Some of us have used mind maps as a great tool help us think through problems, understand concepts and keep track of ideas, information over time.
Ukraine based Memofon is an interesting take on using mind maps that helps visualize notes – a textual form that many more of us are comfortable with and use regularly, despite the plethora of knowledge gathering and organization tools at our disposal today.
This is not a startup yet – the product is in beta, and about 600 users have test driven it in all. But we liked the basic premise so much that we tried it out and ran it through its paces. Here’s a quick take on the product.
We loved the idea of being able to visualize notes in a mind map. This has potential!
Logging in was easy enough. The site does not communicate what it is about too well, and the presentation that explains it is not too visible on the main page.
There is a dropdown of “Examples” in the “Playground”. Once you go through a couple of examples, its easy enough to get started. The syntax is extremely non-intuitive, and seems made up on the fly. Its a nice approach to more fluid markup, though, compared to tags or cryptic symbols, but needs a lot more thought and design.
The toughest thing was to try and figure out a real usage scenario where this would be useful. I could see myself trying to make easier sense of voluminous notes visually, or taking notes easily and then visually summarizing them for a handy reference or even for sharing, but the creation process as it exists, with live visual feedback (and the mind map itself being non-interactive) is a little contrived.
A mobile app – presumably for taking notes – is in the roadmap. With a decent implementation that could become a more useful standalone tool than the web-app is right now.
Like we said earlier – the premise of this product is very interesting, and this is a decent start. We wouldn’t call it a beta yet, and even for an MVP, it needs to be able to import notes from more popular tools and maybe just plain txt files. Natural writing style processing ability, and being able to interactively modify the mind map to edit the original document for the visualization to be more meaningful could make it a useful tool for knowledge gathering and management.
Do give it a spin and leave comments that help the developer, Viacheslav Sniezhkov take this forward.