Yet another web-based mind mapping application has emerged for beta testing: Mind42. Developed by an Austrian company, Mind42 boasts some impressive features. They include:
- Real-time collaboration on mind maps
- A nice, large work area. Toolbar buttons are located on the left side of the workspace, leaving as much room as possible for the map itself.
- A "birdview" that gives you a valuable overview of larger, more complex maps. You can also use this viewport to navigate your map, and its window can be dragged around the workspace.
- The ability to add notes, web links and icons to your map nodes (most web-based mind map apps offer one or two of these options, but not all three). You can also add a links to Wikipedia articles to your map, which seems like kind of an odd feature. When you click on the "add file" icon and select this option, a dialogue box pops up with a Wikipedia search box. You can also add to-do lists to your map topics – certainly a unique feature.
- Good support for keyboard commands for common operations, such as adding a new idea as a child topic or at the same level as the current topic
- When you click on a hyperlink icon in your map, a little "conversation balloon" pops up displaying the URL and a thumbnail image of the web page – nice! You can then use the URL to navigate to the page. What’s nice about this is it gives you a little preview of what you’re going to see if you navigate to the page, before you go there.
- You can add multiple files and notes to a single topic
- Excellent support for exporting your maps to FreeMind, MindManager and RTF formats
Being a beta application, Mind42 isn’t bug free. I did encounter an error message or two while playing with it, but was always able to reload the map I was creating – nothing was lost.
You can take a tour of Mind42’s features by clicking here. Stefan also has a blog, which he using to communicate his progress in developing new features for Mind42 and "squashing" bugs in this beta application.
Thanks to Jeff de Cagna at Principled Innovation for alerting me to this promising new tool!
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