Tutorial: Transform your mindmap to video using iMindMap


Have you ever wanted to show your iMindMap presentations on video? With iMindMap 6 you can easily export your mindmaps and make impressive animations!

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You have made a solid mindmap using iMindMap and you wish to share it with the rest of world? Now, all is possible with iMindMap version 6 –  the software from Tony Buzan and Chris Griffiths.

 You can download the iMindMap mindmap from the Biggerplate website. Double click the image for maximum enlargement.

mindmap about video and online games made with iMindMap
Why Games Matter : an iMindMap map !

You can adjust your presentation and then export it as a video. Like me, you can also choose to post your video directly from Youtube.

 A video of your mindmap on Youtube

Here’re the steps.

First, realize your mindmap as usual.

Then, create a presentation by clicking on the “View” menu as shown below:

How to go to the presentation view
Click on the Presentation View

Set your presentation: self-presentation, order of branches, etc..

Then, when your settings are complete, click the “Export video” button as shown below:

Exporting your presentation as an Youtube video
Click the Export Video button

If this is your first attempt to export a video, the software will ask you your login and password (it’s usually the Gmail account that manages your Youtube channel).

Then pops up a dialog box that gives you the opportunity to make your video settings: resolution – I opted for 720 pp, which takes a little more time but gives better results – time pause for each branch, etc..

Export your video to Youtube using the dialog window !
The Export Video dialog window

After that, pops up another dialog box where you enter the title of your video, a short description and keywords that allow Google to find your masterpiece. Bare in mind that YouTube, is not only owned by Google, but also the second largest European search engine, before Bing or Yahoo, for example!

another dialog window to complete your Youtube video description
Put your title, description & keywords in

After completion, simply click the “Upload” button and iMindMap will start exporting your video and transfers it to your personal YouTube channel.

Uploading your presentation to Youtube !
iMindMap is uploading your video

Finally, you will receive the long-awaited message stating that your mindmap has been converted into a video and is uploaded on Youtube!

Your presentation is now an Youtube video !
Your video is uploaded !

You just have to go to your Youtube channel and check if everything works accordingly.

In reality, iMindMap has done most of the work for you! Your video already has a title, description and keywords. You can always change it if you are not satisfied with the result!

Of course, like any Youtube video, it can be shared, integrated into a site, etc.. This is what I did with my mindmap video titled Why Games Matter. The music was added later on the Youtube channel.

Enjoy!

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Wine mapping : taste your wine with a mindmap !


In one of his blog posts, a French winegrower Hervé Bizeul proposes a unique way to taste your favourite wine : Wine Mapping !

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A French winegrower Hervé Bizeul wrote on his blog Clos des Fées – which is also the name of his vineyard – proposing a new way to taste wine : Wine Mapping !  Instead of jotting down a linear appreciation of your wine, just draw a nice mindmap !

But Bizeul also stresses the point that most mind mapping software lacks the graphic capability to interpret such an endeavour.

So, I tried to capture the memories of one of my very old wine tasting experience into this iMindMap mindmap that you can also dowload for free on Biggerplate !

iMindMap mindmap about wine mapping
My first wine mapping experience

I tried to make the memories and impressions of Lalande de Pomerol 1982 that I drunk in the mid-1990s.

A non-linear description of tasting

I drew this mindmap without any notes, thanks to the olfactory memory, which is a prodigiously long memory. What awakens the memories in Marcel Proust is not the taste of the madeleine, but its flavours which are far more numerous and richer.

After all these years, the impressions of heat, intense nature, both wild and tender, and the aromas of pine barrens are still fresh in my mind and still trigger some daydream.

I also described the place – a Chinese restaurant – and the of wine beautifully matches the dishes mixed with spicy, sweet and sour tastes. The owner of this restaurant was voted as the best sommelier (wine steward) of Belgium.

