There are multiple reasons why the following software may be useful to you. You might be a visual or auditory learner, or struggle with organising your thoughts coherently. The focus of this post is how to organise your thoughts effectively- this could be for essay/assignment planning, presentations or revision for exams, or all three! Both Inspiration and MindView are great tools to help with this, and both are available from the software centre on all UoS library PCs, or through DSA.
Available through DSA or on all UoS Library PCs through Software Centre.
- Mindmap, Essay Outlines, Flow Diagrams, Presentations
- Able to include Hyperlinks, Audio and video notes: (Tools>Insert video or sound).
- Presentation manager: play presentations on Mac/Windows with free inspiration presenter.
For users with Inspiration 9.2 (This is available on all managed desktop PCs at the UoS and the DSA always distributes the most up to date version at the time of delivery- so if you got it delivered recently you might be in luck!) the ability to export or import mindmaps to iPad and iPhone app is my favourite new feature! I think that this app itself is really useful. The fact that you can jot down ideas on your iPad and then send them over to your email to open on a PC is such a great feature, and I found it really easy to use. Just press the ‘share’ button on the top right of the iPad screen. If you don’t have 9.2 I think that the .Inspmaps app is a great standalone app, and you can export to image files which you can print or transfer between devices.
You can also export mindmaps, essay or presentation plans to Word documents, PDF or Powerpoint too. For more information on how to use any of these features please visit http://wyvernportal.co.uk/ and search Inspiration. All Wyvern tutorial videos are also available to download in PDF step by step guides.
Available through DSA or on all UoS Library PCs through Software Centre. This is the mindmapping software I use most often.
- Mindmaps, Essay Outlines, Flow Diagrams, Presentations,
- Add pictures, audio, video notes and hyperlinks.
- View a word count on your mind map documents.
- Instant preview of themes, colours and styles.
With MindView 6 there is a unique Calculation tool that allows you to add variables and equations to your mind-maps, and export to Excel Documents.
To start the Calculation function, open the calculation tab on the right side of the screen, or through View>Panels>Calculation. You are then able to work with Numerical data within your mind-map to present a visually accessible comparison or presentation of the figures you’re working with and have calculated. For more information please see
My favourite feature in MindView 6 is the ability to choose and preview themes in design>styles in mind map view or design;colour scheme in outline view. The fact that you can hover over styles and preview them on your actual document is really helpful for me and speeds up the time it takes to find a theme I can easily read. For me I prefer dark backgrounds (as they reduce my eye strain and auras) and applied this to both previews you’ll see below. You can also change the colour scheme which changes all branch and sub-branch colours instantly, offering a preview again when the mouse hovers over a style. The colours, shapes and text properties for the whole document can be changed through the design bar too.
To access my personalised theme later, I save an empty mind map document to my PC and cloud storage and then every time I want to create a new MindView document I open this preset themed document and rename and re-save it into the appropriate folder. I also do this with XMind which is available free on the DDSS assistive software memory stick (contact disability services at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gemma Holtam at email@example.com ), which is a slightly simpler but still effective mind mapping tool that I used on my personal laptop before I was awarded DSA.
Something I find really useful with revision especially is the use of visual prompts and aids- for example associations of a certain topic with a colour or animal etc. In MindView 6 you can add images to your branches in the mind map function and these can also be viewed in outline function by hovering over the image icon to the left of the Branch’s title as seen below.
You can also export MindView 6 documents to Microsoft Word (great for essay plans!) and Powerpoint. For more information on how to use any of these features please visit the Wyvern Training Portal and search MindView. All Wyvern tutorial videos are also available to download in PDF step by step guides.
Thanks for reading,