Mind mapping software for Linux and Android

I needed to organize my thoughts on some subjects.

Unfortunately, a paper and pencil could not take me very far in getting them organized due to the complexity of the subjects.

I managed to solve the conundrum using Mind Mapping software. Funny, I never realised this existed for several years now on Linux and did not even know how it could be applied or used.

My experience with the Linux based solutions like:
1. Freeplane
2. Freemind
3. XMind

has been positive and I chose to stick to Freeplane. 2 reasons, (a) the ability to save as .mm files that can be read by FreeMind; and (b) ease of use. Nothing could be easier! You can also open the file format on an Android device.

FreeMind is the oldest, but of late, updates and releases are almost a year apart. There are apps on Android that can read FreeMind files. So, all is not lost.

Although you can use the free version of XMind with the limitations it comes with, get the full version paying a fee for it. However, no version as yet for Android exists.

On the other side of the coin, is mind mapping apps on Android devices. I tried the following and was quite surprised by their capabilities:
1. Simple Mind Map (Free)
2. SchematicMind Free
3. ZMind

Simple Mind Map was not able to open .mm files created by FreeMind, but it promised to Import if the full version app was bought. However, it has limitations importing FreeMind files completely. No luck as there is no Export option to FreeMind format.

SchematicMind Free was slightly more capable, but again limitations as it was the free version. I created a complex mind map within no time as it was very easy to use. Looks very good too. The paid version offered more features, but no ability to export or import FreeMind files.

Lastly, I tried ZMind. This is old and not been updated a long while on the Google Play Store. I chose only to try this one due to it’s ability to save and read FreeMind files. I was not able to drag shapes, position anywhere, and the features make me think it will serve a good use for only reading FreeMind files. Not a good choice to view complex FreeMind map files.

To conclude, the best choice is a big screen laptop or desktop. On an Android, you can create complicated mind maps, but you need the patience to scroll and view them. Here FreeMind Viewer (Free) version was quite handy with some distortions, but it worked very well. Final verdict, use Freeplane and FreeMind Viewer if you need compatibility, and if only on an Android device, just use Schematic Mind Map or Simple Mind Map.

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November 2017
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