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  • Inspiration

    Just wondering if anyone has any experience using Inspiration. I just downloaded 30 day trial to use with my mac. So far it seems to offer a great deal in terms of mind mapping. I am looking for something to use in my work as a school counselor when i am writing letter of recommendations for high school seniors.

    Let me know your thoughts on this software, if you think it is worth delving into and possilbly purchasing.



  • #2
    I own it but prefer MindManager

    I purchased Inspiration a few years ago but didn't use it very much and don't use it at all anymore. I bought MindManager three years ago and use it daily. Bear in mind that Inspiration has likely evolved since my last experience with it, but I found MindManager to be vastly more powerful and useful, yet intuitive to use. It integrates well with MS Office applications and there are MindManager add-ins that I find useful.

    The biggest issue I had with Inspiration was that you couldn't have parent-child map relationships. That is, link one branch in a map to another map so that you can build a hierarchy of interlinked or nested maps. Click on a link and open the corresponding map. MindManager does this flawlessly, but Inspiration doesn't support parent-child relationships. That was a deal-killer for me.

    The regular price for MindManager is pricey, but I trust that you would qualify for the greatly-reduced academic pricing. They've always offered free 30-day trials, so you might consider giving it a spin.


    • #3
      I've also tried Inspiration, though did not move forward with the purchase. At the time I felt that Mind Manager was the better product, though had no MAC version.

      Additionally, I find mapping on a PC difficult, much preferring paper and pens!

      That said, Inspiration does find a strong following in the school community plus as noted the software is available at "academic pricing".

      Turning to the stated use ... assisting with letters of recommendation. How many do you write a year? How well do you know the individual kids? Time period over which they get written. If the number is large, your knowledge of the most kids limited etc, you may want to think about template text blocks or letters.

      I'm thinking that you could send around a general pre-formated form to obtain the basic information (name, likes etc). Plus you could divide the student base into groups (your choose of criteria) then craft a letter or letters for each group. Just a thought.


      • #4
        MindManager is now available on the Mac too


        Just so it's clear -- MindManager was not available for the Mac OS until very recently but can now be used on a Mac and maps shared with both Mac and Windows users.

        Inspiration is a fine product, especially for educational use (there are a lot of templates and resources developed by many teachers over the years who have used the program). For personal and business use, I prefer MindManager, especially on the Tablet PC.


        • #5
          mind manager

          I did see that mind manger is now available for mac and have downloaded the trial.

          In terms of practical use, if i have done my job, i should know the students pretty well by the time i am writing the letter. I do try to keep the letters somewhat original so that it is specific to the student, thus have stayed away from using a template.

          I like to paper and pencil also, but feel like it may be worth a shot if i can make it work electronically.




          • #6
            Sorry to drop into this discussion late, but I lost my forums password and my daughter is three this weekend - rather busy "getting other things done"!

            I have had Inspiration for a few months and generally have good opinions of it. It is best suited to a classroom situation, which is where I use it most.
            Having said that, mind-mapping is no problem; nor is the outliner. My only difficulty is with transferring to other programs. The transfer to Word and back is only passable. It will not work with OPML ... although I have requested this and it has been passed on (as has my other gripe - no sideways scrolling with Apple's Mighty Mouse).

            I wouldn't say it was a powerhouse, but does what I want ... especially with the PalmOS version synchronising with the desktop version. I tried others, including the Mac version of MindManger (nice, but not finished yet ... that's the main reason for not switching - I want to use outlines created in OmniOutliner with it); the price is great for Edu users too.

            [Update: There are Applescripts for transfer of outlines to MM6 from Omnioutliner and back again]

            Others, such as ConceptDraw and others are also good. I looked for price, cross-platform and mac-like!


            Last edited by Zippy; 08-01-2006, 01:43 PM. Reason: Typos!


            • #7
              Inspiration Software IE for Business

              You may wish to visit the newest version of Inspiration 8. The software has recently taken a significant advance to include a mind mapping view in addition to the traditional diagram and more 'linear' one-click to outline feature.

              Inspiration is well known in educational circles for it's simple, straightforward functional approach. For businesses, it's a graceful solution to planning and making great ideas become visible.


              • #8
                OmniOutliner deserves a look

                I used Inspiration for all my lists and proposals for several years, but now use Inspiration for some tasks, and OmniOutliner for my main list of projects.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paula Johnson
                  I used Inspiration for all my lists and proposals for several years, but now use Inspiration for some tasks, and OmniOutliner for my main list of projects.
                  I'm also an Omnioutliner fan, using it with kGTD and now I have discovered Novamind works with omnioutliner "out of the box" (although, being a download version mine didn't technically have a box to work out of!). I also have another look at Mindmanager but even with education discount it still came in at more than Novamind - and felt unfinished. However, to its credit, MindManger is Applescriptable, and does have two scripts to convert between MM and OO (pro version - standard is not scriptable)

                  Any help?


                  • #10
                    Inspiration experience

                    I’ve used Inspiration for some time and find it useful for writing whatever – reports, letters etc. I like it a lot and find it an intuitive jump from creating mind maps by hand.

                    I haven't used MindManager but I particularly like Inspiration’s “rapid fire” feature which allows me to “dump” ideas about the subject (for ex., a report) at hand quickly, spontaneously, non-judgementally, and without the structure that will come later. Essentially it’s a form of electronic storyboarding complete with the digital post-it notes that can be moved around and re-linked in categories or any configurations so desired.
                    I then hit the outline icon and the diagram is converted to an outline where I can again move the words and sentences around in categories etc. When satisfied I can copy and paste to Word and fill in the final details of the report. I complete written documents at least 50% faster because of the “cognitive distribution” as David Allen puts it.

                    It makes the dull and uninteresting a lot more fun and helps maintain focus on the task as your creative juices are flowing. For “inspiration” I add pictures from the Inspiration library or even cutting and pasting from Word’s clip art. In the diagram mode I use color and sometimes create graphics to support the work. FYI the current program does have link capability to other Inspiration diagrams if so desired. Did I say it’s fun too? (No, I don't have stock in the company).