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OMG! I sat down to write this post, but first I did a search of the NTC blog to see when I had last written about mind mapping tools. OMG again! The date was October 20, 2011. Almost exactly 2 years ago today.

Mind mapping tools help you visually organize a topic using boxes and circles and connecting arrows…oh my! Click here to see some very elaborate examples.  With mind mapping tools you can include content (text, files and links) so you can build the topic as you go along. Mapping tools often save your work in a proprietary format which may not retain formatting when you export into Word, for example. 

Fast forward 2 years and now let’s talk about outliners (not as pretty as mind mappers). As of last week, I had never heard of this type of program. Outliners are similar to mind mappers, but with outliners there is more emphasis on the text or content you are developing. From the Outliners of Giants site: “Outliners combine the functionality of a word processor with the ability to give a tangible structure to interrelated blocks of information.” The outlining tool is almost like a puzzle waiting to be assembled.

I read the article linked below and I tried the free version of The Outliner of Giants. I was preparing for a meeting and I thought the tool would be a good way to capture some of my thoughts and then use the outline as a collaboration tool during the meeting. You don’t need to create an account, Outliner of Giants connects to your Google Drive account (Use your regular Google login). You can export to Google Drive and continue to edit the document or you can export to Word from Google Drive and continue working on the document.

Follow this link to read about 5 outliner tools: