I made a real find yesterday morning and haven’t been able to stop playing with it since. It’s freemind mapping software. We were talking about mind mapping on the course on Tuesday and that inspired me to have a go, but not being that great with pen and paper (have lost the ability to write because I use the computer too much) I thought I’d see if there is a way of doing it on the computer. An lo and behold there is!
It’s a really quick download (just 8MB) and took literally seconds to install, so very lightweight. It basically works just like doing a mindmap on paper – you start with a central point and then work out, branching in whichever direction you want. If your map starts getting a bit on the big side (which my first one did) you can open and close the various ‘nodes’ (the bits branching off) so you can see everything or just the parent node. It’s fab. What I particularly liked about it was that I wasn’t limited to what would fit on a sheet of paper – if I’d tried to do my mind map on paper I would soon have run out of room, but this just lets you keep going. You can export in various formats (PDF, JPEG etc.) so that you can then use the resulting map in other documents.
So, having installed it for the first time yesterday morning I did a mind map of our business (that was a bigun), a mind map of what I needed to do that day (which I then kept up on the screen and ticked things off as I did them, lovely 🙂 ), and a couple of mind maps to work out the structure of client websites, one of which we PDFed and sent to the client to have a look at. Talk about being instantly useful!