I love making lists. Of course it’s nothing compared to the palpable pleasure of completion by crossing tasks off. But if you want to get multiple and complex lists out of their silos, you’re looking at making a mind map.
You can botch these together in Word, Powerpoint or even Excel if you’re determined enough, but I’ve found a couple of better solutions:
Mindomo – this is a web-based platform that serves ads to pay for its free basic accounts. It’s surprisingly fast, very easy to use and comes with enough features to create a professional looking map. Dragging topics around and rearranging is very easy. You can format in 12 fonts, add some symbols alongside your text box and even upload your own images.
It’s an impressive package – lightweight and intuitive. The only thing I feel it’s calling out for is the ability to save as a PDF. Remember it’s in the cloud so backing up becomes a screen print.
Mindmap Pro – software available for PC or Mac from the Concept Draw team. This feels like a well-built piece of software but it can be a bit unintuitive e.g. holding CTRL and scrolling your mouse ball won’t zoom in/out. It’s also not as easy as Mindomo to place a topic and its subtopics exactly where you’d like.
That said, it looks slick, is very robust and has some nice extras regarding brainstorming and task scheduling (although no Outlook or iCal sync up).
Conclusion – if you need a one-off visual map for a meeting next week then Mindomo is perfect for you. However, if you want to work offline on several maps that you want to own yourself then you could do far worse than spending £140 on Mindmap.
Extra – I’ve also been told about mindmeister.com. It’s another web-based system that looks on a par to Mindomo, although I’ve not tried it for real. My fear with these web-based systems is if their business model fails and they unplug it one evening, you might well see your precious maps obliterated….