MindRaider: note-taking program combines hierarchical outlines, tagging, and visual “mind map” representations

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MindRaider is a multi-platform, free note-taking program that combines a tree-like hierarchical organization alongside a “free form” structure based on tagging your notes.

It supports many notes formats (rich text, HTML, TWiki, plain text, and even sketches). But what is truly unique about this program is a visual component whereby your notes structure is either displayed in a “mind mapping” style relationship diagram, or otherwise within a “tag cloud” representation. It also allows you to embed links within notes to other entities.

You should check this program out whether you are satisfied with your notes program or you’re looking for the next, best thing. (If you are in the latter category then read on; MindRaider may just be the program that you’re looking for).

There are FIVE things that you need to know about this program:

  1. Tree hierarchy: allows you to organize and retrieve your notes within a tree-style hierarchical structure.
  2. Notes tagging: in addition to the tree structure you could use a “free-form” structure through the use of tags (i.e. to use tags and hierarchies jointly).
  3. MindRaider Screenshot - notes formatsNotes formats: you can create notes in multiple formats such as rich text, plain text, HTML, Twiki and even graphical sketches (see images to the right).
  4. Links: allows you to embed links within your notes to other notes/outlines. You could also drag and drop elements into MindRaider (such as files or links in your browser). See this pagefor more info.
  5. “Visual” component: this is very interesting. The software automatically generates a diagram of relationships using the tree hierarchy as well as any links that you’ve made within the notes.

More notes on this program below:

  • Navigation: you can navigate using the hierarchical structure, using tag filters in the left column, using the tag cloud, or by clicking on the entities in the mind mapping diagram itself.
  • The user experience: is simultaneously familiar (because of the hierarchical outline), as well as novel (because of some of the unique features). It is fairly straightforward in general but there is a lack of right-click context menus that is somewhat counter-intuitive (see wish list below).
  • MindRaider Screenshot - tag cloudTags: you can tag your notes and you can tag the outlines themselves (the two are sperate). For an example of a tag cloud see the image to the right.
  • Attachments: you can attach files or links. You can even link to local folders, which is cool.
  • Search: all notes text or search notes by tag.
  • Categories: seven built-in categories to choose from: Important, Cool, ToDo, Personal, Later, Obsolete, Problem. These are not user defined and cannot be changed (which is OK as you have the tags to play with).
  • Export: you can export your notes using several formats such as OMPL, Twiki, Atom or XML.

Wish list:

  • Right-click context menus: they could significantly simplify/speed up working with the program, IMHO. Right clicking and getting .. nothing whatever .. takes a bit of getting used to.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: a very nice, innovative program. While at first it may seem somewhat involved, it really isn’t. This is a program that is well suited for handling a lot of information (if you do not have a large mass of notes then you may prefer something more straightforward).

It is a bit hard to judge the usefulness of the mindmap/diagram part (especially when it takes up around 30% of the screen area). You will easily get used to it though and I could see how it can become auseful navigation tool when handling a lot of data.

The bottom line is: this is a very nice program. I am now using it as my primary note-taking software.

Version Tested: 7.6

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, Mac.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 35.9 megs).