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Latest Mind Mapping Software Survey from Chuck Frey Reveals Interesting User Trends and Characteristics

I wanted to share some noteworthy results from Chuck Frey’s latest mind mapping software survey on Innovation Tools. This is his second survey in a running series that includes findings from over 500 participants.

Do you agree or disagree with any of these findings? What would you predict these results to be 2 years from now — vastly different?

1. Top 3 factors important to this audience when deciding on a mind mapping software purchase were:

– Ease of Use

– Integration with MS Office applications

– Program Performance

Based on these respondents, looks like a typical mind mapping software user finds the quality and ability of a mapping application to improve his/her job and lifestyle more important than cost. This means companies must continually work to gain customer feedback on essentials like feature set and interface navigation.

Echoing Chuck Frey’s thoughts, the results could also suggest more business professionals are using mapping software for everyday tasks and activities- demonstrating the growth of mapping in the mainstream. If true though, proliferation is a work in progress: 94% of people using mapping software export map data into other formats. Could these business users feel the need to share data originally captured in maps in more mainstream applications for colleagues who haven’t yet embraced the solution?

2. Spreading knowledge and use of mind mapping software is viral in nature. The two most popular answers regarding how the survey participants learned about mind mapping software were through 1. blogs and 2. friends / co-workers. Perhaps an average mind mapping software user has to "see it to believe it" and may have high levels of curiosity, openness, trust and a proactive nature.

3. The number one benefit users reported from mind mapping software was "clarity of thought." Unlike note cards, whiteboards etc., mapping software gives users a dynamic platform for easily capturing, editing, structuring/restructuring and sharing data that allows for better breakdown, organization and synthesis of information and the relationships that exist within it.

4. A whopping 86 percent of participants polled experience some sort of time savings from their use of mind mapping software. This means that in addition to clarity of thinking, users have become more productive and efficient with tasks accomplished. 15% of those polled save at least a full day of work (defined as 7 hours or more) per week. What would YOU do with an extra 7 hours per week? Sleep more? Spend more time with friends and family? Counterbalance an insufferable commute?

5. Ease of information collaboration among fellow mind mappers (and also between current mappers and non-mappers) will be key to the future success of the mapping industry. Confirming this, results showed 89% of those surveyed share their mind maps with others (hand written and/or software derived maps). Pain points noted in the survey center around collaboration and involve a difficulty with printing and sharing maps with large amounts of information and a need for enhanced integration capabilities.