XMind – Mind Mapping software

The other day while looking for a Mind Manager replacement I stumbled across XMind. This is an Eclipse based application that has all the features I frequently used in Mind Manager. I had tried using Mind Meister but I just couldn’t get past the way you modify your mind map, it just took too long.

But the feature set for XMind is great, it includes many features that you only find in the “pay for” apps. Best of all it’s Open Source. Some of the features I’ve found most useful in starting to migrate to XMind are:

  • Import of Mindjet Mind Manager maps, among others
  • Using the “Summary” connector – This allows you to group entries with a “}” and add some text to it
  • Double-Clicking a connection gives you a text box to provide a description of the connection
  • The User Interface is great and easy to use
  • Maps are defined as work books which you can add multiple sheets to
  • Easy to add custom graphics
  • Attach any type of file to the workbook
  • It’s easy to customize the look and feel of your map
  • Floating topics with their own style

Now I know you’re saying that this isn’t anything new really, and you’re probably right. But to find something of this calibur that runs natively on Mac OSX thats also Open Source, to me that’s a big deal. But I got to looking and there are versions that run on virtually every operating system out there. But my mind wanders and starts to imagine that since this is Eclipse based, could it possibly be included as a Composite app within Lotus Notes? That may be something that is doable, but I just don’t have the time at the moment to investigate it, but I think could be something pretty cool.

My overall impression of XMind is a good one, it’s Eclipse based, has a great UI, a rich feature set and is Open Source. So check it out, it’s a good tool that fits the bill for a Mind Manager.

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