XMind 2013: the 10 new mindmapping software features!


It has been announced for several weeks now : the 2013 beta version of XMind, the most popular mind mapping software, is available. This software includes 10 new features and 11 improvements which aficionados have eagerly waited.

Lisez cet article en français !

 Let us say it immediately, this is not a revolution…

When you look at your home screen, you hardly see any difference with the previous version. But, as with some cars, you have to look  under the hood to really grasp the new technical features.  And their invaluable potential.

And these technical features are numerous: no less than 10 new features and 11 improvements!

10 new features for XMind

 These new functions are not all at the same level : if some go to the core of the software, some, such as new markers, seem rather peripheral.

 But let us review them. Nothing like a mindmap to view all in a glance! Double-click the map to enlarge it or click here to download from Biggerplate (for free!)

A brand new version of the most popular mind mapping software
10 new functionalities and 11 improvements

Still no online real-time collaboration and yet, users, especially professionals, increasingly ask for it.

Nevertheless, XMind 2013 authorizes the automatic sharing of mindmaps via a local network: such a major breakthrough! And it automatically shares the latest and recently updated mindmap version. No need to exchange emails with your colleagues or even upload your mindmaps on the XMind platform anymore.

You can import text directly from Word in a topic note.  Previously, you  had to use the copy and paste – a function that saves significant time gathering documents, for example!

For me, one of the finest success of this new version of XMind 2013 is the new export to Excel! This is something that was sorely lacking in XMind, and it works very well.

 Export to Excel, a real success!

I conducted a test with one of my previous mindmaps often posted on my French blog : that mindmap is called CQQCOQP. I’ll repost it here just to show you how the export to Excel works (you can also acquire free downloading on my Biggerplate page).

The 7 questions of Quintilian, the Roman orator, translated into a mindmap
CQQCOQP : a set of 7 questions

Once the information is exported to an Excel spreadsheet, nothing changes and everything is in order according to the position of subjects. The central issue became the title of my Excel sheet, the levels are the titles of my columns, and the issues have become cells A, while other subjects are placed back into the logical order.

The data afer I exported my XMind 2013 mindmap into Excel
The results in the spreadsheet

I don’t have a Mac OS and hence don’t have the opportunity to test the new features using this operating system, including direct export to PowerPoint, Word and Excel.

Xmind 2013 also exports to SVG , the scalable vector drawing.

As for the workbooks, it is now possible to merge and print them in their entirety and not map by map.  Again, a significant gain in time .

Now it is possible to reduce the file size of an XMind 2013 mindmap  : no more stuck with files too heavy to be emailed!

I also tested the new style editor : very intuitive , very complete.  It allows you to change the shape , color, size, font , etc.  It works not only with the topics, but also with other objects like summaries, boundaries, etc.  A great tool for those who love the aesthetic mindmaps.

I conclude this list of new features with the markers: a new series of the prettiest and most readable markers.

11 Significant improvements of the mindmapping software

The new XMind 2013 works better in exports : better PDF export with SVG vector graphics , Word, PowerPoint.

The gallery is renamed Clip Art : I personally would have preferred that certain old school or rudimentary images would have been replaced in a brand new style like the one of  the new markers …

The files attachment and hyperlinks have also been improved – which is not directly visible. It also has to be tested.

Keyboard shortcuts have been added for Mac OS users, including the addition of new sheets.

You can also simultaneously focus on a topic and see the tasks related to it in the Gantt chart : a real advantage for project managers.

An improvement that XMind doesn’t report on his blog: the new zoom at the bottom of the screen to adjust the map display.  It doesn’t sound that important, but this small device that can display the map at 50 , 100, 150 %, etc.,  adds up to the comfort.  In practice, you will find it handy !

Finally, there are also several improvements in the markers field : their size is now proportional to the font of the topic in which they are included. This makes them much more visible in some cases.

Groups of markers in the menu become expandable sets, which avoids an endless scroll following markers on the screen when looking for a particular group…

And finally, for multiple makers in a topic, the order of markers is the same in the topic as in the “view” menu : there could have been a confusion with previous versions .

Conclusions

As I said in the introduction, this new version  is not a revolution, but, if the changes in the look of the software are almost imperceptible, there are  some significant breakthroughs!

Some of the new functions, such as export to Excel, the merge and print of entire workbooks will obviously make it easier for users to save their time and make XMind 2013 more compatible with standards softwares formats .

A version to use and to leverage…  waiting for the collaborative online in real time (I know, I repeat myself over and over, but it is a growing market demand …  I just hope the software producers will hear me and adapt their software to the users’ needs… ).

Convinced? Download the free beta version of XMind 2013!

Did you like this article? Sign up for my newsletter and never miss any item or event!

Advertisements

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 !

Did you like this article? Sign up for my newsletter and never miss any item or event!

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 !