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Drum roll please …
- Most other web sites that rank mind map apps carry advertising from at least several different producers of these programs while I do not. This may or may not explain my greater willingness to differentiate sharply between the apps.
- Your idea of what a great mind map app should be may differ from mine resulting in different ratings. Mine are particularly relevant for scientific, health, education, and personal use rather than corporate outline formatting. In fact corporate outline formatting in “mind map” programs does not really produce true mind maps, but most corporate customers do not know the difference. Learn why Buzan-style mind maps will perform far better than the “formatted outline” maps produced by many of the best selling programs before committing to one model or the other.
- The programs continuously change (most copy each new version of iMindMap after its release) and my ratings change fairly often.
- I communicate with some of the app developers (as well as other independent reviewers) via email. I try not to let these interactions with nice people and arrogant people and people with crummy business models (and crummy customer support) and development geniuses color my ratings.
- These ratings apply only to Mac software. I do not use any of these programs on a PC. After 25 years of 40-80 hours of PC use per week, I switched to a real computer and use Macs exclusively.
- I will release separate ratings for iPad apps, but in general those programs that are especially good on the Mac tend to be especially good on the iPad. Note that while I do not believe that the Mac version of Inspiration is a particularly good app, I think that the iPad implementation is among the very best.
- The apps I review are full commercial versions. I have yet to find a free mind map app that is even close to the best paid apps in quality and usability.
- Virtually all of the paid apps have free evaluation periods. Most periods are 30 days which is plenty of time to form your own judgment. Make use of the opportunities provided by the developers and vendors.
- And yes, the three programs that I intend to use 90% of the time or more are iMindMap, iMindQ, and iThoughtsX. My use is about 85% iMindMap and 2.5% each of the others. I spread the other 10% of my usage around, often experimenting with other programs just to see if they better fit specific uses or types of users.
This mind map that follows is the same as that above reformatted for “3D” presentation.
At the end of looking at one of those 30-page tiny font CVs from academics or the pro-forma 2-page resumes in industry, have you ever thought, “Wow, I know what this person is like.” The 1% of you who said “yes” probably didn’t understand the question.
There are lots of alternatives. Here is mine. And, yeah, I wore the John Lennon eye glasses in the 1960s. Wore a few peace symbols too.
Personally I think you learn more about the person from looking at the picture.
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Kidspiration Maps for iPad came out about a month ago. This is an adaptation of the Kidspiration and Inspiration 9 software available on PC/Mac and the iPad Inspiration app (for tweens to adults). Inspiration is a (concept but also mind) mapping program widely used in schools, and as my friend Hans Buskes (@hansbusked) has demonstrated, management consulting. So for the K-3 set and $350,000+ set, a new tool is available to combat Powerpoint and crayon fatigue.
I am not sure how I feel about using concept mapping at such a young age. I am inclined to want to see the huge research studies of efficacy school systems and educational psychologists are likely to prepare first. On the other hand, I would rather have my own children using this app than most of the so-called “educational” apps or just zapping Zombies.
I think I can say without reservation that the first time an audience sees a Kidspiration concept map presented with high level scientific results at a professional association convention, everybody will wake up laughing in the middle of their Powerpoint fueled naps.
The developers of Kidspiration Maps believe this is a Pre-K to Grade 5 product. I think it is probably best used in Grades K-3.
Some snaps from Kidspiration mapping from when I was playing around. All mapping was done by a retired 62 year old on an iPad 4. A 6 year old is more artistic and accomplished at using an iPad and probably would get better results.
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I periodically make recommendations of apps on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone that I find exceptionally useful.
For the 2013 “back-to-school-edition” I picked a rather eclectic group of apps that I use all day as a knowledge worker. Are these the only programs I use a lot. No. But these are the third-party apps I use all day, usually immediately start every time I restart my MacBook Pro, and find very helpful in the generation of new content.
These will actually be a fairly controversial set of program choice. I suggest using a fancy text editor rather than a word processing program for all but the final draft (when it should be polished in Word or Pages). A mind mapping program is continuously open on the MacBook and used to develop ideas, remember thoughts, make lists and schedules. An electronic white board or pin board is indispensable to what I do on the computer all day.
