Comapping recently released a major update to its online mind mapping application. Among the new features are these:
- Create your own template maps: When working with a visual map in Comapping, you can now select a new "save as template" command so that you can utilize it as a starting point for new maps.
- Chat with collaborators: The "co-" in Comapping means collaboration; as part of this new release, you can Click on a "chat" button in the Comapping interface, which opens a chat window and enables you to have a text chat with anyone on your list of collaborators.
- E-mail your maps: You can now e-mail your map as a "static HTML picture" (a grouping of GIF images sent within an HTML message). I tried it, and it was very simple and straightforward to do. This is a nice way to share your map with others.
- Export map as web page: You can now export your map as an HTML web page, with all of the formatting and layout intact.
- Attach preview of map when sharing: When you share your map with others, Comapping now gives you the option of including a preview of your map in the invitation e-mail that gets sent to your collaborators.
- Task dialog box enhanced with visual calendar: In the past, the task dialog box required you to type in a date; the new release now includes a visual calendar from which you can select a deadline date.
- Format multiple topics: You can now select multiple topics and apply formatting to them at the same time - a nice time-saver.
- Insert a map within a map: I'm not sure how often users would need to do this, but Comapping now enables you to insert a map within a map.
I continue to like Comapping's design, which build maps with all topics and sub-topics branching to the right, because it makes excellent use of limited screen real estate. Also, the interface makes good use of a tabbed ribbon toolbar. The "home" tab contains the commands most commonly used for creating a map, while some of the more advanced functionality is "hidden" within "presentation" and "advanced" tabs. Here's something else I never noticed before: The presentation view enables you to take "snapshots" of your map, which can be saved into a succession of slides. This gives you total control over the map views you're going to present to your audience, and eliminates the need to fumble around with opening and closing branches during a presentation. I think this will especially be appreciated by people who are new to mind mapping.
Comapping also plans to launch a major update in January, but no specifics are available yet. Watch this blog for more details as they are announced!