What’s new in the world of mind mapping software in 2015? Plenty! This year-end wrap-up is your guide to the new and updated software and resources that were introduced during the last year. Here’s what happened during the last year, with helpful links where you can learn more:
Desktop mind mapping software
MindManager 2016: In October, Mindjet released MindManager 2016 for Windows, the most significant update to its popular mind mapping software in many years. Most notable in this major update: Diagramming, concept mapping and mind mapping are now integrated in a single application, while maintaining the full power of MindManager’s linking, filtering and calculation tools. This opens up a world of opportunities that would have required multiple software tools to accomplish in the past. You can read my review of it here.
iMindMap 9: In November, OpenGenius (formerly ThinkBuzan) launched iMindMap 9. It features an operating mode called Fast Capture that enables you to quickly add new ideas to your mind map. Existing topics automatically move out of the way of your new ideas, so you can concentrate on capturing your creative output, without regard to the initial structure of your ideas. An integrated outline panel that appears to the right of the workspace makes it easy to find the idea you need. In addition, a new brainstorm mode simulates a corkboard and sticky notes. Watch for my review of iMindMap 9 in the next week or two.
MindView 6: MatchWare’s new version of its mind mapping software, MindView 6, launched in February, features over 40 major improvements, including an updated user interface, a new, streamlined MS-Office 2013 interface with backstage, a new Smart Nav module for navigating large maps, new preset project management filters and a new capture bar to capture text and images from apps and websites. You can learn more here.
XMind 7: XMind 7 Pro, the new version of this popular mind mapping software, may be the most significant update to it – ever. It features a new user interface (UI) and dozens of enhancements that make it an even more useful tool for businesses and individuals alike. You can read my review of it here.
MindGenius 6: MindGenius 6 debuted in February, with enhancements to the project management, brainstorming, communication and personal productivity capabilities of it. New in this version: cost and quantity calculations, the ability to customise the Gantt chart and additional project resourcing capabilities. Seamless integration with a range of cloud storage providers allows you to save and open files in Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive directly from MindGenius. Using the program’s new Word Cloud enables you to quickly gauge the emerging themes during brainstorming, requirements gathering and other group sessions. In addition, MindGenius has doubled the size of its development team and is now working on a new web-based application, which will launch in 2016.
iMindQ 7: This new mind mapping software for Windows contains new and enhanced features that make it a capable tool for gathering, organizing, distilling and sharing information with others – including a new research panel, the ability to save mind maps to an interactive HTML format and support for enhanced note taking. Click here for my review of it.
MindMapper 16: Simtech USA announced earlier this month that it has released MindMapper 16 for Windows. The new version of its mind mapping software combines a versatile visual mapping program with the convenience of a planner and bird’s-eye view of a dashboard, creating an exccellent visual tool to help you achieve goals and manage your schedules.
BigPicture: This unique software program, launched earlier this year, installs as an add-in to Microsoft Excel and engables you to do mind mapping, data mapping and diagramming, all from within the popular spreadsheet program. BigPicture’s elegant toolset is ideal for any executive who already uses Excel in his or her work, but aren’t sure they can justify the investment in a dedicated diagramming or mind mapping program. You can read my review of it here.
NovaMind: NovaMind Pty. Ltd., the mind mapping software innovator from Down Under, appears to be very close to some sort of a major corporate announcement, but they’re being really mysterious about what that might be. On September 28th, the company announced on its Facebook page that it was in negotiations to “put together a plan to take NovaMind forward from here.” This was supposed to be completed by mid-October, but negotiations got slowed down by a medical emergency. I’ve pinged founder Gideon King periodically (November 9th was the last time), and he assures me that something is still in the works. My guess? An acquisition or a strategic partnership.
Web-based mind mapping
MindMeister: At the recent Biggerplate mind mapping conference in Berlin, web-based mind mapping innovator MindMeister provided attendees with a tantalizing glimpse at the future of its popular application. In this 24-minute video, Rafaela Bradner covers a number of intriguing capabilities that MindMeister is currently experimenting with.
Other developments during 2015 included:
- Adding the ability to upload mind maps directly to Biggerplate.com, the world’s largest online mind map gallery
- Ongoing improvements to the iOS and Android apps
- Copy and paste improvements
- Comments for public mind maps
- A new canvas context menu
- Geistesblitz for Apple Watch
MeisterTask: MeisterTask is a new web-based, collaborative task management tool that integrates seamlessly with MindMeister to enable you to turn your ideas into action. This colorful, lightweight tool is perfect for small teams to streamline their project communication and get projects done faster. You can read my review of this excellent tool here.
Mindomo: Based on a perusal of the Mindomo blog, the developer seems to be focusing on the education market lately. A case in point can be found here.
DropTask: Launched in 204 as a visual task management companion to iMindMap, DropTask has steadily improved during the last year. Here’s what the road map looks like in 2016 for DropTask.
MindGenius Web: This tool was announced in late November, and is expected to be launched some time in 2016. The company describes its vision for MindGenius Web in this way: “The application will have, at its core, a visual mapping tool. However, we expect that it will ultimately become a workspace to manage conversations, actions, schedules and resources.” The developer is now soliciting participants for a public beta of MindGenius Web. You can learn more here.
Mobile mind mapping apps
ThoughtFlow for iPad: The new Thoughtflow app for iPad is a mind mapping tool with a difference: it is uniquely designed to trigger ideas AND capture them. It just happens to do so using a mind map format. It stands out for its simple but clever interface that is a joy to use. It’s an excellent idea-gathering and capture tool. You can read my review of it here.
NeuronalMind: Stefan Schuster, the developer of Mind42, co-developed this new mind mapping app for the Android platform earlier this year.
Of course, there are numerous other mobile mind mapping apps available. Most of the new ones I’ve seen during the last year (with the exception of these two) have been me-too products that don’t merit a mention here. If you know of any, please let me know in the comments area below!
Books and other resources
Mind Maps for Effective Project Management by Maneesh Dutt: In his new book, Mind Maps for Effective Project Management, professional project manager and trainer Maneesh Dutt presents the idea that today’s project environment requires different tools and a different way of thinking. He demonstrates how mind maps can be used to streamline project management, from brainstorming and requirements gathering to project completion and capture of key learnings. If you’re intrigued by the potential of mind mapping software, you’llwant to check out this excellent book. Read my blog post on 9 mind maps for exceptional project management here.
Power Tips & Strategies for Mind Mapping Software, 4th edition: In April, I published a significantly updated 4th edition of my popular e-book. This definitive guide to visual mapping contains a wealth of new tips, techniques and insights that will help you to produce high-impact mind maps that get results. Learn more about it here.
Biggerplate Conference in New York City: Biggerplate.com has announced a new Unplugged mind mapping conference, which will be held in New York City on March 10, 2016. For all of the details and registration information, please visit the event’s website.
Did I miss anything?
If I failed to mention a new mind mapping tool that was released in 2015, please add it in the comments. Thank you!
2015 image courtesy of Vecree.com