Finally, I described the final stage without using any images, only adopting the length of a branch and using bold text option to indicate another long finish and the supremacy and influence of each word…

What about you? What do you think? Would you also try the “non-linear tasting”?

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Project management : visualize your timeline with XMind fishbone


How to visualize the different stages of your project?  How to draw a clear and efficient timeline? Answer: with XMind ! And by using a very peculiar structure : the fishbone, also known as “Ishikawa”, from the inventor’s name.

Lisez cet article en français !

Here I’m using a method in three steps :

  1. Brainstorming : to gather the content of the project
  2. Asking questions about all the dimensions of the project : When, Why, Who, How, Where, What, How Much ?
  3. Visualizing the project steps with a timeline

In this article, I will emphasize more on the 3rd step.

I already used a timeline to help startups creators to visualize their project on the long run.  I also used a iMindMap mindmap to explain the principle of such a tool.

An iMindmap mind map illustrating the principles of a project management timeline
Timeline principles with iMindMap !

Last week, I had the opportunity to lead a workshop regarding “project management with visual thinking” in Belgium and I applied that three steps technique and, of course, a timeline during the session.

A timeline with XMind fishbone

XMind offers the fishbone or Ishikawa structure as their default timeline. Unfortunately, the default timeline provided by XMind start menu is on a yearly base which is divided into quarters. Regrettably, it is unsuitable and doesn’t synchronize with our needs.

Hence, we’ll create our own timeline by starting with the “blank map” and choosing the “Fishbone structure”.

To do so, open the Properties Menu in XMind.  Click on the Structure command and select “Fishbone (Left Headed)” as shown below:

XMind Fishbone Left Headed Structure in the Properties Menu
Select the Fishbone structure

At this point, the mind mapping software gives us a Central Topic in the shape of a fishhead, directed to the left side of our screen.

What is the first move? Should we start with the dates? Or perhaps should we key in the main stages of the project and later add in the dates?

Planning your project stage by stage

Finally, we selected the second option. Why? Because if we illustrate a past project, we can surely key in any sort of date as the data given have already come to pass. But for a project which is still in progress or has not yet begun: many unexpected things can still happen along the way and could change its course from its original  path!

 Here is our final version of this Project Management Timeline, built upon the Fishbone structure.  (Double-click on the picture to maximize it – you can also download that timeline for free on my Biggerplate page !)

Project Management Timeline : visualize your project growth step by step
XMind Fishbone Timeline

Mark the length of an activity with a relationship

Note the use of the relationship to express the length of action. In fact, all the steps do not necessarily follow a strict chronology.

For example, the advertising stage began at the start of the project, but continues up to the candidate selection stage. We expressed this relationship using a red dotted line underlining the subject “Advertising” and linked it to “Selection” . The best convenient way to visualize the entire process.

To avoid any overlapping or interfering the subjects written on other branches, we chose the ” Zigzag” option to the relationship line. This technique follows the rise of the central branch to the topic “Selection” without compromising the readability of the timeline as a whole.

Clarify project milestones with markers

Note also the use of markers – these small images delivered with the software – and of a Legend (situated on the lower left side of the mindmap and which explains the meaning of each marker). We used the small blue and green characters to symbolize the candidates for training. We used the bomb to illustrate a risk: emphasizing the deficiency number of candidates to start training !

We finally used the exclamation point to show that this step was conditional : we will make a new mailing with the Unemployment Agency if we do not have enough candidates. If we fill in, this step will not take place .

The Legend explains the function of these self-explanatory symbols more clearly. To display markers in the Legend, apply the following procedure : first, click on the background of the mindmap to avoid selecting any subject. Click the “Properties” menu, check the little box next to ” Show legend ” . A Legend is displayed at the end of your mouse pointer . You can place the Legend wherever you want on your mindmap. In this case, mine is situated on the lower left side of the mindmap. The Legend is updated automatically as and when you add or remove markers.

To change the text next to the marker in the Legend , just double click it and the text field appears! Fill in your own text. That’s it!

