There was a thread on ProfHacker not that long ago about mind-mapping software. A couple of comments, including one from me, recommended FreeMind. In my comment I also mentioned a few ways I'd used FreeMind besides the usual (brainstorming, outlining, etc):
I used FreeMind's export-via-XSLT feature and an XSLT sheet I threw together to turn a mind map into a LyX document, with my nodes converted into section headings and paragraphs. This doesn't entirely work, because LaTeX doesn't support enough outline levels, but I was able to import it into a LyX document mostly intact. A nice way to go from outline to text.
I’ve used FreeMind for class discussion – hook the laptop up to the projector, put up an empty map, then add to the map as people shout out ideas for it. This is basically group brainstorming in the classroom, and it can really get discussion going.
As a panel respondent at a conference, I used FreeMind to take notes while the panelists were talking, then referred to the map in my response. (I would have put the map on the projector for the audience to see but there were unrelated technical issues.)
Argh. Apologies for the BBCode failures. Lousy SourceForge forum software with no preview mechanism…
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