by admin on 15/11/2007

All my life so far I created my mind maps by hand on butcher’s paper. A few hours ago I decided that today is the day to switch to electronic mind mapping. I remembered that Microsoft Visio comes with a mind mapping tool and I got the old PC laptop out of the closet to give it a try. But although I was able to create a primitive mind map, it didn’t look the way I wanted at all and at some stages it was quite difficult to use. Maybe I’m just too spoiled by using a Mac, but it was no pleasure to work with Visio at all.
Fortunately I remembered that James Breeze talked about an online mind mapping tool a couple of weeks ago and a bit of reasearch brought me finally to MindMeister.

The basic version is free, so I signed up and created my first master piece online. The benefits of online mind mapping are quite clear: access from every computer everywhere in the world, sharing maps with others and working on them as a group saves a lot of time and email conversations. The additional features of MindMeister are special notifications if one of those who are working with you on the same map makes some changes – you either get an email notification or a Twitter message. A proper history function brings you back to any stage in you map development you want and the automatic save keeps you from messing up by forgetting to save. Overall a really cool tool, only thing that makes it a bit difficult for me to use is my unreliable internet connection in a New Zealand suburb – but that’s not MindMaster’s fault…

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

dormouse November 16, 2007 at 12:00 am

open source FreeMind, can also do it, you can try it

Vic November 16, 2007 at 12:00 am

MindMeister seems to be getting a lot of exposure (probably because it’s good), but there are more. These are all browser-based applications that do mind mapping, and concept mapping:
bubbl.us Collaborative mind mapping (radiant format not enforced)
comapping.com :- Collaborative (but, for people who like free-format mind mapping, very rigid) left-to-right mind mapping
glinkr.net :- Concept mapping and mind mapping (shared but not collaborative)
mindmaps.kayuda.com :- Collaborative mind mapping and concept mapping
mappio.com :- Unusual mind mapper where the user edits indented text to change the mind map
mapul.com :- Collaborative mind mapping with an organic flavour
mind42.com :- Collaborative mind mapping
mindomo.com :- Collaborative mind mapping
wikimindmap.org :- Make mind maps from WikiMedia articles
wisemapping.com :- Collaborative mind mapping
webofweb.net :- Collaborative mind mapping

Then there are web-based generic diagramming tools that can handle mindmaps:
cumulatelabs.com/cumulatedraw/ :- Collaborative diagramming ā€“ can draw mind maps and concept maps
flowchart.com :- Collaborative diagramming ā€“ can draw mind maps and concept maps
gliffy.com :- Collaborative diagramming ā€“ can draw mind maps and concept maps
thinkature.com :- Collaborative on-line whiteboard service – can draw mind maps and concept maps

The master list of mind mapping sites

James Breeze November 21, 2007 at 12:00 am

How’s the MindMeister usage coming along?
Have you seen my powerpoint presentation on Mindmapping the UX?
It’s here:

James Breeze November 21, 2007 at 12:00 am

Hi again, Technology can be so cool!
Have a look at this blog entry with embedded ppt and embedded mindmeister map I used to rpepare it!

Diane November 22, 2007 at 12:00 am

Thanks for the link, James, but as a regular reader of your blog and saw it already ages ago :-)

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