Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

FreeMind: Free Mind Mapping Software

John Lam writes:

I’ve been using an open-source tool called FreeMind for the past couple of days. This is hands-down the most incredible brainstorming / thought organization tool that I’ve ever seen.

FreeMind is essentially a fancy XML editor. It lets you create single-rooted recursive hierarchies of information. But the presentation and editing is so powerful and intuitive that it pretty much eliminates any friction involved in restructuring your XML document. You also have the ability to link to external URL’s and external files.

The way I use FreeMind is to initially capture a mind-dump of ideas relating to a single topic. Then I start noticing clusters of ideas that relate to one another and I use FreeMind to reorganize those ideas into their natural order.

See for yourself. Surf over to the FreeMind homepage on SourceForge. Make sure that you check out the screenshots of the program. It was worth reinstalling the Java runtime on my computer just to run this application.

Very cool. I just finished installing it and immediately started using it to help me organize my thoughts for a proposal I have to do today. I’ve never used mind mapping before, so this is all new to me, but I’ve seen people do it so I’m not totally in the dark.

UPDATE: After writing this post, I realized that a branching mind-map is a beautiful visual representation of the XML InfoSet. I wonder why no one has written an XML editor with this UI?