Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I've been working on several writing projects lately and came across an open source planning application I've been using for character development and plotting. The screen shot above is a long-term project I've been working on for a while now called Colony. I've been using Freemind to make notes on the characters as I'm developing them.

The nice thing about Freemind is that the nodes can be clicked to collapse or expand them. This allows me to put a great deal of information into nodes and still be able to keep the overall project compact by collapsing the nodes I'm not working on. It's also very easy to edit nodes and moved them around in the overall project. If the node trees start becoming too complex, they can be cut and pasted into a new document. There is also a very wide range of node icons (on the left of the screen shot) that can be used to easily identify related entries indifferent trees. For example, the light bulb in the screen shot is used to show a relationship between Pax and Madelyn.

Freemind is a little quirky when you first use it, but once you get the hang of the interface, it's a really simple application to use. You can download Freemind from the Wiki. Installation is a very simple matter and you can have the application up and running in minutes.

I highly encourage anyone that needs a mapping application to give Freemind a try.