Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's all in your mind: Two mindmapping tools unwrapped

Amy Ling - Professional ePortfolio Scenario
Image by hazelowendmc via Flickr

Are you keen to use mindmaps? I regularly use two types of mindmaps (mainly for collaborative
projects with colleagues, as well as with students). Neither require
any software download and both are used in your browser

The first is Mindmeister ( - you can see an example of a mindmap around ePortfolios I have created and made public here.
You can get three mindmaps for free (and it's only US$18 per annum for
unlimited mindmaps if you are an academic institution). The full list of features can be found here, but the best things about Mindmeister I have found are:

  1. it's easy to use
  2. can be used/edited synchronously by unlimited users
  3. can
    be 'published' as a wiki so anyone with the URL can edit the map (and
    it has versions, so you can revert to a previous version)
  4. can be shared with invited people only (invited via email), and can be password protected if necessary.
  5. can be embedded into other sites (and if clicked on will take the user to the Mindmeister map in situ)
  6. can be downloaded as a Mindmeister file (useful for backup), image,
    .pdf, and (should the service ever be withdrawn) as Freemind (.mind),
    and Mindmanager (.mmap) files.
  7. has an offline option (paid version)

The second is Mindomo: - an example mindmap that I've created of ICT enhanced learning and teaching design can be viewed here. You can get seven maps for free. The full range of functions (and pricing) can be found here. The best things I have found with Mindomo though are:

  1. Nodes can be grouped by colour (easy to show related/common factors)
  2. There are more sophisticated functions (which makes it more difficult to use as a tool)
  3. You can share the mindmaps for collaborative editing (but not synchronous editing)
  4. You can put links to the mindmap in a site/add the HTML to a site, but not embed the 'live' mindmap
  5. You can use icons and a range of images
I hope these overviews are useful - please drop me a line, or Skype me if you have any questions :-)

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MindMeister said...

Thanks for checking us out! If we can be of assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch. :)