FreeMind is an open-source mind mapping software that is written in Java and cross-platform compatible. It is simple, easy to use and come with a interface that anyone can get used to in few minutes.
There are quite a number of mind mapping software out there, but the main reason why I love FreeMind is its ability to operate in various operating system. I have three different OS (Windows, Linux and Mac OSX) sitting in three different partitions of my PC. When I need to access a mind map that I created on another OS, I can simply pull the file out and open the .mm (FreeMind file extension) file with FreeMind.
After opening up the program, you can see a column of icons sitting at the left sidebar. These icons have been useful in adding emphasis to your nodes. For example, for a task that requires you to send an email, you can simply click the envelope icon on the sidebar to add a mail icon to the node. You can also set priority (1-7) for the tasks you created.
Another cool feature is its ability to export to a variety of file formats, including html, pdf, openoffice document, jpg, png, xml, xslt, svg and so on.
If you need to share your mind map or collaborate with your colleagues, FreeMind does not has collaboration/sharing feature. What you can do is to share your .mm file at http://freemindshare.com/
You can download FreeMind at Sourceforge.net. For Ubuntu users, you can add the following repositories
deb http://eric.lavar.de/comp/linux/debian/ unstable/ deb http://eric.lavar.de/comp/linux/debian/ ubuntu/
to your /etc/apt/sources.list via terminal or Synaptic Package Manager. After that, you will be able to install FreeMind via the Synaptic Package Manager. Remember to check all the package beginning with Freemind (freemind, freemind-plugins-help, freemind-plugins-svg, freemind-plugins-time).
A point to note is that FreeMind can’t work with Java 6 JRE. You will need to install Java 5 JRE on your system in order to install FreeMind.