Mind mapping apps and the cloud realization

I’ve been testing mind mapping apps this weekend.

I liked XMind the most. It’s not web-based but I loved the clean and minimalist space and the fact that I can brainstorm using the keyboard 99% of the time, no extra mouse clicking needed. I also tested Mindmeister, which is all on the web but it felt clunkier to add nodes and do everything using the keyboard. I want a mind mapping software to be easier to brainstorm than if I was doing it by hand (or as close as possible).

XMind seems to be the one for me. Super easy, simple, clean interface. But, again, it’s a desktop app, which lately has not been a disadvantage for me.

I have been noticing that I don’t like to use the web for everything. It’s distracting!

  • Note-taking: I like to use Evernote desktop app (I don’t like Evernote Web)
  • To-do List: I like to use NirvanaHQ’s desktop app (which is exactly the same as the web, which is great)
  • Writing: I like to use good old Microsoft Word to write.
  • Calendar: sometimes I prefer to use the Windows native Calendar app to check my Calendar. But since there are limitations on the app, I still have to use Google Calendar on the web (that’s the only exception to my list).

That doesn’t mean I don’t like information being available on the cloud. I love that Onedrive, Evernote, NirvanaHQ and Office 365 offer online access whenever I want. I don’t like it when I don’t have control over the data. I can copy all my files stored on Onedrive to an external hard disk. I can export all my Evernote notes to a file and save it wherever I want as a backup. I can copy and move my .doc files around. I can export all of Nirvana’s data into a file.

I avoid cloud services when they are 100% online. Like Google Docs, for example. I don’t know where my Google docs files are stored. I mean, yes, I know they are in Google’s servers, but I don’t have control over them unless I export it to .doc or .pdf and make a copy somewhere. That’s the only way to truly have those files. Otherwise, they are linked forever to the cloud service. It seems scary to me!

Conclusion:  I decided to stick with XMind to so some mind maps 😊. At least for now. I’ll give a few weeks and see how it goes.

My first Mind Map using XMind

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