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Which mindmapper tool do you recommend and why?


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I tried Freemind (<!-- m -->http://www.xmind.net/<!-- m -->). Both are very capable, but I'd like to know about other alternatives too to select one which suits my style of work best.

Criteria: the tool should be free and it must be able to save to a format which can be read by an open source alternative (like Xmind can save as Freemind), to avoid locking your data into a single tool.

AutoPepe
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I use Freemind.

And there is another one much more powerful like Super Decisions, but I don't know in depth

fsnow55
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I used the latest alpha version of Freemind but switched to FreePlan;
I'll probably vacillate between the two based on their latest releases.

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If there are emacs users here: org-mode is awesome for this, too.

<!-- m -->http://orgmode.org/<!-- m -->

Tuncay
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I have currently only one and first project with a mind map. After some search, i found FreeMind and did not find anything more promising. After trying, I like it and can recommend to others.

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I have currently only one and first project with a mind map. After some search, i found FreeMind and did not find anything more promising.


You should try Xmind. It can do everything what freemind can and more. For example, it can display the same tree structure in different formats, even in table format.

Tuncay
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I dont like Xmind, because the free version is just a lite version of a commercial program. Yes it does have some features which Freemind does not have. But I am not a hardcore Mind-user. Most reason why I dont like it is, the export features. In Freemind I can export in different non-image formats like svg and pdf, but in Xmind I cannot (only image formats are supported).

But I think I will give it a shot to try out under a virtual pc (Vmware).

AnttiV
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TheBrain. Just because nothing else comes even relatively close (from those that I know of). TheBrain has the advantage that it works in a 3D space and thus all links and relations are not limited by the 2D space of some other programs.

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This 3D visualization seems more like a gimmick than a practical thing. On a 2D display it's not convenient to rotate the tree. On the other hand, if 3D displays will be common then it will make sense of course.

AnttiV
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For my use, it's more than practical, its the best feature the program has.

imagine
though1------thought2------thought3
                                |
                                |
                             thought4------thought5

And now, without messing things up majorly, introduce a new parent for thought2 and then link it to thought5's new child... with 2D display the lines become messed up pretty fast, TheBrain manages always to be neat and simple.

I know it sounds like it's just effects, but you need to try it before you get it. Seriously.

EDIT: Go to <!-- w -->www.thebrain.com<!-- w --> and just look how the upper navigation thingy works.

Tuncay
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Download PersonalBrain

Digitize your mind with PersonalBrain. Download now and try all the features for 30 days. Register and upgrade to get the ultimate performance or keep using the free edition as long as you want. There is only one download for all editions. The Pro Edition features are available for 30 days. After 30 days if an upgrade to Pro or Core has not been activated, the program automatically changes to the Free Edition.

After quick look at the webpage, I did not find any note about which features are locked after 30 days the test version expires. I dont like such lite versions of commercial programs. It looks good, ... yes. What after 5 years. May be the company decides not to release any freeware version anymore. It looks not like an opensource program, so I dont test it.

Our guest wrote:

Criteria: the tool should be free and it must be able to save to a format which can be read by an open source alternative (like Xmind can save as Freemind), to avoid locking your data into a single tool.

Does PersonalBrain fulfils all the criteria?

AnttiV
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No, it is not OSS. But if you exclusively only use OSS, well, it's your choice. I don't feel that every application that is not explicitly OSS is bad. PersonalBrain is multi-platform, in my books, that counts more than being OSS.

That said, here are the differences between the versions. PersonalBrain (the free version) can export it's data into an XML file that is readable by anyone. Writing support for opening it in different mindmappers are the decisions of their developers (I don't really know, I've never really used anything else, since I don't like 2D mindmappers at all).

Concerning Brain, somebody obviously likes it AND AHK, since -> click here for AHK macros!

There is also something called "Topicscape 3D", I just bumped into the name, don't know anything about it.

Tuncay
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But if you exclusively only use OSS, well, it's your choice.

No, I use also tools which are not OpenSource. That is not a strict criteria to me. But if I have a solution as an opensource (or better GNU GPL), then I try to use that. Please dont misunderstand me. PersanalBrain seems to be very interesting. Currently I dont need a perfect MindMapper Tool. What I can do with FreeMind is ok to me. May be I try it out later.

PersonalBrain (the free version) can export it's data into an XML file that is readable by anyone.

That is a very good thing to me.

AnttiV
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No offense meant, I just took your comment

It looks not like an opensource program, so I dont test it.

like you don't use anything else, since you weren't willing to give it a go as it wasn't OSS.

But, you're right. If there is OSS alternative, I tend to use that. But Crossplatform weighs more in my plate. (I heavily use "all" platforms, Mac, Linux and Windows).

by the way, if you didn't already know, http://www.osalt.com is a GREAT site.

rootey
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I was hooked on freemind for a long while.
But since using Vue, I have been very happy. It's free & very slick.
Check it out, it is a little more flexible than most linear mind mapping tools, layers, nested nodes, too much..
<!-- m -->http://vue.tufts.edu/<!-- m -->