About mindmap tools (& mind mappers)

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June 2016

First of all. Good software is an asset. But I do want to stress the importance of the mind mapper. In my opinion mind mapping refers to the processing of information in the brain. So the mind mapper is fundamental to the success of a mind map.

I used to make hand-drawn mind maps,  but nowadays I rarely do that.  Mind maps on Mastermindmaps have been produced using various types of software.

On Mastermindmaps there are over 300 mind maps. They are made with iMindMap, iMindQ and iThoughtsX (in the early days I used  MyThoughts,  but the makers withdraw it from the market). The mentioned mind map programs are versatile and deliver well organised mind maps.

specsmindmap

Specs to look for when chosing mind map software. Mind map made with iMindmap.

Design

MuhammedAliDesign of your mind map is an important success factor. It determines how easy it is for a reader to understand what you have produced. Readability is about how you’ve packaged your content (read: Lee LeFever, The Art Of Explanation, 2013) and how easily it can be unpacked by the reader. The better the packaging, the easier it is for a consumer/client to read your mind map. Elements of good packaging are: ordering, navigation and design.
As a mind map is also a kind of communication tool, it should be easy to read. Lengthy text on branches reduces readability. A hierarchical structure like a mind map greatly helps readers to assess written content (Bonnie Meyer, 1982). As mind maps often tend to grow into very large structures, take care that the navigation remains smooth.

Add value

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Take care that your mind map adds value. Use the strength of a mind map, so don’t turn it into the equivalent of a black pen list on A4 lined paper.

Start mind mapping with a goal – what do you want to map – and a clear sense of the intended users.

At the end of the day, value is about whether a mind map is beneficial and useful to the consumer. It’s about the magic fit between what you made (resources) and why people use it (benefit).

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4 Responses to About mindmap tools (& mind mappers)

  1. Januz says:

    Hi,

    I really like your mind maps. I’m just getting started using MyThoughts – could you tell me which fonts you use for the central thought and different branch levels?

    Thanks,
    J

  2. Jacques if you use freemind “recreational”, it probably it is just fine. However, if you use mindmaps in business, free mind has several limitations. Especially big mindmaps do no differ from plain texts. They simply lack overview. Mindmaps were never intended to mimick text, but to act as a more inspirational alternative.

  3. Susanne says:

    A very valid point Hans.

    Don’t get in the habit of letting software push you away from flow, color and the use of images. instead learn to engage your artistic self through the use of the tools available to you.

    If you like straight lines, heaps of text, and boxes around your text, I fear you’ll not achieve the most from your mind mapping.

    Relax and enjoy creating your own unique mind maps.

    Hans, will you be posting one of my favorites of your mind maps on your new blog, your Dylan mind map with the guitar image? I hope so.

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