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P.S.I. Mindmapping Special – The Investigation Schedule!

PsimindmapspecialAs promised here are the basic details for my proposed (and now active) P.S.I. mindmapping software road test.

Firstly I’ve decided to settle on a total of eight  mindmapping software packages for the investigation. Ideally I would have loved to have explored each and every mindmapping software package out there but that’s an impossible target for a ‘one man band’ like me to achieve so I’ve settled on this amount. The criteria for the selection of the final eight came down to a combination of things - my personal reverence for an application (although I will remain impartial during review), recommendations from visitors and/or the application possessing a particularly unique quirkiness that invited further exploration. So after much deliberation the seven mindmapping packages I will be focussing on during this investigation will be:

  1. ConceptDraw MindMap (26/02/07 – 11/03/07)
  2. 3D TopicScape (12/03/07 – 25/03/07)
  3. Buzan's iMindMap (26/03/07 – 08/04/07)
  4. Matchware Openmind 2 (09/04/07 - 22/04/07)
  5. NovaMind (23/04/07 – 06/05/07)
  6. HeadCase (07/05/07 – 20/05/07)
  7. Inspiration (21/05/07 – 03/06/07)
  8. Mindjet's MindManager (04/06/07 – 17/06/07)

Ok so even the non-observant among you will have noticed a date (in silly UK format) next to each software title. These are the ‘road-test’ dates I’ve randomly designated for the exploration of each title. You may also have noticed that each road-test period lasts for a period of 2 weeks. I’ve decided to dedicate this much time in order to give myself a sufficient enough period in which to conduct a full and thorough investigation of each package and during this time I will be exclusively using that package for ALL of my mindmapping requirements. It is of course highly likely that I may detest one or more of these packages from the outset. However I am committed to persevering for the whole two week period because often I have found myself growing to like a program the more I get into it.

On completion of each 2 weekly ‘road test’ I will compile and post a full review of the mindmapping application adhering to my P.S.I. review framework to ensure consistency. I will also fully take into consideration the unique idiosyncratic requirements of mindmapping and whether the software accommodates them (all will become clear during the first review). Note that each mindmapping software title will be judged solely on its own merit during the individual reviews. So comparisons will be made to any other mindmapping application. It will not be until all of the 8 titles have received their individual reviews that I will conduct a final comparative review to discover which of the packages best meets my requirements and become the primary mindmapping element of my paperless toolbox.

So it’s game on! I’ve got to admit spending almost the next four months on this project is somewhat daunting but I’m really excited about it. I think it’ll be a real journey of discovery for me and hopefully such a focussed investigation will be of benefit to some of you guys out there too. As ever your thoughts and comments are most welcome


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Hi Rob,
I just recently discovered your blog when I was looking to buy a mind mapping package when lo and behold, your doing a comprehensive review of 8 out there!

So I just wanted to say thanks and looking forward to reading the reviews when finished and posted.


Hi Peter,
I'm glad to hear that this 'road test' will be of use to you. However don't hold your breath for too long. Although I will be posting a review of each individual tested package around every two weeks (the first one is already overdue :o)) I won't be completely done until mid June. That said it may be that one of the reviews I post is so mindblowingly postive in favour of a package that you rush out and buy it :o)

lol!!! yes, who knows? i'll wait and see then!

cheers :)

Have you considered "RECALL PLUS" mind mapping software that was developed by an E.R. doc to study for his board exam, or "FREEMIND"?
"FREEMIND" is freeware. I would appreciate your input on these 2.

Hi Phillip,
Thank you for taking the time to comment. Apologies for the delay in replying.

I love RecallPlus and I use it religiously leading up to exam time as I find the application's test feature to be incredibly useful. I'm well aware that RecallPlus has mindmapping capabilities but I think RecallPlus is more than just a mindmapper and deserves to be on its own pedestal.

However If I'm being perfectly honest I've never really been comfortable performing mindmapping tasks in RecallPlus. I just don't seem to connect with the 'raw' process of mindmapping as I do in other apps such as MindManager, MindMap etc. Yes I build mindmaps in RecallPlus but they are usually direct copies of mindmaps I've created in other applications and I'm pretty much only replicating them in RecallPlus to make use of that awesome testing facility.

I will however attempt, over the summer, to fully explore the capabilities of RecallPlus. I'm especially intrigued by the new 3D features incorporated into V.4 as I can see potential for replicating a form of the 'journey' memory technique which excites me loads.

As for Freemind I did quickly look at the website for it during my research phase for the mindmapper roadtest but felt, for me, that it added nothing quirky or unique (aside from the fact it's free) and as I had to limit how many I added to the list I dropped it. Maybe in retrospect I shouldn't have because the fact it's free makes it worth exploring. I'm leaving my list 'as is' at the moment because let's face it I'm struggling to get through what I have :o) but in the less hectic summer months I'll maybe see about appending Freemind to the road test (as I will with any others I come across)

Thanks again for your input Philip and sorry if my response is a little too wordy :o)

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