A Strong Idea Mapping Tool Called ContextMinds
Imagine a tool for visual thinking that prompts you with keywords while you are expanding your diagram. ContextMinds, a brand-new idea mapping tool created by Prague-based EMC Engineering, makes good on that promise.
For creative thinkers, who depend on a range of inputs to propel their thought in novel ways, this capacity is a huge asset. ContextMinds is now one of the most distinctive tools I've used in a while thanks to this addition.
ContextMinds' idea mapping tool
To begin, create a new idea map and name it, tag it, and add any comments you wish to save for later use. Additionally, you may decide whether to make your map public or private. The program then launches a fresh canvas so you can begin drafting your idea map.
The workspace's huge, green + button in the bottom right corner may be used to add additional nodes, as can double-clicking on an empty space there. A dialog window requesting your new term or notion displays. ContextMinds provides phrases and ideas you may use while you write in a panel on the left-hand side of the dialog box. The right side provides information on each word.
You may either choose a word and click the "add" button, or you can just touch the enter key on your keyboard, to add it to your idea map. When brainstorming, this latter feature makes it simple to swiftly add new notions to your map using only your keyboard.
Associated ideas: ContextMinds' top secret tool
A list of words and phrases connected to the topic of your mind map appears at the bottom of the screen. Any of them may be dropped or dragged onto the canvas. ContextMinds refreshes this word list as you add new information to your idea map, giving it a never-ending source of inspiration that you can use to improve your concept map.
What is the origin of these words? You have the choice to use one or more of the following three sources with ContextMinds:
- Your idea maps that you've already made
- Wikipedia and maps made by other people in the program
Feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of recommended keywords? ContextMinds gives you the option to choose one or more keywords, after which you may filter the remaining words by them. If you just want a shorter, more targeted list of ideas, this can also be helpful.
One thing I discovered about these keyword ideas is that they only show up if you don't presently have a subject selected or a term selected that was chosen from its list of keyword options. The software doesn't show any related terms if you add your own word or notion to the map. A little more consistency in this behavior would be helpful.
The creator of ContextMinds claims that users may be able to link it with their own unique word lists in later versions of the program. I have a list of several hundred phrases that are regarded as creative catalysts that I would love to put into the program since I am interested about coming up with original solutions to problems.
This, in my view, is what genuinely distinguishes ContextMinds. It quietly but consistently suggests new terms and ideas that you may want to include in your map. These practical recommendations are a great benefit for anybody who feels overwhelmed by the process of putting their thoughts into a visual map. They are the ideal motivation for those who think creatively!
Linking your concepts
Connecting your thoughts to one another is simple with ContextMinds. When a word is chosen on the canvas, a straightforward menu appears above it:
- By utilizing the add concept dialog box, link concept allows you to add a new idea to your diagram. If you already know exactly what you want the hierarchy of your ideas to be, you may save time by doing this while simultaneously adding content and connections to your map.
- You may link two existing concepts by using relationships. It does this in a natural way: One subject is already chosen when you click on the relationship command. Then you decide whatever other subject you wish to connect it to. As soon as you do, a dialogue box that allows you to name the connection appears.
Including information in your idea map
When you choose a word or phrase on the canvas, a vertical panel on the right side of your screen opens up, letting you add notes, files, photos, and tags in addition to other information. The "suggestions" tabs are located next to the tags and notes tabs; this is another example of how the program is always assisting you in making your maps more comprehensive.
This properties panel will already be filled with details if you have underlined a term that was suggested by ContextMinds' keyword suggestions. I labeled my idea map with the term "brainstorming," for instance. When you clicked on it, Wikipedia's definition of brainstorming and a picture appeared.
Your idea maps may be shared in a variety of ways using ContextMinds. A conspicuous "share" button in the workspace's upper right corner creates a URL that you may share as you choose. Your map may be exported in the PNG, SVG, and PDF formats as well.
How does ContextMinds work?
On the website of the creator, ContextMinds is marketed as a tool for learning, creating a knowledge graph on any topic, and writing. But I'm certain that using it as a brainstorming tool is where it can really shine.
Tools for mind mapping and idea mapping naturally work as tools for creativity since they are great at using the brain's associative capacities. ContextMinds raises the bar with its automatically created keyword prompts, however.
I also like that you may add keywords to the workspace by dragging and dropping them without worrying about how to link them to those that are already there. You may use emergent thinking as a result. In other words, you may arrange words differently rather than forcing them into a preset sequence, making it simpler to see the patterns they point to.