Whiteboard software
October 9, 2010 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a specific type of program. Brainstorming/note taking/tag cloud-esque Windows software, preferably allowing the user to enter short pieces of text then drag them around and link or group phrases or words together. A replacement for a physical whiteboard where short ideas would be jotted, reworked, and linked together haphazardly, where short phrases and words can be stored and inspiration gained from their juxtaposition.

Does anything like this exist? It's for recording ideas and mixing up words to come up with titles and phrases. Preferably a simple, light, standalone freeware program, and I guess some sort of fluid interface is a must otherwise I'd use notepad.
posted by fire&wings to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Mach5 at 10:08 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

The term you're looking for is mind mapping software. I've used FreeMind and it works well; MindManager from MindJet is a popular proprietary one.
posted by singularian at 10:12 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Freeplane is a spin-off of Freemind. It's updated more often and I think it's much better.
posted by Theloupgarou at 10:16 AM on October 9, 2010

I've used XMind quite a lot. It's similar to Freemind, etc but I feel like it's a lot more polished and has more features for business users. But it more or less has the same features as the above mentioned mind mappers. Basic version is free. I believe that includes sharing your mind maps online.

If you really need cloud in your application there are a few online options like Mindomo however I've always found the online incarnations to be a significant letdown compared to desktop versions.
posted by Ookseer at 11:39 AM on October 9, 2010

I love freemind, but I am going to go look at the other ones mentioned here.

This category of software is wonderful for brainstorming and stacatto, random idea generation for later organizing. I used to use the outline processor in MS Word for the same thing, but since making an afternoon's investment in exploring Freemind several years ago, it's all I've used.

Most of my projects start off with a Freemind session. Give it a try. It's FREE!
posted by FauxScot at 5:10 PM on October 9, 2010

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