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Mind maps on the Blackberry with Mindberry

On March 24th, MindBerry launched version 1 of the first mind mapping application for the BlackBerry phone. The MindBerry team listened to the world’s reaction and heard quite clearly the demand for integration with MindManager.

Yesterday, a new version was released that includes an export to MindManager! Now that’s a great turn-around time!

I just finished taking the new version out for a short test drive. My first try at exporting led to an error, but then MindBerry’s Luong Quoc Dat (@luongdat on Twitter) shared with me the secret…email the map in .xmmap format. My second attempt was a success.

Here’s a MindManager snapshot of a map that I created on my phone… (larger image)

Here are the basic features:

  • Navigate with trackball or the numeric keys
  • Fold /Unfold branches with Spacebar
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to access editing features
  • Drag and Drop capability to move selected nodes
  • Cut and paste selected nodes
  • Format with icons, colors, fonts, styles
  • Attach note to mind map
  • Edit multiline nodes
  • Store maps on BlackBerry’s media card or in device memory
  • Send maps to yourself or others via email
  • Import and export MindManager and Freemind maps

Here’s what I liked:

  • Basic Mapping – I enjoyed making my first map and found it easy to use and navigate. I tested pretty much all the basics including adding map icons, notes and adjusting colors for fonts, lines.
  • Reflect a Topic – move an entire branch from one side of the map to the other side.
  • Preview changes – see the changes on your map as you’re scrolling through choices like font & line color, font type, etc…
  • Keyboard shortcuts – accomplish most tasks with keyboard shortcuts.
  • Fast to learn – The only thing I didn’t find on the help that was useful was that you can use the enter key instead of the trackball to finish adding or editing topic text.

Here’s what I disliked:

  • At first it felt like a multi-step process to accomplish many tasks like adding and editing topic text, notes, etc… I figured out that you do not have to scroll to say “OK” after adding text to a topic. You can just type enter.
  • Only 1 icon per topic allowed.
  • Icons didn’t export to MindManager.
  • Default settings for Fonts are likely to be too small for many users. They can be reset by adjusting the options settings.
  • I could not increase a font in the map beyond the current default settings even though it is possible to go into the options menu and set the default higher.

Some Reader Questions

  • What smartphone do you use (Blackberry, iPhone, other)?
  • What are you looking for in a phone-based mind mapping application?
  • When, where, and why would you map on your phone?

Add your answers into the comments!


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About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.

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