There is a saying that when something does what is expected of it that it does “exactly what it says on the tin”. When it comes to selecting good Mind Map software that is also true which means that it has to be able to replicate the Mind Mapping process on your computer.
Now there is a debate about whether the software needs to mirror exactly what you can create on paper but for the purposes of this article we will assume your candidate software can produce basic Mind Maps. This means they have a central image, extending main branches with smaller sub-branches. The branches can be drawn in different colors and you can add keywords and images.
If your software has those in place then you can move on to phase two of your assessment.
The second set of hoops that your Mind Map software has to jump through are criteria that will allow you to harness the power of this incredible technique even more. Hand drawn Mind Mapping is brilliant and when you transfer the process to your computer you can begin to extend its power even more, but only if your software has certain key features.
Here are 5 key things your Mind Mapping package has to be able to do if you are to invest in it.
1. The ability to hyperlink to files and web pages
One of the big advantages of using a good Mind Map program is the ability to connect to the various files and web pages relevant to your map. Using this feature is a great way to bring all of the connected information in all its different formats into one place
2. The creation of lower level maps note organizer
As you start using your software and generating Mind Maps, you may find some of them start to become a bit large and unwieldy as they grow and develop over time. Pretty soon you may also start to see an area developing that you may wish to place on a new map. A really useful feature is the ability to create a lower level map. This means at the click of your mouse, a heavily laden branch can become a new map in its own right.
The software should also be able to create links from the original branch to the new mind map and vice versa. You will find this feature will become invaluable as your maps grow and what will happen is you will begin to develop your own neural network of knowledge full of interlinked maps in pretty much the same fashion as your brain.
3. Show relationships
When you have a Mind Map drawn on a piece of paper, it is very easy to draw a line from one branch to another on the other side of the paper. This means you can show associations and relationships quickly and easily in a way that allows you to keep track of the big picture. The need to do this remains when you transfer to the computer and so being able to do this in your software is vital.