Blumind is a mind mapping application that anyone could fall in love with. For those unfamiliar with this type of software, the idea is to have a structured environment upon which you can toss all of your random thoughts on a subject then make sense of them later. What attracts me to Blumind is the hit-the-ground-running design and intuitive architecture.
As a busy professional, I don’t have the time or patience to wade through overly complicated setup routines, vision blurring instructions or a labyrinth of menus and toolbars. This is especially true of mind mapping software. If your brain is standing at the bathroom door with its legs crossed trying to hold in a plethora of ideas, you want access to the facilities ASAP.
[Note: this post was written by Freewaregenius contributor Will Lewis]
Blumind was a breeze to install. When I fired it up I was presented with the obvious first step in the center of the screen. Within 60 seconds I had half of my project’s main points of interest right there in front of me, with graceful lines showing the interrelationships. If there are several levels of subtopics, there is an unobtrusive little minus sign that you can click on and hide every subtopic below it. Icons, progress bars and notes can be added to each branch or item to help you keep a handle on those extra details or alerts that don’t seem to fit anywhere else.
A quick glance at the top toolbar showed me how to search, add notes, scroll around, add branches, etc. The icons were obvious as to their function and didn’t require me to hover over each one to get the idea. The developers also built in a reasonable selection of themes to choose from. To the right is a tree style representation of the WYSIWYG layout you already built.
Though Blumind has mastered the KISS philosophy, you can still get fancy. Each branch can be customized with its own shape, font, color scheme and notes. Different chart styles are available, such as an Organization Chart, Tree Chart and Logic Chart. Plus, within those choices you can select left, right, up or down orientation.
Blumind doesn’t try to be everything to everyone. Where many software titles want to be bursting with fruit flavor, this program does one thing and does it well, and all within a respectable 28 Mb footprint. The help topics are built into a mind map, as well. So, you can see a sample layout at the same time you are reviewing the help info you need.
Microsoft .Net 2.0 is required if you use Windows XP or earlier versions. A Mac version is not yet available.
I found nothing I could complain about with this tool. As I continue to expand my project and use the resources available, we’ll see if this great first impression holds up in the long haul.