09 June 2006

OmniGraffle and MindManager

Commenting on a recent post on the new MindManager for Mac OS, Eric from Organisation et m├ęthode, the French GTD blog, asked: "Have you tried to use OmniGraffle for mindmapping?
Using the automatic layout and the outline functions, building the map is as fast and easy as with any specific mindmapping application. And the graphic possibilities are much richer. You can also go back and forth between OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle.

I have indeed tried OmniGraffle, which I use for two main things:

It is nice for creating simple mind-maps.

MindManager seems largely superior for mindmapping for several reasons:

  • Branches can collapse. This is essential to manage very complex maps (for instance, the MindManager mindmap I use for my implementation of GTD).
  • MindManager is both available for Mac OS and Windows, and my other computer, at the University of Salford is a wintel machine! :-(

Before MindManager for Mac OS, I was using Freemind which is a brilliant open source software.


At 6/10/2006 11:49:00 pm, Anonymous Ericlodi said...

Bonjour Pascal!

I agree with all the qualities of MindManager, but would use omniGraffle at times, let me explain why.

At work, we use MindManager - that's a PC world anyway - with people already "initiated" to the mindmap magic. That's for instance the staff in China, who would be keen to use any effective tool they see, and a few guys into IS or methods. When it comes to the average French team, well, they would look skeptically, if at all, at the first mind map they see.

That's why, in these kind of circumstances, I would bring the MAC (that already triggers their interest), fire up OmniGraffle and show relatively simple but nice mind maps that would catch the eye and progressively buy people to the cause.

Anyway, the best mindmap for an interactive group session is the one handdrawn together by the team on a huge sheet of paper stuck on a wall. A snapshot of the guys all reaching for branches with hands full of markers, another picture of the finished mindmap, make for fast and cheerful meeting minutes. From my experience, once they have done this kind of session, folks of all ages would adhere to mindmaps. ;-)


At 6/11/2006 12:08:00 am, Blogger Pascal Venier said...

Thanks Eric.
I must say that I never ever heard of mind mapping in France and it was only, unless I am mistaken, in 2001, 9 years after I came to England, that I discovered MindMapping.
However, whenever I happen to mention mindmapping to colleagues at the university, they look at me as if I came from another planet.
It is very much the same with students, with a few exceptions. I can think of one first year student who after I had advised the class to have a look at Buzan book, started taking notes in a mind map form afterwards.

At 6/11/2006 01:04:00 am, Anonymous ericlodi said...

You are right! The main question is not for people how to use mindmaps but how to get them to start using them...
It gives me the idea to write on this topic... when I'll find some time (!)
Keep in touch


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