Try it for yourself and plan your project using this technique and do not forget to send us your comments or mindmaps.

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Studying with visual thinking : compare with double-bubble maps


Do you need to make comparison in your studies? Do you want to compare two organizations or two situations and you are doubtful on how to do it? The double-bubble maps are a powerful visual tool for this type of operation!

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Whether during your studies or your career, you are requested to conduct comparisons. For example, the teacher asks you to identify the differences and commonalities between two corporate structures, as in the map below.

This was carried out with the mind mapping software called XMind. (Double-click on the image to enlarge. You can also download it from the website Biggerplate).

Double bubble map designed with XMind
Double Bubble map : ideal tool for comparison

The “double-bubble” map obtained compares two types of business organization: the product  or divisional structure and departmental or functional structure. It was conducted during a coaching session with a student in the preparation for the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) examination, a professional accounting certification which is popular in the Anglo-Saxon world.

The bubbles from the centre represent the categories considered: suitable for (for any type of business structure that is appropriate) Organization (structure on which criteria is organized) Growth (what is the impact of this type of organization on growth and so on).

Mind map or concept map?

Originally, XMind is not configured to function with this type of structure, even if the software offers many different structures. To make this map, I used the method of creating a concept map:

How to use floating topics to create a double bubble map in XMind
Floating topics in XMind

First, create a floating topic by double-clicking at the bottom of the map, then you draw a relationship (CTRL L) from the floating topic and click at the bottom of the map. This again creates a new floating topic.

To create this map, I used the central topic as the title: the central subject cannot be moved and it can be a serious handicap if I need to make any changes to my map. Each bubble of this mind map is a floating topic while the “branches” are in fact relationships (arrows in XMind lingo).

The problem is that topics have a kind of “magnetism” : they are attracted to each other, if they are too close. Even while pressing the ALT key, it is not always easy to add a new topic in the middle.

While this map is related to mindmaps, it is somehow built and functions according to the principles used in developing the concept maps in XMind.

This gave me the idea to use other software to create this type of map: VUE also known as Visual Understanding Environment.

Double bubble in VUE

VUE is clearly a concept mapping software (or concept maps), created by Tufts University. This software is configured to position objects – subjects and relationships – with each other.

Here, there is no “magnetism” if the objects are close to each other. And they can be moved at will without disturbing others’ alignments. (Double-click on the image to enlarge to maximum).

How to make a comparison between two organizational structures with a map
The VUE Double Bubble Map

The result is essentially the same, but the implementation is much easier!

I will demonstrate the uses of this concept mapping software and its features later on in other posts.

Why use XMind to create such type of maps, since it is more difficult than VIEW, for instance? Everyone is accustomed to VIEW software. Moreover, when working on a project with several topics altogether in the same workbook maps, it may be easier to add a sheet to this workbook. It also allows you to create direct links between maps in the workbook.

It is also possible to link a map with a  extrernal VUE map using the connection through a hyperlink: simply place the path to the file in the “File” field from the dialog box as shown below:

How to insert a hyperling toward an external VUE file
Insert the file path in the File field

This places an icon in the selected topic. When you click on this icon, the VUE file opens (if the program is on your computer).

Try both, the XMind and VUE softwares and keep the one that suits you most, or if you’re like me, keep them both and you’ll be able to work and adapt in both environments!

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Search and summarize all your web pages with XMind Summarizer (tutorial)


Context Discovery has created XMind Summarizer, a new extension to XMind: a great tool for searching on the Internet!

Lisez cet article en français !

How to summarize a web page quickly? How to find material relevant to my work on the web without losing too much time to read everything?

Context Discovery has found a very satisfactory answer to this question: XMind Summarizer.

 We already knew Web Summarizer, the online device that summarizes web pages as mindmaps. But Context Discovery, the Canadian company specializing in automatic text summaries, has taken a step further by proposing an extension for XMind.

(Click on the picture to make it bigger.  You can also download that XMind Mindmap and many others from my Profile on Biggerplate).

Xmind mindmap showing how to use the Smart XMind Extension to summarize any web page
How XMind Summarizer works

This is the Polish company Smart XMind Extensions which broadcasts on the web: it is also the designer of XMind extensions for Outlook or systems time management and project that I will have the opportunity to talk.

In the meantime, here’s a tutorial on XMind Summarizer:

An automatic summary of interesting web pages

What is the XMind Summarizer extension ? It runs a web page, marks the relevant keywords, copies the sentences in which these keywords appear and organizes all in a mindmap.

With the smart extension XMind Summarizer, all this happens automatically in XMind, as summarized in the video below.

To install the extension XMind Summarizer is very simple: go to the XMind Summarizer page and sign up for the 30-day trial license: it’s free, but mandatory. Then, if the product appeals to you, there are several possible starting at $ 2.99 per week subscriptions.

Finally, download the small program. Start your XMind, and you now have two more icons in your menu bar at the top of your screen: Summarize by topic, which takes the form of a red W in and white square and Summarize synthesized by a simple red W .

Summarize a Wikipedia page with Summarize by Topic

The first icon allows you to automatically summarize any Wikipedia page. You type the keyword you are looking for as a central topic of your XMind map.

Then click on the icon Summarize by Topic or right-click your mouse at the bottom of the menu, click Summarizer and then Summarize by Topic, as shown in this video:

Summarize any web page with Summarize

The good news is that XMind Summarizer works in several languages, including French: so you can summarize any web page in English, French, German and Spanish.

Let’s do the experiment with two web pages in French on content marketing. I open a new XMind map and I type “Content Marketing” as the central subject.

But this time, I do not click the “Summarize by Topic” icon, but on the other icon: Summarize.

XMind Summarizer shows me a dialog with a field. I stick the URL of the first page that interests me. And XMind Summarizer starts to search. After a few seconds, I have a first branch on my mindmap with a series of keywords that match my search.

I repeat the process with a second page and I get a second branch on my mental map XMind, with a different set of keywords for the page.

When and how to use XMind Summarizer?

Please do not use this XMind extension to study! I wrote several articles on the subject and I am convinced that what facilitates learning by mindmaps, is the act of building the map itself. Because it uses different cognitive skills.

If you use XMind Summarizer to do this job for you, you have no chance to understand and / or remember anything!

By cons, this extension seems very interesting if you are a researcher, librarian or student. And you need to research on the web.

Because, as I showed in the videos of this article, you can quickly access content from Wikipedia and other pages. And more, XMind Summarizer synthesizes the page content as keywords for you!

It therefore seems very promising for those who must synthesize large amounts of information, which should conduct research on keywords, or should organize knowledge bases.

This application does not summarize either a text or a course in your place. To do this, you should also summarize yourself with a mindmap. But this extension will provide a working basis on which to build your resume. And that’s a lot!

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XMind 2012 : with the revisions, you always know where you are !


XMind 2012 comes with interesting new features.  Revisions are one of them.

This brand new feature shows you every step of your mindmap drafting.

You always know where you are.  You can always go back.  And for collaborative work, it is important to trace back the changes made by members of your team…

In the previous article, I wrote about the brand new Gantt Diagram which turns XMind 2012 into a more business oriented software with great project management tools.

Today, I will emphasize another great feature of this new XMind version : the revisions.

A history of your mindmap drafting

Revisions show you the drafting of your mindmap step by step : like a photograph of each step of your mindmap.  It is a very interesting feature if several members of a team or of a class are working together on the same mindmap.  Each of them can see what the others have changed.

Here is the final mindmap of the Calix Project we have used in the previous article.  (Click on the picture to enlarge it).

