Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Mind Mapping - migrating your thoughts from mind to desktop
As a software development company, we will often get provided with very open-ended tasks that tend to require some good old common sense and organisation in order to develop the ideas from concept to .NET Application.
Whilst some people may be better organised through writing extensive documents and papers and others prefer an audible (sound of their own voice) approach; personally I am strongly of the visual type. I understand concepts and ideas best when I can see them laid out in front of me using short "to the point" language and with necessary connections drawn out and connected. One powerful way for someone like me to organise and connect ideas together is by developing personal mind maps.
If you've never created a mind map before, why not give it a try when planning your next project or meeting! It's much faster and easier than you may think and is certainly worth every highly organised minute!
While many other pieces of software exist to help you in migrating your floating thoughts from mind to desktop screen, if you're not ready to invest in power commercial products such as MindGenius (http://www.mindgenius.com) or Inspiration (http://www.inspiration.com) then my personal recommendation is to give FreeMind a go!
Available from http://freemind.sourceforge.net/ , FreeMind is a handy open-source mind mapping tool that allows you to develop mind maps from the smallest basic layout of your big ideas to the grandest designs of complex *interactive* maps. See their website for some fairly extensive examples!
With great little built-in icons and handy "snap-to" movement, FreeMind lets you get the job done quickly with minimal fuss and learning curve! When your ready you can export your MindMaps to a variety of formats including PDF, XHTML (with Flash for interactivity!) as well as SVG, JPEG and many other commonly used formats.
If you do eventually feel like moving up to more powerful software the format of FreeMind's files is all in XML allowing you to import your existing FreeMind mind maps with minimal bother - so provides a perfect starting point for anyone who would like to give mind mapping a go.