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Mind Mapping and Idea Capture Tools

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  • Mind Mapping and Idea Capture Tools

    I have a client investigating mind mapping tools for idea capture and collaboration. They have gone through an extensive list of possibles and are now down to Mind Manager (I use this one) and Personal Brain. I am just starting to evaluate the Personal Brain software. If you have used or are using Personal Brain can you offer some feedback? If you have used both are there any comparisons or 'watch outs'?


  • #2
    I've used it on and off for years and years. I used to do a lot of mappy-visualization work and thought they had a pretty innovative concept going, with a great implementation.

    The great thing about The Brain is that you don't have a limited amount of space - it's very easy to navigate around a very large structure because they've cleverly designed it to hide things that aren't linked to the current item. So for some people it's perfect - you can have the whole shebang in one map.

    Mind-mapping is useful partly because of the context - you have a structured page and everything links off a central concept etc etc. Where The Brain might not do as well is if a visual person wants to see more of the picture at a time. Where the mind-mapping falls down is that each page is limited in size because you see the whole thing. Both work, and both sets of limitations can be solved with effort.

    I'd say play with the free versions for a while - it's up to how your customer thinks and which they feel more comfortable in.

    There's a trick with The Brain - in the options somewhere you can turn on "distant thoughts" and that lets you see an extra node away. Also a personal choice, I prefer it because it gives me a bit more context.


    • #3
      For me a simpler solution works great. In my case, I use a text tool and macro, which meets my needs for a) very fast capture, b) web-based access, and c) links between topics. More at My Big-Arse Text File - a Poor Man's Wiki+Blog+PIM, if you're interested.