Call it brainstorming, concept mapping or mindmapping, collecting and organizing thoughts using web 2.0 is a snap. Let’s take a peek at several free options.
Bubbl.us has a wonderful user interface and is easy to use. This is classic concept mapping. Start with a central idea and branch off to other ideas. Connections to other thought bubbles can be easily created or deleted. For text only mindmaps, Bubble.us works great. If you need to add images or videos, check out some of the other tools below.
Mindomo.com includes many more features including a clipart library and the ability to import images from Google images or Flickr as well as video straight from YouTube. The interface looks similar to Office 2007 with a ribbon and tabs for the various tools. Exploring these tabs reveals a large number of options and formatting tools. Mindomo works well if you need more than just text bubbles and has all the power of an installed application.
Wisemapping.com offers a bare bones user interface but includes everything you need to create a mindmap. Start with a main idea and branch from there. You can add icons and adjust the shape and color of your content. Completed maps can be shared or exported as several formats including PDF.
Mindmeister.com is a nice blend of features and usability. Double click anywhere to add content. You can also include icons and images, either your own or from the clipart library. In addition, mindmaps can include notes, links and even attachments. Keep in mind the free version scrolls through ads at the upper right-hand corner and you can only create three maps.
Mind42.com is simple and gets the job done. Like many of the others, start with a main topic and quickly add new nodes. Content can be moved and regrouped by dragging and dropping. Images and links can be included as well.
What’s the bottom line? It depends how many features you need. The more features, the more complicated the application. By far, the easiest to use is Bubble.us. Give it a try first and then try the others for comparison. Also, be sure to try Popplet.com which is featured in a companion article.
If you have other suggestions or comments, be sure to comment below! Thanks for reading the educational technology blog Teach Amazing!