwine it into all sorts of external files. If you are looking for a solid mindmapping tool, you should really consider FreeMind.