Next Generation Mindmapping with MindMeister

I've been using mindmapping forever for all my creative work - drafting my KoiTips, designing workshops, keeping notes on mentoring sessions, keeping track of ideas.

For years I've used XMInd, a superb program with a stunningly elegant user interface (download the free version here).  But it doesn't have an iPad version* and it's hard to share maps with others.  (*you can access XMind maps on the iPad via iThoughts but it's not ideal)

So I've been exploring the next generation of mindmapping, and it's very exciting.  The new approach is cloudbased, making it easy to access your maps from any device - and easy to share them with others, and even collaborate in realtime on the same map.

So, here is a quick map all about MindMeister, the mindmapping service I'm using.  You can drag the map, zoom in and out, expand and collapse topics, and share it with others via the social sharing buttons.  (For the best experience, click on the up-arrow icon below the map to maximise the map to full screen ).

I'm excited how this opens up a whole new easy, engaging and interactive way of publishing and sharing ideas and information.

Mindmaps have always been a great way to capture and organise ideas - now they become a powerful way to easily share these ideas as well.  And unlike blogs and other web tools, this way of sharing is immediate and effortless - you change something in one of your public mindmaps and it is instantly live for the world to see - this is a whole new way to publish...

Streaming works!

Tired of copying videos from my Mac to my iPad, I decided to try streaming them over my WiFi network instead.  I expected slow, jerky video with dropouts.  Holy moly was I wrong!

I installed Air Video HD's server app on my Mac in minutes, told it where to find my videos, and then downloaded the Air Video app on my iPad.  Seconds later I was watching smooth, crystal clear video on my iPad, streamed across the house from my Mac.  Not a whisper of a problem, not once.

You can choose a video from your videos folder on your Mac, and it starts playing instantly.  You can also download videos to watch offline later.  Clearly this where video viewing is headed!


Intrigued, I started wondering about streaming in the other direction - from my iPad to my Mac, for doing presentations. I was equally astonished to find how easy this is, and how beautifully it works.

Once you've installed the AirServer app on your PC or Mac, which is effortless, you can then use the built-in AirPlay feature on any iOS device to stream the screen of your iPhone or iPad onto the screen of your computer.  Seconds to set up, and works beautifully - you can see yourself writing in Notability, view photos and play videos - everything on your iPhone/iPad screen appears crystal clear, in realtime, on the screen of your computer. Perfect for presentations - you can walk around with an iPad and stream its screen to your computer and a projector.

You could also use this to stream media via an Apple TV onto your big screen.  Plus lots of other features - you can record a video of what you're streaming, can share multiple devices alongside each other onto the same computer screen, and more:

AirServer works on both Macs and PCs and with both AirPlay and Miracast.  Brilliant.

The Izivunguvungu Youth Band

It was wonderful to have the Izivunguvungu Youth Band visiting Knysna as part of the Oyster Festival (above doing a rousing performance of "What a Wonderful World" with Robby).

The Zulu word "izivunguvungu" means "strong winds", a very appropriate name as the Izivunguvungu Foundation, which is a project of the South African Navy, offers both sailing and music programmes for the benefit of the youth from disadvantaged communities around Simonstown in Cape Town.

I met the band and their leader, Ret Cmd Mike Oldham, two years ago when they were playing here for the Oyster Festival in the midst of torrential rain (so much that the marathon was cancelled!) and since then Mike and I have stayed in touch by email.  Their programmes touch several hundred kids and this year the Youth Band toured Germany.  It''s always exciting to encounter great programs that help kids, and if you'd like to help them with sponsorships there are more details on their site.

(See more about the Izivunguvungu sailing programme on The Expresso Breakfast Show ...)