Useful Open Source Software: FreeMind

| software | foss |

update 6/11/2024: this is a post from a blog that I contributed to in 2011 called TechHacking, it shut down eventually but I was happy to be able to find some of my work through the internet archive.

Freemind is a free mind mapping program which has some amazing functionality and a variety of uses. A mind map is nothing more than what people have done for years with a pencil and pad of paper – Brain Storm. You start with a main idea, then you expand it with branches of related concepts, then you expand those concepts with specific details. Before you know it, you have just cured cancer, invented the first car that runs on water, or successfully taken over the world.

screenshot of freemind in action

The best part about Freemind, is that unlike a pad and paper you are able to insert images, objects, links, files, and pretty much anything that you desire into your mind map which allows you to have one place to organize all of your thoughts. Mind maps are an alternative way to study, take notes, organize your ideas, make decisions, and solve problems. I have been using it for about a year in school. Personally, I am in love with it. I used to take vigorous notes in classic format. But I found myself getting lost, confused, and unable to really feel a sense of organization in my notes. Freemind allows you to have all of your information on a single page. You can expand and reduce the categories as you see fit to first learn major concepts, and then specific details.

FreeMind has a slight learning curve, but it is not too difficult. It’s more sophisticated than just making lists and drawing arrows, and once you get the hang of it – you will be mapping all of your thoughts in no time. The possibilities for uses of Freemind are endless, some have even called it their “second brain.” This program is currently available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you are searching for a way to organize your thoughts in one place, try a new approach on note taking, or develop a new idea, then your search should end here. I am currently using FreeMind to plan out the rest of my life. Download it today!

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