Skip to main content

Temporary free license of XMind plus for student and teachers

XMind is one of several mind-mapping applications. They have a temporary offer for a free student or teacher license, but it expires at the end of may. This offer is worth $79 so well worth a look.

XMind is cross-platform (Windows, OSX, Linux) and is partially open source. The main application is free to use, but for some additional features, there are some non-free editions.

While the free version offers a wide variety of diagram tools and sharing on a website, you need the plus or pro version for export to Word, PPT and PDF. There are some more "business" oriented features that are only available in the Pro edition. Check out the comparison here.

I have been an avid mind-mapper user for a while and did use Freemind for quite some time. This is still available as Open Source, written in Java, so it runs on Windows, OSX and Linux.

While I've turned more and more to use Evernote for note taking (as it syncs between laptop at work, iMac at home and my iPhone), it doesn't offer an integrated mind-mapping tool.

For me the strength with using a mind-mapping system is the ease of folding out and in complex topics, to get to the essence. It is very useful when preparing an article or longer text, as you can play around with the outline of your document before commiting to a particular structure or order.

The strength of mind-mapping for note taking can only be reached, however, when you master the keyboard shortcuts. Adding leaves and navigating around the tree need to be done almost blindly, without needed the mouse for most operations.


Popular posts from this blog

Improve usage of BIM during early design phases

When I was collecting ideas for a book chapter on BIM (that seemed to never have emerged after that), I collected 10 ideas, which I believe still reflect good recommendations to improve the usage of BIM during the early design phases. These ideas are related to BIM software, but you can apply them in any flavor, as long as you can model with Building Elements, Spaces and have control over representation. Introduction This article gives an overview of several recommendations and tips, to better apply BIM applications and BIM methodologies, in the context of the early design phases. Many of these tips are applicable in any BIM application and they are based on experience gathered from teaching, researching and using BIM software. Sometimes they could help software developers to improve the workflow of their particular BIM implementation. Tip 1 : Gradually increase the amount of information In the early design phases, the architect makes assumptions and lays out the main design in

Getting BIM data into Unity (Part 9 - using IfcConvert)

This is part 9 of a series of posts about getting BIM data into Unity. In this post, we’ll discuss the IfcConvert utility from the IfcOpenShell Open Source IFC Library to preprocess an IFC model for integration with Unity. This is (finally?) again a coding post, with some scripts which are shared to build upon. Conversion of IFC into Unity-friendly formats The strategy with this approach is that you preprocess the IFC-file into more manageable formats for Unity integration. Most Web-platforms do some sort of pre-processing anyway, so what you see in your browsers is almost never an IFC-file, but an optimised Mesh-based geometric representation. However, it wouldn’t be BIM-related if we’d limit ourselves to the geometry, so we will parse the model information as well, albeit using another, pre-processed file. IFC to Wavefront OBJ I used a test IFC-model and used the IfcConvert-utility converted it into OBJ en XML formats. The default way to use it is very simple:

Getting BIM data into Unity (Part 8 - Strategies to tackle IFC)

This is part 8 of a series of posts about getting BIM data into Unity. In this post, we’ll discuss IFC as a transfer format towards Unity. As with the previous post, this is not a coding post, although hints and examples are provided. Open BIM and IFC Everybody who ever met me or heard me present on a conference or BIM-lecture will not be surprised to hear that I’m a strong believer in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), an open standard, with already two versions published as an ISO standard, being IFC2x2 and IFC4 (but surprisingly not IFC2x3 which is widely used). In the ideal world, this would be the format to use to transfer BIM data into another environment, such as Unity. So what are our options? Looking in the Unity Asset Store Assimp is a library which supports multiple formats, including IFC.   I did a few attempts, but alas without any success. It is possib