[techtalk] Tech-Talk: SOFTWARE - "New" Mind Mapping Tool

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Wed Apr 10 11:44:19 PDT 2019

Greetings and welcome to this week’s edition of Tech-Talk!
XMind.net makes mind mapping easy


 Want to share Tech-Talk? Ask first. Contact info at Tech-Talk.com<mailto:info at tech-talk.com> © 2019 Shared Results International

 This Week's Topic: SOFTWARE
1. VIDEO ... "New" Mind Mapping Tool
2. ARTICLE ... "New" Mind Mapping Tool
3. COMMUNICATING ... One at a time


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SOFTWARE - "New" Mind Mapping Tool

OK, yes this "new" mind mapping tool has just celebrated its ten-year anniversary, but, it's new to us ... and Tech-Talk! Over the past years we've tried any number of free mind mapping sites to share with you, but have been left with some frustration.

It all started when we were trying to organize all the different ideas we have for helping organizations like yours get people "Hooked on Tech-Talk". How do we entice people to pop into the Tech-Talk Database to discover how it can help them in everyday work situations?

We had so many ideas on the table we needed to figure out how to get them organized for the website ... and how to communicate all the choices that are available.

Hooray! A colleague suggested XMind. We tried it and fell in love!


As you know, mind mapping is a technique to translate what's in your mind into a visual picture.

You start with a main thought or topic and keep branching out. The cool thing is that you can drag the items to other parts of the structure so you are free to just toss ideas up, sorting the pieces out later. That's what makes it a powerful way to capture brainstorming thoughts in a group.

[mind map examples]

Different Ways to Use Mind Maps

Yes, you can use a mind map for all types of things: being creative, executing plans and organizing your thoughts. Think about these ideas:

·     Collaborating With Others -- You can collect ideas from everyone in a group in a creative and inclusive way ... quickly. Just toss them up for all to see.

·     Organizing Your Thoughts -- As we did with all the options for getting people "Hooked on Tech-Talk". There were so many things to do, we needed to group them together to make sense of them.

·     Brainstorming / Problem-Solving -- No matter if you're working alone or with a group of people, mind maps allow you to toss up ideas, without censoring them, to see if they stick. Move them around; put them in groups.

·     Project Planning -- Once you have your ideas in a mind map, you can break them down into project tasks. You can add milestones and due dates for each person.

·     Presenting Information -- Wow your audience and get them to appreciate the big picture and the pieces involved, by adding a mind map to your presentation. It simplifies complex ideas and displays the hierarchy in a visual and exciting manner.

Mind Mapping Software: XMind.net


There are many different types of mind mapping tools available, so we were excited to discover XMind.net<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001fe0-nBApopDP4erDGPNd8SonBlyJov_tVc3ROWbmZRcLhZfCJxlv6vNF0m3-D25pCOGUrgs9OG0AJ12rRbRLB828lLdkt9BaH2Rov3LPVHvw6wWf0IebGErD7wFnxTp5S3HLQMucVsQ=&c=iMNI67j6YUrQ242MYEU5d9gIRCiL8c1yLXJfleIweQDOmazJyQpFUg==&ch=SSCmKQreBH9PvcORj5Y5MGS23BODBB5fe6XAiOzyU9-fbtAxUonQhQ==>. Why? Because it is so easy to use and it has good, free versions.

This software has the feeling of a web-based tool (even though it is actually a software program residing on your computer) because you can so easily share it on social media and with hyperlinks.

XMind Versions

Don't get confused! There are three different versions of the XMind software.

[Xmind for mobile]

·     XMind ZEN - the updated platform built to be a bit cleaner and more simple.

·     XMind 8 - the original, classic version. (Not as mobile responsive.)

·     XMind Mobile - available for Apple and Android devices.

How to Use the XMind.net ... ZEN Version

Let's focus on the updated, ZEN version.

Remember, this is software that you download to your computer, not a web-based tool. However, it does have an online component, so it does allow for sharing with others.

