Written by Michael Woodman
MindMeister is a concept mapping program which allows you to create 'spider diagrams' or 'mind maps'. Creating a mind map can help you to plan and write essays, revise for exams, and organise large projects.
- You can view and edit maps from any computers - even public computers!
- Maps are stored on the cloud so won't get lost if your computer brakes
- You can share your maps with other people and both work on the same map at the same time - fantastic for group projects
Here are my favorite features:
- Mindmeister has an excellent interactive tutorial that (unobtrusively) gives you advice while you create your first map.
- You can add Youtube videos that actually play inside the map - this makes the tool very appealing if you are primarily a visual learner.
- When you're working on a shared map, you can give a 'thumbs up / down' to sections of the map and add in more detailed feedback. You can export your map as a text outline in rich text file format (rtf). This can easily be opened and edited in Word. Great for essay planning on the go!
Free vs. paid features:
- The free version has all the features we talked about above but you can only store 3 maps in your Mindmeister account at one time. To get round this:
- You can sync your maps with free Google Drive storage, which doesn't count towards your 3 map limit. Opening maps from Google Drive launches the Mindmeister web application automatically.
- You can "earn" up to 10 more map spaces for every other user that you invite to sign up.
- The paid version has a feature called Wunderbild which auto-selects appropriate images from the web to add into your map based on the branch title (you can try it out in the free version but only for a limited number of uses).
Mindmeister is a very attractive, intuitive program, with some unique features. If you're just looking for a full featured free mind mapping program, Xmind is great and doesn't have a limit on the number of maps. But nothing beats Mindmeister for portability and collaboration!