Mind-Mapping Software

Mind-Mapping software is specialized software that enables the creation, editing and use of mind maps.  Mind Mapping software makes it very easy to create at least a first draft of all of the following:

  • Capturing Brainstorming session ideas
  • Requirement Plans
  • Functional Breakdowns / Decomposition
  • Work Breakdown Structures
  • Presentation Outlining
  • Survey / Questionnaire / and Interview planning
  • Capturing Elicitation results rapidly
  • To Do Lists

Dedicated mind-mapping software is usually optimized for a much better user experience. Although Visio supports a “Brainstorming” mind-map capability, it’s massively painful to use. Especially compared to programs like NovaMind or FreePland.

 

Desktop Applications

  • BluMind  (free, but not open-source)
  • CompendiumNG (Java-based, free and open-source – can do more than mind-maps)
  • FreeMind (java-based, free and open-source)
  • FreePlane (a more-advanced fork of the FreeMind code)
  • MindManager (commercial, powerful, expensive)
  • MindMaple  (commercial, but an excellent “lite” version is available for free)
  • NovaMind (commercial)
  • TopicScape (commercial)
  • Xmind (java-based, has a good free version, and a commercial “Pro” version)

 

Tips

  • Dedicated mind-mapping software is usually optimized for a much better user experience.  Although Visio supports a “Brainstorming” mind-map capability, it’s massively painful to use.  Especially compared to programs like NovaMind or FreePlane.

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