·     Go to https://www.xmind.net<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001fe0-nBApopDP4erDGPNd8SonBlyJov_tVc3ROWbmZRcLhZfCJxlv6vNF0m3-D25pCOGUrgs9OG0AJ12rRbRLB828lLdkt9BaH2Rov3LPVHvw6wWf0IebGErD7wFnxTp5S3HLQMucVsQ=&c=iMNI67j6YUrQ242MYEU5d9gIRCiL8c1yLXJfleIweQDOmazJyQpFUg==&ch=SSCmKQreBH9PvcORj5Y5MGS23BODBB5fe6XAiOzyU9-fbtAxUonQhQ==> and click the Free Download button for XMind ZEN. This will activate the download immediately. There's no cost ever for this version in the trial mode.

·     As with other software, click on the executable file to start the installation and follow the prompts to install. Yes, you still create a username and password for an online account.

Create a New Mind Map

·     When you first open the software, it prompts you to create a mind map by going to New (to select a basic template) or to Library (to select a ready-made one to help get you started).

·     Or, if you have the software open already, you can begin by going to File and selecting New or New from Library.

[create a map]

Start With Your Main Topic and Branch Out with Ideas

There are two main keystrokes that will help you build your map quickly.

·     Enter -- Press the Enter key to add a new Main topic level

·     Tab -- Press the Tab key to add a Subtopic to the level that is highlighted.

You can build a simple, but effective mind map just by pressing "enter" and "tab"!

[set up your map]

From the Insert menu you can add:

·     Floating topics -- items you don't want linked to the main levels
·     Relationship lines -- additional ways to connect topics together
·     Notes -- add a bit of text to expand the idea of a Topic or Subtopic
·     Hyperlink -- to link to a web page
·     Attachment -- to connect to supportive documents

[add ins]

Also found in the Insert menu (or in the top right navigation of the screen) select the Icon element to add:

·     Marker -- a priority number, task distinction, person icon or symbol

·     Sticker -- to add image components

Saving And Sharing Your Map

You save your mind map file (as name.xmind) just as you would any other document. You can put it on your desktop or in the cloud. If you want to edit it on another computer, you can if that PC has this free software program on it.


Export and Share

The free version offers a few basic ways to export or share your map with others. From either the "Share" icon at the top of the application, or from File, Export to -- there are download and sharing options:

·     PNG (image file)
·     PDF
·     Social Networks like Facebook or Twitter
·     Create a Public or Private link

In paid versions, there are other sharing options including importing into Word or Excel documents.


Communication: Email
One message at a time

Oh, yes, it's tempting! You have several items you want to tell one person. You're jotting off an email to them. You are sooo tempted to put them all in one note.

It's easier right? Bundle them all in one?

Yes, easier for you ... but in those cases where you want responses to each item, it's better, in the long run, to send a separate email for each thought or request.


I was introducing Tech-Talk to someone who had recently taken over the position of providing the newsletter and database to their staff. After our online meeting, I was to follow up on a few items.

·     Documentation of the organization's login info
·     Annual survey opportunity for reader satisfaction
·     The GO Tech-Talk call for subscribers

Yes, I could easily put them all in one note. Great for me (at first). But I knew that it would be easier for her if she could respond to one item at a time because they each required a different follow-through process.

Have The Tech-Talk Mobile App?

Two reasons you want this app!


1. Solve problems ... immediately, on-the-spot. Example: You're working in a spreadsheet and need to lock certain cells so that formulas can't be accidentally deleted. Find the answer in Tech-Talk!

2. Convert "waiting" time into discovery learning. Example: You're sitting in a dentist's office, in the reception area, and you're tapping your foot. Turn to Tech-Talk and start browsing the Search Categories. You'll discover all kinds of handy techniques in just a few minutes.

Get the App here: Use the camera on your phone and take a picture of the appropriate QR code.


(iPhones, iPads)


(smartphones, tablets)


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