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 (http://www.mindmeister.com/) - 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:
- it's easy to use
- can be used/edited synchronously by unlimited users
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)
- can be shared with invited people only (invited via email), and can be password protected if necessary.
- can be embedded into other sites (and if clicked on will take the user to the Mindmeister map in situ)
- 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.pdf, and (should the service ever be withdrawn) as Freemind (.mind),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.
- has an offline option (paid version)
- Nodes can be grouped by colour (easy to show related/common factors)
- There are more sophisticated functions (which makes it more difficult to use as a tool)
- You can share the mindmaps for collaborative editing (but not synchronous editing)
- You can put links to the mindmap in a site/add the HTML to a site, but not embed the 'live' mindmap
- You can use icons and a range of images