Mind Maps: A Powerful Harness of Creativity

Group collaboration lays the foundation as a tenant of agile testing, in which testers and developers form one integrated, cross-functional entity with a final focus on quality. New ideas sprout up with the addition of team members, and mind maps are an efficient way to realize the full potential of all the thoughts within a group. The human brain functions in a radiant path, connecting every existing piece of stored information to countless new concepts. Mind maps, then, serve as intuitive ways to organize the thought processes of one or more people. In our webinar with Mush Honda of KMS Technology, we explored the application of mind maps for efficient testing. He provided a list of mind map tools for further investigation, and a brief product overview of each is listed below.


Freemind is a free, open source software that runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It exports to HTML, PDF, and OpenDocument and can support images in PNG, JPEG, and SVG. More on this mind mapping tool can be found at freemind.sorceforge.net.

Mind Manager

Mindjet’s Mind Manager is a subscription-based, paid tool. It operates on Windows, Mac OS, Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. It works with Word, Outlook, Excel, and Powerpoint. More on Mind Manager can be found at www.mindjet.com/mindmanager.


Xmind, a freemium, is also an open source project. Its features include mind mapping, fishbone charts, matrices, local network sharing, tree diagrams, and Gantt view charts. Xmind can export to Microsoft Office and PDF, and can also read Freemind and Mindjet’s Mind Manager files. More on Xmind can be found at www.xmind.net.


www.mindmup.com is a free, anonymous web service with real-time collaboration. The maps can be stored on several cloud service providers, such as Google Drive, Amazon S3, and GitHub. It supports Freemind files, HTML or tabular plain text, PNG images and PDF vectors, and exports as PDF and Powerpoint slides.


Coggle is a freemium that offers real-time collaboration and sharing by private link. The user can also view and copy previous versions of a work. Coggle works with LaTeX math, iOS, and is an add-on to Google Chrome. It exports to PNG image, FreeMind, and vector PDF formats, and it imports from plain-text outlines and the FreeMind file format. More on this mind mapping tool can be found at coggle.it.


This freemium works over the web, on iOS, watchOS, and Android devices as an app. It supports real-time collaboration and sharing, and can export as Word, Powerpoint, and PDF files. It offers an entire change history of a specific map, and the maps can be stored on Google Drive, Dropbox, a local file, and Evernote. More on Mindmeister can be found at www.mindmeister.com


Are you interested in automated mapping? qMap is QASymphony’s new way to view the health and quality of your application. Different than traditional static reporting, qMap provides a dynamic, high-level visualization of your test results, allowing you to quickly identify and troubleshoot issues before the application is released. If you are interested in learning more, you can request a demo here or watch the qMap webinar here.

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