Linux Format

Construct your own mind-maps

Mind-mapping tools are designed to bring order to chaotic thoughts. They can be used for anything from a simple means of jotting down a few random thoughts to full-blown project management. A mind-map is basically a series of interconnected thoughts represented as ‘nodes’, which can be placed anywhere on-screen and either left unconnected or joined to others in a hierarchy defined using styles and connecting lines, with a single oval-shaped ‘root’ at its centre indicating the mind-map’s subject.

Freeplane does all this, of course, and more – it’s almost infinitely customisable and you can style things manually or use an automatic system to indicate what level in your chosen hierarchy items sit. Nodes can contain all kinds of information, represented by text, icon, image, hyperlink or scientific formula or calculation. You can customise your view on the fly as you see fit, and even assign tasks using deadlines and reminders to get them done.

If all this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry – once installed, opens with its own example mind-map in place to show you what it can do. Let’s crack on and get it set up. The app is written in Java, which means you’ll need to install a Java runtime to

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