Mind Mapping to organize your thoughts is a very useful thing. I have been using Mind Mapping for a short time and I’m already getting the hang of it. I did the process by hand a few times and now I’m considering purchasing some software that will not get in the way of my thought process. I’m considering two software packages. The first application is iMindMap Elements . The price for the Elements version is $99 US dollars. This software was developed for Tony Buzan, the guy who developed Mind Mapping in the first place. The second application is called NovaMind 4 Express. The price for the Express version is $49 US dollars. NovaMind has a 30 day trial version that lets you play with it, but saves it with a pronounced watermark across the image. At least you get a chance to evaluate it before you buy it.
I installed both versions on my computer, to be fair in my initial test, I’m creating the MindMap ToDo image as seen here. The NovaMind Express wasn’t too bad. I didn’t time it, but the user interface was pretty intuitive. It didn’t take too long to create it. I did have to fiddle a little with the branches to get them to look better.
I think I’m in love. At first I was thinking there can’t be that much of a difference to justify the extra $50 that iMindMap charges for their elements software. Well, there is. The user interface is so easy, I can’t even believe it. It consistant. Just mouse over the object you want to branch off until a red dot appears, then click and drag. The branch labeling, reshaping and recoloring are all very easy as well. The user interface is so easy, I almost cried from the elegant simplicity. It doesn’t get in the way of the thought process. I didn’t have to think about what I was doing. Hover, click drag, label, done. Then repeat again, unless I needed to change the branch or text color.
I originally considered purchasing NovaMind Express software because of its cost and the Mind Map it produced was similar in appearance to iMindMap. However, after trying out the two applications for my simple needs, I have decided to purchase the iMindMap Elements. I’m sure it’s the right choice for me.
Note: NovaMind has announced version 5 will be coming in September or October. At the time of this article only version 4 was available. I’ll be happy to review version 5 if they would like to get it to me for evaluation.
Till next time, I see a lot of Mind Mapping in my future.