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Digital thinking tools for better decision making
Digital thinking tools for better decision making

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3 Using FreeMind

In the remainder of this session, you will explore a specific tool for mapping arguments: FreeMind.

The FreeMind logo – an orange butterfly
Figure 5 The FreeMind logo – an orange butterfly

As you have already seen, there are many tools that allow you to map arguments. FreeMind has been chosen to illustrate the key ideas behind using such digital tools. By all means, do feel free to explore other tools. To us, FreeMind seemed particularly suitable in the context of the current course for the following reasons:

  • It is cross-platform: it is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS computers.
  • It is available at no cost.
  • It has a large community of users and is open source. This means that volunteers continually develop it further.
  • It was developed for a more generic purpose: mind mapping.

The last point requires some explanation. Although, as you will see, you can use FreeMind for argument mapping, it was originally developed for mind mapping, a technique for organising thoughts and ideas (rather than arguments). There is a list of uses of FreeMind on the FreeMind wiki page [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . The fact that you can use FreeMind for multiple purposes means that you are more likely to find the tool useful beyond this course.