The program is easy to install and lets you organise ideas and plans visually. It also has useful tools such as output to Microsoft Office and a PDF export option
Mind mapping software can be a great help for organising complicated pieces of work in a visual way, especially if there are relationships between different topics that don't work well in basic lists. Mind Maple impressed us as being more attractive than the open source Freemind but without the hefty price tag of Mindjet's Mind Manager.
Installation is simple. This is the Lite version of Mind Maple that is free to use. Mind Maple Pro has some extra tools if you are willing to pay the cost, more on that later.
First impressions are very good. The interface is clean and follows the new Ribbon design. A demonstration map is displayed when Mind Maple starts for the first time that gives a good idea of the different ways of organising maps.
Adding information to a map is easy and can be done without having to resort to using the mouse. This helps avoid breaking your flow and is essential if you are taking notes with Mind Maple.
The Insert keys adds a new level of topic and the Enter key will add a new entry at the same level. The cursor keys can be used to move around the map.
There are tools to help keep the design of your maps in order with settings for the direction of new topics, numbering, alignment, sorting and a balance map tool. The latter is useful for making the most of available space when printing as mind maps can take up a lot of space.
The printing dialogue includes a page preview and all the options that are familiar from Microsoft Office.
The ability to export maps into other formats is an essential tool, at some point maps normally need to be converted into a piece of prose or shared with someone who might not find mind maps easy to use. There is a good range of export options including Microsoft Word, plain text, HTML, Excel and Powerpoint. The Microsoft Office export will only work if those programs are installed on your computer so users of Libre Office or other alternatives will have to stick with the HTML or plain text.
The HTML export will include relationships between topics as links within the document.