Friday, July 15, 2005
FreeMind Mapping Software
Ben Carey wrote about MindManager, a terrific visual planning/productivity/organizing package. I've been evaluating it for the last month and think it's absolutely terrific. Mind maps are wonderful things, and I've used them for outlining projects, brainstorming, and task breakdowns. MindManager also has a killer save to website feature which produces a terrific HTML output showing the visual maps, richly linked web of great information. I used this feature to export some project thoughts to a potential client. MindManager's only problem: its price. I'm at the point with the startup of my company where I really need to pay attention to expenses. There are a lot of terrific productivity enhancers I could use (this comes to mind, as does this, or even one of these), but I've got to be extremely disciplined about the number of cool $300 - $500 things I buy. Reality sucks. Thankfully, Phil from geekyinfo.com left me a comment about FreeMind, an open source mind mapping package implemented in Java. I loaded it not long after his recommendation, but didn't play around with it much. Now that my MindManager eval is finished, I'm taking another look at FreeMind. It's actually going to fit the bill for what I need now very nicely. I'm using it for task breakdowns, to do lists for development, and it's doing just great in that role. It's also just as handy for brainstorming as MindManager is, although MM's "brainstorming" mode is really handy. Overall, FreeMind gets a big thumbs as an interim solution. Plus FreeMind's price is right.