DropMind Web Review – Part 1
Online mindmapping offers several advantages when sharing knowledge and information. It furthermore saves time and is perfectly applicable when brainstorming, conducting meetings and ‘project start-ups’. It requires a little extra effort from both the leader and the attendees of the meeting. More about that later in this post.
Nowadays several cloud apps are available. Seavus DropMind have had a web version of their desktop version of DropMind from quite some time now. The version we tested is 2.7 web and was made available in June 2011. The integration with Google Apps, the iPad and desktop version of DropMind as well as it’s online collaboration functions make this a SaaS solution. Stay tuned for part 2 next week!
Location-independent working with Dropmind
Seavus DropMind Web which saw it’s first release in 2009 is a mindmapping solution for visual thinking and facilitating online activities. Online mindmapping can help boost the productivity of both internal and external teams significantly. This can result in everybody having a better understanding of the situation and saving large amounts of time. Simultaneously mindmapping online together is used for several applications i.e. developing plans, starting projects, conduction meetings, quicker problem solving and creating team dashboards. It can be applied in two ways. A: you can arrange a fixed time where everybody, perhaps in different offices, works in the mindmap at the same time. This is also called location independent working. In the first case you boost the contact moments between the team members. In case two you also boost the teams general understanding of the situation.
Online mindmapping? Why use it?
Mindmapping is a thinking writing and memory technique that is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas. It can improve your problem solving ability, your creativity and memory. By remembering information as mindmaps both the analytical (left) and hollistic (right) sides of your brain are used. Both are important to get a good overview of a project, strategy and actions. Online mindmapping best helps in the fields of knowledge management, brainstorming, project start ups and meetings. It is an intuitive way of storing knowledge, expanding it, sharing it and making it applicable.
DropMind Web looks very much like it’s desktop counterpart
Is there still a need for a desktop version?
Seavus DropMind is a relatively new mindmapping solution. The developer offers this Software as a Service with a lot of functionality for a moderate price. Compared to the other services available it’s quite inexpensive. Seavus markets DropMind as being identical to Mindjet’s MindManager but 5 times as cheap for personal use and up to 10 times as cheap for professional use. They have quite an aggressive marketing campaign to promote this.
For users who use mindmapping on a professional level in processes as project management, knowledge management, management information MindManager may be better because of the large amount of third party developed add-ins that add added value. Check www.mindmanageraddins.com for instance. Besides DropMind Web there is the previously mentioned desktop version which runs on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux (Ubuntu) as well as an iPad version. DropMind runs on Microsoft Siverlight. The Developers chose Silverlight for it’s ability to display complex graphic intefaces. This results in the webversion looking very much like it’s desktop counterparts. Some organization may not be able to install Silverlight rendering DropMind Web unsuitable.
Just like other mindmapping-tools the return button is employed to add branches at the same level and the insert button to add them on a deeper level. When using DropMind Web several things came to our attention. When adding several branches some can accidentally overlap each other creating some sort of a mess. This is quite interrupting when you are trying to structure your thoughts. Luckily there is a ‘balance topics’ function which solves the aforementioned problem and sorts the topics.