The entire suite of programs I suggest in this #mindmap cost less than $200 in their PRO versions as I write this. In all cases, get the PRO versions and skip the freebie, lite versions.
This set of software selections will probably surprise you.
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THIS IS THE ORIGINAL MIND MAP.
The second version has identical content to the first one but uses formatting to make the map more “memorable” (or attention grabbing). In visual thinking, small changes in graphics may make large differences in understanding and remembering.
I believe that college and grad students are not encouraged to take enough control over their own destiny. To help address that issue, I have periodically presented a mind map for a paradigm that would produce graduates who can and will take more responsibility for their own careers and probably have stronger analytic skills.
That map, in its fourth draft, is presented at the end of this post.
I never really thought about my own college and grad school experiences as “seizing responsibility” until recently but in fact they were. Here are some personal stories from the years 1968-1976. Such options are probably more available today than they were for me, but to be honest, it was NEVER especially hard for me to “get away” with this stuff. And should you think all of this was possible because because I was the person at your high school or college who got the highest SAT and GRE scores you are wrong; I always scored high middling or low high. None of the opportunities I had were offered to me because I had 800s on tests.
When I was a first year in high school, I read about a reaction of the US government to the fear of the “Sputnik” experience (the USSR beat the USA into space and would nuke us to death) in funding a pilot program at 10 colleges to admit students after their junior year of high school. I marched into my high school counselor’s office and announced that I was going to college after my junior year. Fortunately the guy I spoke to (before announcing this to my parents) said “OK” but we have to change your classes. To convince my parents that I could graduate from high school, he worked out a deal with the local high school administrators to grant me a high school degree, counting my first year of college as my fourth year of high school if I made it through that year. My parents reluctantly said try and I started my junior year classes in my sophomore year, taking both 2nd and 3rd year math simultaneously and jumping into 3rd year English. In my junior year I skipped chemistry and jumped into physics, 4th year math, and an experimental social science class. For no reason other than the fact that I was fascinated by the 1968 election, I asked my social science teacher if I could do a survey of student attitudes, and he helped me get access to all his classes and taught me how to hand calculate cross-tabs. An extremely dedicated Latin teacher had me in her Latin 3 class and then stayed after school to individually teach me Latin 4 so I could get credit for four years of language study. And I applied to the University of Massachusetts (15 miles from home), Yale (65 miles away), and Lafayette College (150 miles away), the closest three of the 10 experimental programs. UMass recruited me heavily, Lafayette said OK, and the Yale alumni rep who interviewed me decided I needed to apply the next year after graduating from high school and was rather discouraging about the likelihood that I would ever be admitted to Yale.
In the fall of 1968, I started college as as a math/physics major and took a required social science class (I chose intro psychology). I immediately became a psych major when I found out that the first year class was a self-paced one in which you read the text yourself, monthly lectures were optional, did a couple of rat learning experiments yourself, and took 20 module tests whenever you felt like it to establish competency. Wahoo. Never looked back from psych. I did not really know what it meant to commit yourself to a field that requires a PhD as the entry level degree as I had no idea what a PhD was.
In 1969, transferred into Fordham in the Bronx, NY, because my new wife was in the the US Navy stationed in Queens, NY (long and separate story there). In spring 1970, I did an outrageous thing. Faced with the mandatory Intro Stat course in college, I went to the professor after the second class and informed him that the textbook was so easy that I could take his final exam any time and use his class time to do something else rthat would teach me something new. He told me OK, but only if I would agree to accept the final score as my grade and if I flunked to retake the entire course at a later time (no safety net). So we set an exam date of about a week later, and I got an A in the class and an invitation to be a research assistant in a PhD dissertation on single ganglion learning in cockroaches (lots of stories here I will omit) under his direction. Unbeknownst to me he started telling other faculty about my outrageous behavior (in a very supportive way) and hooked me up with another professor (Bill Lawlor who was also a Jesuit priest) who had arranged a tiny program of “a psychology year abroad” in the New York State Psychiatric Institute (one of the premier psychiatric research instituions in the world at the time) — 50% first semester of junior year, 100% second semester of junior year, 50% of first semester of junior year. Wahoo.
