Friday, October 17, 2008

Useful GM tool?

I've mentioned mindmapping and brainwriting as techniques for GMs before. Apparently, you can currently get the ~$200 ConceptDraw v5 mindmapping software for free (they are currently on v6). I will probably download this tonight and check it out.

I've yet to find one of these things that is configurable to a degree that it will work well for me. Maybe this one will be it.


jamused said...

Free is nice, but I'd be worried about the free version of the product getting orphaned and facing the eventual choice of having to pay for an upgrade or losing my work. If I investigated it, I'd pay very close attention to how easy it is to export the data and how usable the export is without the software.

szilard said...

Definitely a consideration.

szilard said...

It looks like exporting the data into usable formats won't be too hard:

Integration with Project Management tools
Export/import facilities enable you to export task list to Microsoft Project XML, file format compatible with almost any project management tool available. Also, you can import Microsoft Project XML files.

Web ready maps
Export to HTML lets share your document with large amount of people using Internet.

Export to PDFUsing PDF you create compact and platform-independent documents that can be freely viewed on any computer.

OPML support
OPML is the common data exchange format between number of outlining and mind mapping applications. Use it to exchange data with users of other software packages.

Graphics format support
You can export your maps into number of popular image file formats: BMP, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG.

Integration with iCal
Use this feature for transferring information about tasks and events that is contained in a map into iCal.

Microsoft PowerPoint: export to Microsoft PowerPoint lets you easily create animated presentations for the colleagues based on your maps.

Microsoft Project: use MS Project XML export feature create project documentation based on project plans created in ConceptDraw MINDMAP. You can also import your projects and view them as a mind maps.

Microsoft Word: create concepts and project plans using export of the map outline to the MS Word rtf file.

Microsoft Outlook: MS Outlook task list export/import helps you to manage your schedule and to be better organized.

Cross-Platform Capability
ConceptDraw MINDMAP supports both Macintosh and Windows platforms. It solves a problem of information exchange between two platforms, by allowing user easily to transfer files between a PC and Macintosh.

Questing GM said...

I can't differentiate the difference between the normal version and the full version.

szilard said...

I think the only difference is that the normal version is only a 30-day trial.

I've downloaded this, and I'm pretty impressed. It is easy to use and has a lot of functionality - linking files, images, URLs, text notes, etc. to a node is easy. It also has task-management features, which could be useful.

szilard said...

FYI, Angela downloaded the Mac version of this. She likes it more than Freemind, but it has a slightly less intuitive interface and is a bit more buggy than the Win version.