xmindby ehermosura updated August 25, 2012
Open Source mind mapping

Software Details

With XMind, you can just double-click to create and edit topics anywhere on the map. Drag-and-drop for reorganizing topics, moving markers, taking a mapshot, and adding attachments. You can even search on topic with Google and drag images into your map without leaving the working window.


XMind Review
Average: 4 (1 vote)

XMind is a powerful mapping tool that offers multiple templates for creating different types of charts. While this is an open source program, which is offered free of cost, there are additional professional features that a user can pay to add. I use mind maps in my professional work and have used them as a student. I find the visual representation often helps me organize my ideas and adds an extra edge to my documents and assignments. I would recommend this program for use by high school students-adults who need to create charts for educational or professional use.

The program is very easy to install and can be done by going to the program’s website. I downloaded the program on a PC and found it downloaded and opened without any problems. Once I opened the program, I didn’t find the menu options as intuitive as I found in other web-based proprietary competitors. However, after watching a quick You Tube tutorial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=292MFPJXiV4) I felt ready to get started. I created a simple chart and played with many of the customization features. I find the program works well for both those who just need a quick brainstorming session and for someone who is interested in fully customizing a chart to get the perfect look. I appreciated the templates that were offered when setting up a new chart because they helped me visualize the possibilities for sharing information. I also liked the feature that allows you to add images to your chart topics and sub-topics.

When setting up a subtopic, I didn’t like the position it was defaulted to. I tried to drag the subtopic to a new spot and the program didn’t allow me to do so. It appeared that once a subtopic is put in a certain spot, it cannot be moved unless you change the chart type. I like the flexibility provided by being able to drag and drop things where I like them to display. I also didn’t like that the professional features were not clearly displayed. You have to click through the options before you are notified that what you are clicking on is only offered in the professional version.

Overall, I gave the program 4 out of 5 stars. I thought it was fairly easy to figure out after watching some tutorials. It has the ability to serve my basic mapping needs at no cost and without the types of restrictions you see in proprietary programs. My recommendations for strengthening the program would be to clearly label professional features and add the ability to drag and drop items anywhere on the map.

Xmind Review
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Xmind is a mind-mapping program that offers both a open source and paid pro version of the software.  I can see this being used with students as young as first grade all the way up until adult learners.  I also like that this package comes with 11 languages and it chooses the optimal language to fit your operating system automatically.  Xminds allows you to create your own mind-map or use one of their various templates or themes. I installed the software on a Mac and had no difficulty downloaded or installing it.

I gave it 4 stars because it is a great alternative to other paid, mind-mapping software out there. I found the interface easy to navigate and it didnt' take long to figure out how to create a main topic with subtopics. The menu is found on top of your mind map with different symbols to represent different commands--similar to a MS Word toolbar. If you were unsure about an icon you could put your mouse over it and a short description would pop out.

Specifically, at the elementary level, I can see this being used to help students brainstorm a writing topic before getting started. A feature that I liked on Xminds is the ability to add little labels (more like stamps) to each cell. The labels included days of the week and even numbers. A student could use the numbers label to choose their subtopics for their paper, if they had a lot of branches on their mind-map.

One downside that the previous reviewer touched on also, is that even though all features on the menu are clickable, not all of them are offered in the free, open source version. Xminds also has three other tiers of paid versions and when you click on a menu option a popup will let you know that feature is a paid feature and then ask you to upgrade. Needless to say, any sort of pop up is a bit tiresome so I wish they would just gray out features that were not available instead.

Overall, great software and very easy to use/figure out. Will definitely be utilizing this in our school's computer lab!