I worked with two of the pioneering psychiatrists in the use of lithium carbonate in bipolar disease and the genetics of the disease, and convinced them to let me and the unit psychologist submit an article to a peer-reviewed psychiatric journal. I ended up as the second author of an accepted article by the end of my junior year. And then convinced them to support me in the summers after my junior and senior college years with the promise I would do it again. By the end of my senior year, I was the first author on another peer-reviewed article and two MDs and two PhDs had made my career with their generosity in permitting me to be the first author on a paper. Wahoo again.
Yale liked the idea of a new grad student with two papers in press and so admitted me to their PhD program after my initial failure at geting to their undergrad program. Wahoo.
My first semester of grad school, I told the Director of Graduate Studies that I did not need to take the required first course in statistics that he taught. He had an emotional reaction and wrote me off as another arrogant hippie (yes, when I started grad school my hair came all the way down to my belt and there are some VERY interesting stories from that era I will NEVER tell). The second semester I aced Bob Abelson’s stat and experimental design course, and he became one my two most important teachers over the remaining year of grad school.
In the first semester of my second year of grad school (1973), I took a very unusual combination of three courses (Individual Differences in Cognition taught by a cognitive psychologist, Dynamics of Psychopathology taught by a psychoanalyst, and Imagery and Daydreaming taught by the breakthrough psychologist Jerry Singer who became my most important teacher). Hhmmm, how would the three courses go together. Could there be different types of cognitive styles that would partially determine how individuals experienced the world and developed pathological and highly successful strategies for dealing with day-to-day life. Empirical research by Garner, Jackson, Messick, and Witkin on cognitive styles, Shapiro’s theory of neurotic styles, and the first generation of computer models in psychology were of huge interest to me. So, I went to all three professors and asked if I could combine to their three required term papers into a single paper. Drs Day, Mahl, and Singer agreed and I came up with the idea of a computer model (actually implemented in Fortran) of cognitive styles in “normal” and “abnormal” personality functioning with the computer model used to validate the theory by determining whether it could reproduce the empirical research of Garner, Jackson, Messick, and Witkin. Each professor gave me an Honors grade and incredible feedback. I modeled the book length manuscript on the pioneering conceptions of Day on communicating (teaching) others how to use psychology who also served as the day-to-day advisor on the project.
All gutsy moves. Each was individually possible only because innovative faculty members were flexible, open to innovation, and supportive. Risky? Extremely. Worth it? Yes for me. I thank each and everyone who helped me in such major ways.
Was I smarter than everyone else? Not at all. Was I willing to take more risks? Yes. Could it have been done without supportive teachers willing to accept creative models of learning, training, and self development. Absolutely not. Was I willing to fail? Yes, but I was arrogant enough to think that was unlikely. Should you do it? I have absolutely no idea.
What worked for me? The answer is proposing innovative ways of learning APPLICABLE TO ME to highly supportive and qualified teachers and taking responsibility for making the models work.
Here is what I would do 35 years later. My model also incorporates many important ideas from Buzan on brainstorming and integrating information that I have learned in the last three years and many recent technologies.
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1976. No PCs or Macs. Not even a Sun workstation. NO Internet. No email. No fax machines. No handheld device more powerful than a simple HP calculator with a few math keys (for $300 in 1976 dollars; $19.99 today). No online bibliographic searching. No laser printers (dot matrix printers had just started to be available). It cost about $3/MINUTE to call from the East to California: everybody wrote letters. No C, no Starbucks, no handheld phones (most people did not even have the landline cordless phones). Color TV was not available in the majority of homes but Monday Night Football was (on B/W TVs).
I used to spend 12 hours a day in the Yale (later UCLA) computer center punching cards to access primitive versions of statistical programs (the now defunct BMDP and Datatext and the first version of SPSS). I was totally delighted in 1976 to get an IBM selectric (pineapple) typewriter for my office. Very few people had access to CRT terminals, so most used punch cards.
It cost $3000 a year to save as much data as my iPhone holds using the 1976 technology of hard disks (monsters about the size of my home heating units which can keep 25,000 cubic feet warm in the winter).
Hard to believe we made it to the moon with less technology. Or supported medical centers, the IRS, and the Library of Congress with the technology of the mid 1970s.
