In a previous Magazine article, we covered tracking your time and tasks. In that article we mentioned some mind mapping tools. Now we’ll cover three mind mapping apps you can use in Fedora. You can use these tools to generate and manipulate maps that show your thoughts. Mind maps can help you to improve your creativity and effectiveness. You can use them for time management, to organize tasks, to overview complex contexts, to sort your ideas, and more.

Labyrinth

labyrinth at gshell Mind Mapping Tool

Selecting Labyrinth in GNOME Shell

Labyrinth may not be intuitive at first. However, it is intended to be lightweight. It is also well-integrated with GNOME and runs smoothly. After you become familiar with the way it works, you’ll be able to create simple mind maps and save them like maps or images.

labyrinth mmap Mind Mapping Tool

labyrinth map

Installation is easy using dnf along with the sudo command:

$ sudo dnf install labyrinth

When you start Labyrinth, the first screen is not the map itself, but rather a project manager:

labyrinth welcome screen Mind Mapping Tool

Labyrinth welcome screen

Then, click New and start drawing a diagram of what’s on your mind. Features in Labyrinth include:

  • Scaling and scrollable canvas (infinite sized maps!)
  • Support for text attributes (bold, italics, underline and font selection)
  • Arrow navigation of thoughts
  • Foreground and background colouring of nodes
  • Import and export labyrinth files for maps in the form of tarballs
  • SVG export
  • PDF export
  • Save browser window state across instances (UNIX/Linux build only)
  • Selection using bounding box
  • Searching in the browser window

Labyrinth is made with Python, GTK+, and Cairo so it works smoothly in GTK-based desktops like GNOME, MATE, and Cinnamon. It’s licensed under the GPLv2.

View Your Mind (VYM)

VYM is another useful mind mapping tool packaged in Fedora. It’s a mature application, with a lot of features included. It’s easy to use and intuitive. Furthermore, the export tool is pretty powerful, and allows you to export to numerous formats, including HTML or LibreOffice.

vym at gshell Mind Mapping Tool

Selecting VYM in the GNOME Shell

The main screen shows the first map, so you can start work immediately. VYM has keyboard shortcuts that make your work easier. It also includes icons and signs to make your mind map more expressive.

vym welcome screen Mind Mapping Tool

VYM welcome screen

Another interesting thing about VYM is that the project website is entirely made in VYM itself. Check it out here. The list of features is quite long, and includes:

  • Import of Freemind maps
  • Function to export from tomboy to vym
  • Export to CSV spreadsheet
  • Autosave
  • Editor for scripts
  • Syntax highlighting for editor
  • Export of map to HTML or XML

A quick example:

vym mindmap Mind Mapping Tool

Example VYM mindmap

To install it, use this command:

$ sudo dnf install vym

VYM is written in C++ and the Qt framework. It uses the GPL license, with an exception to port it to Microsoft Windows systems.

FreeMind

FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. It aims to be a high productivity tool. Its main features include:

  • Ability to follow HTML links stored in the nodes
  • Folding, an essential property of FreeMind
  • Fast one-click navigation
  • Smart Drag and Drop, including copying nodes or node styles, dragging and dropping of multiple selected nodes, and dropping texts or a list of files from external sources
  • Smart copying and pasting from and into the application
  • Export to HTML
  • Find facility, which shows found items one by one as you do Find next, and the map is unfolded only for the current item
  • Editing of long multiline nodes
  • Decorating nodes with built-in icons, colors and different fonts
freemind at gshell Mind Mapping Tool

Selecting FreeMind in GNOME Shell

The main screen allows you to work immediately. Like the other tools featured here, it’s easy, has keyboard shortcuts to speed your work, and exports to numerous formats.

freemind map

Example freemind map

To install it, run this command:

$ sudo dnf install freemind

FreeMind is written in Java and licensed under the GPLv3.

Start mapping your mind

The tools you need to organize, plan, and get clarity on your thoughts are in Fedora. So what are you waiting for? Start mind mapping!