I remember the first time I was shown the MindManager tool specifically for documenting enteprise-grade taxonomies. For too long tools like Excel had ruled the day, but tools like Excel and Word are too linear and not visual enough for complex taxonomies.
Mindjet MindManager has since become my tool of choice for creating and document SharePoint information architectures/taxonomies. I have created a template for SharePoint that you can also use in your next project to get started. While it has some specific columns and has a term store section it can also be used for MOSS/WSS 3 taxonomies as well with a little editing.
The template includes the following features.
- Content type nodes and hierarchy illustrated. The content type nodes also include properties such as internal name, public name, template, etc.
- Every out-of-the-box column has a template node with the available custom properties to define. Also included are visual column groups.
- Site structure illustration. Included are color-codes notes with properties for sites.
- Term store groups. Term store groups, sets and terms are illustrated hierarchically.
- Property mappings for user profile. Since SharePoint 2010 utilizes user profile properties in the term store an example node is included with the custom properties definable for a property import.
- A visual icon designation for many of the nodes as well as a legend is also provided.
Here are a few images to illustrate what it looks like.
Here is a video giving an overview of the mindmap (although it’s a little out of date now).
Note on Compatibility: While this will open in the Mac version some fidelity is lost. Mindjet hasn’t quite gotten down the compatibility between the two versions. This was created in version 8 for Windows but opens and works fine in version 9 (not tested in lower versions).