Yup, it was hard to be a technology worker in the 70s and 80s. On the other hand, the bridges and roadways were in fine condition, there was a working rail system, schools were better and actually taught students to read, and people would pick up the phone when they wanted something and communicate with the other party in an interactive way. And your boss did not expect you to be working 2 extra hours every night for the company on your PC, smartphone, or tablet.
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a HubaMap™ by g j huba phd
It seems appropriate to present this concept as a mind map. 🙂 Click on image to expand.
a HubaMap™ by g j huba phd
I’m currently doing a lot of research on several issues using PubMed and other free literature databases. I used Endnote for several decades (but left all of my copies behind when I sold the company; giving up Endnotes has greatly improved my mental health). Today I looked at CHEAP alternatives (think $10 instead of $250) and found that Bookends ($10) or its cheaper sibling PubMed on Tap do everything I need. After you play with the fully functional PubMed on Tap, you will probably want all of the extra databases covered by Bookends.
As an aside, I find reading the abstracts off an iPad is much better than sitting in one place trying to read them off an LED panel while I am tempted to jump to the Twitter, WordPress, and ESPN windows.
My review, as usual, as a mind map. Click to expand the image.
a HubaMap™ by g j huba phd
There have been several new “blank canvas” Mac apps released recently. The main three are Scapple (A+), Delineato Pro (A-) and Mindix (still in early development). These programs are not mind mapping ones. They are very simple ways of cutting and pasting snippets, links, pictures, paragraphs and other information onto a large canvas or sheet of paper like those we used to decorate the walls during meetings.
The mind map below shows features of the various blank canvas apps.
Scapple and Delineato are both highly recommended.
ADDITION March 2, 2014: Big Hairy Goal has recently been released for the Mac and is comparable to Mindix but much more highly developed. I consider Big Hairy Goal worth rating A.
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If you can tell us something about each of the areas listed below (when relevant and if the information is available), your mind map is probably quite significant. Click map to zoom.
There are a number of things that can be done to cut the cost of healthcare while, at the same time, freeing doctors and others to do their jobs better. These improvements cost almost nothing to implement [if all of the constituencies and politicians do not compete to be King Kong].
Visiting legislator who stumbled across this web page? Here’s your chance to act like a grown-up and represent the people of the world, not drug companies nor major research universities nor individual “researcher” egos and retirement funds.
This analysis, that analysis, yesterday’s analysis, tomorrow’s analysis, Uncle Izzy’s analysis … is there anything that is a not a form of analysis? Create your own bullshit anagram and bullshit detector. And then see how well it applies various politicians, political claims, the cable news stations, and others. You’re on your way to become a walking, human bullshit analyzer.
So without much further ado, a new form of analysis. And a make your own anagram template.
Look around at the restaurant or on the subway or on airplanes or at bicycle riders (yup, see it a lot around here) or at store workers or person in the car next to you at the red light or in television shows and at businesspeople, teens, tweens, older adults, hospital patients, hospital doctors, athletes, the disabled, those wearing the most trendy clothes and those dressed in all black with black hats/scarves. Data is streaming into all of their lives: email, texts, videos, music, e-magazines and e-newspapers, web sites world wide, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the local restaurant’s menu. Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, your bank, your doctor, your pharmacy, your local fast food purveyor, extra news and feeds from the sporting event you are attending, the latest Kardashian kamikazi komedy.
The video game is the work of the Devil.
With the exception of an increasingly small percentage of individuals with unlimited data because they were early adopters and have not changed their cellular plans, most of us are paying by the gigabyte. Those with free plans are throttled so that they really cannot use an unlimited amount of data for a fixed price so the fixed prices will go away soon.
Drop data prices, streaming will expand exponentially, the phone companies will make even more money, you will never see your friends in the flesh anymore, family dinners as we knew them in 1960 or even 1980 will be dead and replaced by family members sitting at the same table eating junk food and each watching their own data stream, and no one will want to go to the movie theater or red box anymore. Even the Columbian cocaine lords may go out of business.
Data overload will lead to data addiction and probably result in humanity evolving into the Borg Collective.
We need to make some changes before Skynet and the Terminators become inevitable.
I think the human race has no more than 30 years to evolve before the bytes take over. It will make the “War on Drugs” seem like the good old days and war with the Cylons inevitable. If you thought Big Pharma was going to control your life by promising the end to pain and disease, think again. Big Wireless will be even more insidious and the way Big Pharma has increased healthcare costs significantly will turn out to have been smaller than wireless when the historians look back in 100 years. Wireless data streaming is already starting to become the crack of the next decades.
