Plan your projects using Mind Mapping software

July 31, 2007

mind map software

Last night I was speaking to one of my clients about their ideas for software system they would like developing. Although my client had done an excellent job of laying out her ideas using Excel and Word, I feel that actually with all it’s features Microsoft Office had let her down.

Yeah you can use some of the organisational charts in Word and PowerPoint, but they lack certain features and to be honest, not very inspiring from a creative point of view. Microsoft does have a program called Visio which is very good, but again I feel it could be a little more inspiring, easier to use for non-technical users and then there’s the price, £200 for the standard version and £400 for the Professional!

Mind Mapping

An alternative application which might of helped my client when planning her software system could of been Mind Mapping Software. You start with a centralised idea and branch out ideas and as you formulate your project the map grows. The idea is not be accurate or too formal, just a quickly way to get your ideas recorded. 

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There are a number of commercial applications such as MindManager and IMindMap, but I would suggest you start off with FreeMind an open source Java based program than can run on Windows, Linux and Mac.

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Just recently I came across Mind42 which is an online Mind Mapping application that runs via your web browser. Once you have produced your map you can then import it into other Mind Mapping programs, Microsoft Word or insert it into your website or blog. You can also invite other people to collaborate with you while you develop the map. If that’s not enough Mind Mapping software, check out peterussell.com.

I should of mentioned these two programs in last months post, “Plan Your Website, Save Money and Time” as this would proven useful way to map out your website.

Your Apps

What planning/project/sketch-up programs do you use? Are there programs that you get your clients to use because it gently guides them to think in a more systematic approach?

Update

Mindomo Is another online Mind Mapping Software, thanks to Greg for this one

Related posts:

  1. 3 Tools to help with planning of bespoke software applications
  2. Getting Started with Open Source Software
  3. Plan Your Website, Save Money and Time
  4. My Favourite Mac Software - Part I
  5. How to speed up your computer - Part One

Author: Support @ 8:00 am




7 Comments »

  1. You definitely should add GoalEnforcer to your list http://www.google.com/
    It’s low cost, easy to use and project oriented (not like the other generic mind mapping software).
    The cool thing is that it also allows me to export my plan to Excel and then import it back into GoalEnforcer.

    Comment by David — July 31, 2007 @ 10:54 am

  2. http://www.goalenforcer.com/demodownload.html

    Will give it a bash David

    Jamie

    Comment by Edinburgh Computer Support — July 31, 2007 @ 11:00 am

  3. There is an information organizer for mindmappers that is geared specifically towards organizing project information. It works in a kind of 3D mindmap environment and allows you to see much more at one time than any 2D mindmapper.

    So all the web research, notes and ideas can be gathered in the mindmap that follows the basic structure of the original planning mindmap you mention above. In fact, this information organizer (it’s called 3D Topicscape) can import FreeMind files directly and build a 3D mindmaps from them. It can even export back to FreeMind and do a complete round trip.

    As the project progresses, this same framework can be used to store project management documents, design, costing and resources acquisition files and so on, so it becomes a hub around which the project’s information can revolve.

    There’s an example of its use in this way at
    http://www.topicscape.com/user-story/project-management.html

    Regards,
    Roy

    Comment by Roy — July 31, 2007 @ 11:57 am

  4. another tool which I found extremely useful for project management is http://www.comapping.com. Worth checking it out.

    Comment by yasmin — July 31, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

  5. Roy - That looks very interesting, I have couple of people who might find that interesting

    Yasmin - Thanks for the link.

    Jamie

    Comment by Jamie — August 15, 2007 @ 11:27 am

  6. Another place for mind mapping software is the complete list at mind-mapping.org
    This is an independent, non-commercial site (it won’t try to sell you anything) that lists ALL mind mapping, concept mapping and outlining software, including local executables and web-based. It has mind and concept mapping articles as well.

    There are many web-based applications in the vein of Mind42 and Mindomo. These are the other ones I know of apart from those already mentioned: bubbl.us, bubble-mind.com, glinkr.net, kayuda.com,
    mapul.com, mindmeister.com, webofweb.net

    Vic
    http://www.mind-mapping.org
    The master list of mind mapping &
    information management software

    Comment by Vic — August 15, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

  7. Vic - Thanks for the additional information.

    Jamie

    Comment by Jamie — August 28, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

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