I had seen, used and explored Freemind before but never REALLY put it to use. Recently, I began brainstorming for a project that I have had in my head for the last 12 months and I have found Freemind to be brilliant.
As is the case with most software I seek out, it is cross-platform and it’s written in Java. It has excellent shortcut capabilities that allow you to link, navigate, add, move, raise, lower, highlight etc all without touching the keyboard.. it really stands back, gets out of your way and lets the thoughts flow. It has the ability to export to html, sxw (old openoffice format), png or jpg format.
I was recently in Canberra attending a VMware course and I was able to connect to my home Linux server during my breaks and quickly add a few ideas to Freemind. I’ve even started using it to transfer my brainstorming into a database design so I can then start creating my django models.
So that’s freemind.
The next application I came across in my travels was Mifos ie MIcroFinance Open Source, a project of the Grameen foundation for managing loans and savings accounts for Microfinance institutions. It is built upon Java and Mysql although it aims to be database agnostic.
If you have never heard of the Grameen bank, it was founded by Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner who started providing Microloans to very poor (I dislike that term) people in Bangladesh in 1976. Since then, the Grameen Bank has flourished and has now issued more than US$ 5.1 billion to 5.3 million borrowers since it’s inception. Muhammad has also authored “Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty” which is currently on my “to read” list.
So, there’s two great FREE applications. Free your mind or free people.. you choose.
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