by Vivek Singh
The beginning of a new project is often the time when all the stakeholders involved put on their thinking hats and brainstorm (and for good reason). The logical next step to this is putting down all the ideas and thoughts about the project in an organized and comprehensive manner. Structured ideas enable all interested to clearly analyze, comprehend, and prioritize possible next steps.
During the early part of my career, I always thought that coding was the single most important part of developing a mobile application. But with time as I started gaining experience, I was exposed to the different phases of the app development process (SDLC). It was then that I gained the understanding that coding an app is not self-sufficient; there are other processes that are as crucial as coding.
So what are these other processes about and why do we need them? The answer is very simple – for clarity’s sake! The clearer we are about the product, the more efficiently we can develop it.
Considering the present day scenario, do we really have the time to read lengthy pages of documents when multiple tasks compete for our attention simultaneously? Is capturing information from long documents a feasible way, considering the fast paced delivery environment? Can we really map such huge documents in a manner that is able to efficiently merge project teams and clients on a single platform?
So what can be done and what are the possible alternatives? One possible solution is optimizing the way we do our jobs by making use of the different mind mapping tools available in market. Mind mapping is a visual way of representing ideas and concepts in a way that shows the relationship between these ideas.
In this post, I am mentioning the mind mapping tool that I use frequently- ‘XMind’. XMind makes not only my job but my life also easy. This tool helps map ideas onto a single screen, which eventually allows one to absorb all the thoughts in one go. The software supports all Microsoft Office formats allowing easy export of mind maps created inside XMind.
Here are some of the major features and benefits of this tool:
- Rich set of different visualization styles
- Allows sharing of created mind maps via their website
- A number of templates to help you get started
- Different icons and symbols
- Allows deriving and mapping of requirements and functionality
- Helps prioritize and schedule the structure for client meetings
- Enables the client in getting a clear vision of the app
- Features like Gantt charts, a presentation mode, export features, audio notes, a merge feature, privately online sharing, etc.
- Most importantly- helps you in landing the project!
Here is a screenshot that describes the tool:
Best of all, the application is completely free and open source. If you do have some cash, go ahead and buy the paid commercial ‘Pro’ version which offers additional features including import/export features. The other mind mapping tools that have gained popularity are- Mindjet, Coggle, Freemind, and Mindnote. So go ahead, explore these tools and simplify your life!