Example of project management with the new XMind features
Project management with XMind

But what were the steps of this mindmap drafting ?  How did I get there ?  Wasn’t there a better version of my mindmap ?  Or was there a step I finally dropped, but I could use somewhere else, in another mindmap ?

Review every step of your mindmap !

The Revisions tool allows me to review each and every step of my mindmap.

For this Calix project – which was initially written in French – I added, at the fifth step – a topic “Objectifs”  (Goals) with a picture.  Finally, I decided to discard it to simplify my mindmap and to focus on my main topic : tasks management.  Here is this discarded step, visible again thanks to the revision feature. (Click on the picture to enlarge it).

How to review your previous work in Xmind ?  By using the Revision features !
Revisions in XMind 2012

This is a very interesting feature for team work but also for students who want to rebuild the reasoning from scratch, for instance.  I am pretty sure you will find new applications for this amazing tools !

Do you want to mindmap with XMind too ?  Then visit the download page and get it for free !

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XMind 2012 : still more efficient !


XMind 3.2.1. had already improved a lot compared to previous versions.

XMind 2012, the latest version, comes with more good surprises !  A more business oriented Mindmapping program ever.

Check out here !

XMind is cheap, powerful and user friendly : that’s why we love it so much !

Today, it comes with the new 2012 version : not a great revolution, but some powerful and very interesting features.  And above all : business oriented features !  But features equally interesting for students, projects leaders, and so on.

Themes and templates opening with the new page

So the days of the sad blank page with the bluish central topic are over !  Now, when you open a new page, you automatically get a set of themes and templates.  Which saves you a lot of time !

Themes and templates open automatically with the new page in the new XMind 2012 version. A good way to save time !

So now, you can define the background colour, the type and thickness of your branches, the shape of your topics before you start drawing your mindmap !  You can also choose to start with a mindmap, an Org Chart, a SWOT analysis, a Time Line, etc.

The button on the left inferior corner of this window allows you to add your own themes and template : this will save you a lot of time on page layout !

You can also open a existing document from this dialog window : this is much more ergonomic than before : all commands are gathered in a single, manageable area.

A new Gantt Diagram

This is an amazing feature for business owners and project managers : before, the Gantt diagram was a little bit too basic.  The new version is much more complete : it is now a real project management tool !

Here, I made a simulation of an email campaign project with task distribution for a team of 4 colleagues.  I combined the mindmap view with the Gantt view so you can see the relationship between both.  I drilled down the mindmap so we can focus on the topic “email campaignand its subtopics. (Click on the map to enlarge it).

Gantt view

For instance, Juliet – the long red line on top of the diagram – has to encode the names of the subscribers in a list.  She started on the 12th July.  Her deadline was the 31st of August.  She achieved 76 % of her task.  Marc – second line on the diagram – had to write the text of the letter before the 27th of July and didn’t finished before the deadline either.

New Tasks relationships

Both tasks are displayed with a danger triangle board.

Another very interesting new function is the possibility to link two tasks : the second one cannot start as long as the previous one is not completed.  For example, in the picture below, Marc had to put links in the newsletter after having written his text.  But the text has not been finished and the tasks ‘links” cannot begin !  If I click on the yellow icon, a text in a bubble warns me that this task must be postphoned, since the previous one has not been achieved. (Click on the picture to enlarge it).

The panel on the right tells me that there is a “Finish-to-start” relationship between the predecessor ‘Writing” and the present task “Links”.  “Writing” must be finished so that “Links” can start.  Now, the tasks function allows you to program not only the date of a deadline, but also the number of days and even hours that you estimate which are necessary to achieve this task.  That makes this new version of XMind, a real project management tool !

And the XMind teams promises to go further and to improve the Gantt chart in the future.  XMind is thus more and more business and project management oriented !  It is a new position on the market of business mindmapping programs.

In future articles, we’ll speak about the pricing and some other interesting features for all the XMind users !  Stay tuned 😉

If you want to download XMind 2012, it is free !