FreeMind is a free, Java-based program that helps you organize your personal information by easily creating customizable mind maps.
Your mind is full of information, and keeping it all organized can be a daunting task. Sure, you can write notes in a notepad or on Post-Its stuck around your house, but it’s difficult to locate the information you need when you need it. You can save information in text files on your computer, but it’s easy to lose track of what’s saved where. FreeMind lets you organize all of the information in your mind with mind maps, an easy way to take quick notes, make connections, and keep track of everything you need to know.
With FreeMind you can create notes in well-organized mind maps with just a few clicks. You can connect information graphically with nodes, notes, clouds, and arrows, or format similar text by color, style, size, and background color. Nodes can contain hyperlinks which lead to either web sites, local files, or executables. The mind maps you create are searchable, so you can go directly to any node or note you need. You can use an easy keyboard shortcut to zoom in and out for a better view of your mind map. You can save your mind map as a PDF, to easily send it to a friend, or print it. Advanced users can even use FreeMind’s applet to share mind maps through the web, using a Java-enabled browser.
Tips for New Users
FreeMind’s help documentation is in the form of—what else?—a mind map. You can access it by clicking “Help,” then selecting “Documentation.” This helpful guide lists easy instructions for creating and customizing your own mind map. If you’re new to the concept of mind-mapping, this is a great introduction.
Areas of Improvement
While viewing a mind map and clicking through nodes, the map branches out more and more until it looks like a large spider web. Viewing it can be confusing, especially if you have a small screen. Zooming helps, but it would be even more helpful if there was a quick way to get back to the center of the mind map. Perhaps a button or a keyboard shortcut could be added that scrolls back to the center. That way, it wouldn’t be as easy to get lost in your own notes.
If you have a pile of papers and Post-Its on your desk, scraps of paper in the pockets of all of your pants, and notes scribbled on your hands, FreeMind might be for you. Using FreeMind, you can organize your mind with graphical mind maps, which keep track of all of your personal information in one place. You can easily customize your information, and share it with friends, family, or co-workers. Text formatting and graphics let you connect your notes, and the search feature helps you quickly find what you need. So throw out all of those crumpled pieces of paper and get organized for free with FreeMind.
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