Turn the Devil’s toys off when you: go home, go to dinner, watch TV, are in a meeting, are in a class, are in a place of religious observances, go on vacation, go to bed, take a shower, go into the bathroom (yup, your screaming boss may be in a toilet stall at DFW or ORD), or go to a friend’s home. Get out of the habit of pulling your cell phone out to take a picture of your family and then checking your email or Twitter account while you are at it. And stop modeling the “cellular data comes before everything else” lifestyle to your kids.
Even Spock turned the data stream off sometimes. Do so and “Live Long and Prosper.”
Things have changed since the days of Abe Lincoln.
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Position Opening: Physician. Thousands of opening available throughout USA. All specialties. Highest priority for primary care.
Four-year medical degree, several years of supervised post-doctoral clinical experience. Additional research experience a plus. In possession of a medical license within the state of practice.
Proven effectiveness in communicating with ill, confused, poor, disenfranchised patients, many with co-occuring mental illness and/or chemical dependency and cognitive impairment. Fluency in written and oral Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Farsi, Tagalog, and Arabic a plus.
Ability to work closely with a multi-disciplinary team and communicate well with nurses, social workers, allied health professionals, patients, families, insurers, and malpractice lawyers all of whom may complain at any time that the physician asserts too much influence on patient care.
Willingness to work in conditions were salaries are decreasing annually, patient-doctor ratios are expected to be dramatically higher, and one will be subject to working long work weeks, religious and family holidays, and on an irregular schedule.
Ability to work in a larger healthcare system subject to rules of practice detrimental to patient care with unnecessary and inappropriate regulations, attacks from the public as well as politicians and the press, frivolous malpractice lawsuits that require expensive and lengthy litigation, and very high accompanying stress.
Ability to accurately make life-death decisions while stressed, tired, and in non-optimal settings. Willingness to do so for a low compensation rate.
Willingness to maintain licensure and take regular continuing education courses without compensation.
Ability to spend a large percentage of time completing unnecessary forms in order to obtain insurance reimbursement and to avoid frivolous malpractice lawsuits.
Compensation Range: very low to low.
Immediate openings throughout United States.
Biggerplate.com (@Biggerplate) has started to post video recordings of the presentations at their recent mind mapping conference in London on their web site.
The first four presentations are now available online at this link.
All four presentations are excellent and are by experts willing to talk to their peers frankly and clearly thus resulting in a very large exchange of bottom-line information.
The 20 minute presentation by Chris Griffiths (@GriffithsThinks) is probably the best talk on modern mind mapping I have ever seen; watch this if you want a jump start into modern mind mapping. I agree with about 90% of what Mr Griffiths says, and he is extremely articulate about the big issues.
This appears to have been a great conference. Four more similar conferences are being scheduled around the world, with two coming up in the USA (San Francisco, Chicago).
Liam Hughes and his staff at Biggerplate facilitated an excellent conference and more importantly, started a valuable ongoing communication process.
Highly recommended. If you believe that visual thinking (and mind mapping) can be useful in your field, try to watch some of these short videos. Like them, I do.
Toni Krasnic is an established expert in coaching and student development who is well-known in mind mapping circles as a superstar. Mr. Krasnic has written an accessible, concise, and research-based book on using mind maps and other visual learning tools with beginning students. In my opinion, the methods Mr. Krasnic introduces will be an increasing part of elementary school education in the next few decades. Usually in mind mapping books, the method of mind mapping in one computer program or another is the primary focus of the book. Mr. Krasnic places the emphasis where it should be: on using mind mapping tools to SUPPORT EFFECTIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES. This is a book about learning and teaching and coaching and classroom exercises using visual learning methods. Mr. Krasnic does not tie the book to any commercial product but rather pairs the book content to learning theory, issues, and techniques. Many of the major mind mapping commercial products are introduced and there are many exceptional examples of mind maps that address real learning issues and support skill acquisition. This books is not about a flashy new computer program that makes pretty pictures. The book is about using powerful visual learning methods starting in elementary school and continuing through life to achieve mastery in many learning situations.