Study Hacks Blog Decoding Patterns of Success

MindMaple Gives, I Give Back…

November 27th, 2011 · 13 comments

I don’t accept paid advertisements. I do, however, have a standing offer to write an honest post about a student-related product if I like it and the company is willing to donate to a charity of my choice. (See here for more details.)

MindMaple, the makers of an exceptional piece of mind mapping software, recently took me up on my offer by donating money to Bottom Line, a great Boston-based organization that helps more students get access to college.

Intuitive, Elegant Mind Mapping Software…

Mind mapping is a method of visually organizing connected ideas, tasks, and information. It has been embraced by many students, for example, as a way to structure information from a class to make it easier to understand and recall (e.g., as explained in this article by Scott Young).

The reason I’ve been slow to suggest this strategy is that mind maps are hard to draw well by hand (you inevitably run out of room) and much of the early software I encountered was too clunky for inclusion in a streamlined study system.

MindMaple has solved these problems. Its interface is perfectly intuitive and uncluttered (especially if you’re using a tablet) allowing you to create beautiful maps quick. You can then export them to any number of formats. The video at the top of the post shows what I mean.

Conclusion: If you’re interested in mind mapping, you need to check out Mind Maple.

13 thoughts on “MindMaple Gives, I Give Back…

  1. Dr. Tim Hadley says:

    Looks like a good product, but the English on their website looks like it is written by an EFL person, almost certainly someone from the Far East. Not a problem, either–just can’t help but notice.

  2. Bill Seitz says:

    I agree that MindMapping is awesome for students and other thinkers/doers. http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/MindMapping

    But this is Windows only, and $100.

    I prefer the free/open-source FreeMind, which runs on Win or Mac. And for which (because it uses a simple XML-like file format) there’s a compatible ThinkingSpace android app that runs on my phone or tablet (and synchs those through GoogleAppEngine), and can import into the MindMeister free webapp.

  3. I still prefer making my mindmaps by hand with a paper and pencil. My latest innovation? I now write them (and date then) in a coil bound artist’s notebook. Also, Cal, for super big mindmaps (as you might use for a book) you don’t need to run out of room if you use newsprint or butcher’s paper spread over your dining-room table!

  4. William B Swift says:

    I agree with Daphne. Mind maps on computers are not only hard to do (which this product may or may not improve on), but monitors are so small that even finished mind maps are totally useless. Eliezer posted one on LessWrong earlier this year that was totally worthless, it would have been more useful as an emacs outline-mode list.

  5. Toni Krasnic says:

    In addition to MindMaple, there are many other mind mapping programs, including MindManager, ConceptDraw, DropMind, CoMapping, MindMeister, etc., and free programs like XMind and FreeMind. For a comprehensive list, visit http://www.mind-mapping.org. Note that all programs have highly discounted rates for students and teachers.

    The main advantages of electronic mind maps over hand-drawn maps are that electronic maps are easy to manipulate (expand, collapse, connect, delete, add-on, paste images/diagrams, etc.) and contain multiple levels of information (hyperlinks, notes, attachments, etc.).

    Most recently, mind mapping programs have also been developed for iPad and iPhone, and other mobile devices, which can sync with desktops. My favorite is iThoughts, but the free MindManager also works well. For three examples of mind maps on the iPad, visit http://www.ithoughts.co.uk/iThoughtsHD/Blog/Entries/2011/2/9_Guest_Post__Toni_Krasnic.html.

    Also check out http://www.biggerplate.com, a mind map sharing portal, with over 24,000 members and 200,000 maps.

  6. Steven says:

    Seems rather steep for a piece of software. I’d much rather use https://bubbl.us for my mind maps. It’s free web-based software that is designed for brainstorming, but I think it works perfectly well for mind mapping.

  7. Dream says:

    I think a paper and pencil is good enough to be honest. Keep it simple is my motto. 🙂

  8. Jabe Ziino says:

    Making mind maps by hand, but using software makes it so much easier to make changes and additions to your mind map– if you end up adding a new category and rearranging objects in a handmade map it turns into a mess! I find it so much easier to keep a digital map organized and balanced.

    If you use mind maps at all for work or studying, I think mind mapping software is indispensable. The internet exists for sharing knowledge and facilitating collaboration. With digital mind maps you can share notes and project plans with colleagues and include any important documents and files.

  9. MB says:

    I really respect you, Cal, for the charity part of this. I love the cause – supporting kids who want to go to college and can’t afford it. Such a great cause!
    The MindMapping tool looks terrific and iPad in education is really where it’s at right now.

  10. Vincent W. says:

    I used to use pencil and paper, and it became a pain to attach extra papers to the surroundings, to expand on content.

    I recommend Microsoft Visio, for writing ideas in boxes and drawing lines to link them together. It’s easy to scroll among multiple pages, attach multiple pages, easy to modify fonts and stuff like boldening.

    I think a good feature of mind-mapping is making the text really small for a high-resolution screen, and still being able to read it, which Visio does just like Word.

  11. Charlotte says:

    I use the software ThinkBuzan imindmap and it’s lovely and colourful with a huge library of pictures and symbols. It took this to help me give up my paper and colour pens. Worth checking out with a free trial

  12. AT says:

    On the iPad iThoughts HD is $9.99, and there’s Freemind for Windows and OSX. 99.99 is way too steep for something that doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

  13. Purna says:

    No doubts, the above explained mind map tool is quite good. But I prefer one of the popular mind mapping software – Mind Vector. It has cloud based, collaborative and more advance features included. This tool is easy to use and does not require one to have an in-depth knowledge of tool before giving it a head start. It has immense features that enables to create an outstanding mind maps.

    Thank You!

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