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


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).

  • Sean C.

    So could this be thought of as a mixture of Evernote and FreeMind? I’m still gonna try it either way. Just curious.

  • Hi Samer, what an excellent job. I can’t tell you how much my daily PC struggle has been simplified because of all the work you have done to bring these tools to our attention. For notes, I am using Stickies and ccCleaner. So far, love it.

    I am looking for a simple Vista utility to fix location of icons or to save desktop. When i use a projector that changes the screen resolution it misses up my desktop. Any suggestions?

  • Looks very interesting.
    I have used Evernote and various mind mappers, without finding anything that works for me.
    I have downloaded the Windows version, and will be trying it out as soon as I can.
    I edit two computer user group newsletters, and am continually looking for ways to make my organization of material easier.
    Thanks for a great blog, I check my feed quite regularly, and usually find something to pique my interest. Keep up the good work.

  • Well, I am intrigued by the concept of such programs ever since the ancient ThinkTank for DOS computers. And I have tried a number of them. The last one I used that looked very similar to this one was KeyNote (great program, still usable, but development stopped on it: http://sourceforge.net/projects/keynote/ ). Before that, I used TreePad (also good, but became payware), and I also tried a few others — e.g. ActionOutliner.

    Well, to make a long story short, after much experimentation I decided that the best thing for me is to separate the functions into two programs: (1) a note taker/clip depository program — EverNote is the clear choice here. And one mind mapper/brainstorming tool — FreeMind was nice, but xMind, also free, is better, though resource intensive.

    So, my 5 cents is, if you think you’d like MindRaider, you may want to try the duo Evernote/xMind instead (Evernote became adware lately, but xMind is free).

  • @Hazim
    Try Stardock Fences. It can save several different configurations of your icons on your desktop, beyond doing other nice things. So you could have one configuration for high-res, another for projector res. Once installed, to take a snapshot of your desktop configuration do this: Right Click Desktop -> Edit Fences -> Tools -> Take Snapshot or Restore Snapshot.

    Fences was feature right here at Freeware Genius.

  • cj

    mindraider has been detected as trojan by avg!?

  • The site says that AVG will incorrectly tag it as a trojan, there is a link to a zip download.

  • Uncle B

    Is this really Mac compatible? On the site there are Java, Linux and Windows downloads only…

  • Anonymous

    Java supplied is is outdated and insecure.
    Setting Java_home Environment variable as discribed doesn’t work instead of setting it to current c:\Program Files\Java\jre6 which is currently (JRE) 6u13 (1.6.0_13-b03)
    the program will still set it to internal folder with old version
    Am I missing something?
    Thanks in advance

  • robert

    Thanks for the link to xMind. It looks pretty cool! I’m going to give it a try.

    I’ve used both FreeMind and MindRaider a little. FreeMind is pretty good but I thought MindRaider was very unintuitive and gave up on it. Might be worth another chance though.

  • JavaCat

    what Anonymous said (31 March) is a real security issue.
    Can anybody comment on that?
    How to make it work with current Java?
    Is there support forum. I didn’t find that on MindRaider site

  • JavaCat

    sorry, my mistake I referred to 1st April comment by Anonymous
    “Java supplied is is outdated and insecure…”

  • Jackey

    It looks it’s a freeware I have been looking for so long…… since I was tired with BIG evernote. Let me have a try!

  • saiko

    Looks like a useful program. But the interface looks totally outdated.

  • fr

    Man, how strange !!! This looks like a PersonalBrain+LWA combo, how much RAM do we have to spare ? With Java it should be a bit heavy and somewhat slow, is it ? Did you noticed they quickly jumped from version 0.512 to 7.1 ? Guess I don’t like the 36 Megs installer or the Java requirement…

  • fr

    Man, how strange !!! This looks like a PersonalBrain+LWA combo, how much RAM do we have to spare ? With Java it should be a bit heavy and somewhat slow, is it ? Have you noticed they jumped from version 0.512 to 7.1, how buggy is it ? Guess I also don’t like the 36 Megs installer or the Java requirement…

  • jds

    Has anyone else received AVG virus alarms downloading the Windows version from sourceforge?

  • rodocop

    look at IconRestorer