With a touch screen, we tend to look for more free flowing applications to help us in our daily tasks. While having a list we can look at is helpful, there’s something about a touch screen that has us looking for a more attractive way to visualize and manage projects, tasks, ideas and even goals. The BlackBerry PlayBook, to me, is the perfect sized tablet for making my To-Dos easy to read and easier on the eyes. Take away a physical keyboard (BlackBerry smartphone or computer keyboard that is) and it almost feels like I’m looking directly at what’s inside my brain (yeesh, I thought my bedroom when I was a kid was messy!). It’s just me and my noggin, trying to hash out ideas, making sense of the process. What a lot of people do is tap into the power of a mind map, whether it’s created on a black or white board, a notepad or a napkin.
Mindmaps allows you to do the same thing, except on your BlackBerry PlayBook and not on a mustard stained napkin. Not only does it help you keep track of the thoughts in your brain, but it also lets you manage the layout, colours and more. What was once a great idea may have to be put on the backburner. Mindmaps can help you move the idea around without having to scribble it out. There other mind mapping BlackBerry PlayBook applications out there, so let’s see how this one handles your crazy ideas.
Mindmaps was developed by the student start-up Endare, the same group who brought us the comic book reader Comics and the ZIP file reading Zipio. Mindmaps is only available for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Its current version is 2.0 and has a file size of 617KB. It is also available for Android OS, but they will end up paying more for the application ($5.99 instead of $3.99).
Rating in BlackBerry App World: 4/5
Mindmaps does support various formats of mind-mapping. If you decide to create one from with the application, it will use its own format. If importing a previously created mind map, only Freemind and Xmind formats are supported. If you choose to export your finished, or in-progress mindmap, you can do so in either (you guessed it) Freemind or Xmind OR as a PDF, JPG or PNG file. Not all coworkers, or even bosses, appreciate embracing technology, so being able to export in so many different formats is definitely an added bonus.
Just as you would expect, Mindmaps makes it extremely easy to start mapping out your next big breakthrough, or how you are going to organize the garage this year. The menu can be found at the top of the screen. It is here where you can choose to create a new map, rename the current one, open a saved map or add/remove bubbles. It’s just a matter of creating and moving bubbles until you get the whole process perfected. Now the application doesn’t just use text to capture what it is you are plotting; you can make use of various colours and shapes, as well. You can decide the colour of not only the body of the bubble, but also the border. How you use them is entirely up to you – they could be used to set priorities, actions or even who they are delegated to.
Mindmaps has a small library of icons to perhaps help visualize the next action for a particular bubble. Maybe you need to call someone, maybe you need to pause the work in order to complete something else. Don’t ask me, it’s your brain after all! The application is highly responsive with little or no lagging to report on. The interface is easy to decipher and manage; who needs to fight with options when you’re plotting out a mental masterpiece?! There’s also no need to worry about your maps disappearing, leaving the screen as blank as the expression on your face. Included are an undo/redo option and an automatic save feature.
I’m a huge fan of creating Mindmaps for projects at work. I’m also a fan of being to whip out my BlackBerry PlayBook any chance I get. Mindmaps lets you do both in style. With so many creative options to choose form, it beats writing on that dirty napkin any day (and saves you from trying to read what you wrote on top of that spot of ketchup). The only drawback I see is the price. Similar applications, like Cogimap, are available at a lower price. But if you are a fan of importing FreeMind or Xmind files, you may want to go with this one. If you’d like to check out Mindmaps, it’s available for $3.99 from BlackBerry App World