Freeplane – “Boost your brain with Freeplane” – is a redesigned version of the well known FreeMind, the free software for building mind maps. It is created by one of FreeMind’s key developers.
IMHO there are already too much MindMapping tools on the Web, so I wonder why it was necessary to write a fork of a product that already served so many MindMappers in the world. However, since FreePlane is portable (like FreeMind and XMind), and the documents are exchangeble with FreeMind, I installed it on my portable HDD to give it a try.
A few years ago I mapped my WebPresence in FreeMind, it is not up-to-date, but you can visit it here to have an impression. As you can see the branches are rather basic and there are no pictures (except my avatar in the centre) or drawings, that are only possible when you MindMap the old-fashioned way: with pen and paper.
Perhaps better-looking is Tony Buzan’s own iMindMap. It looks more like it has been drawn by hand, and it offers integration with Microsoft’s Office ánd OpenOffice. iMindMap is available in 3 editions, prices range from € 62 to € 189.
I still think Martin Dvorak’s MindRaider is an interesting project, especially because it integrates with the semantic web. However, since I wrote about it, there hasn’t changed very much, so I think there will be no further developments in this project.
For now, I consider The Brain as the best solution. It also offers a portable version – very important to me – and it is recently updated to version 6. Now you can store your maps in the cloud, although (of course) there is also a price tag attached, at least if you want to keep your MindMaps (“Brains”) private.
I have all my projects mapped in The Brain; there is even a Brain of Kuehleborn’s Mind; that I open as soon as I start up my computer, to run in the background. Everytime I find a new idea, I add it to my Brain, so it is a Work In progress. Wanna have a Peek? It is here, but links to locally stored files are not working.