Mindmeister. Basically, a mind map is a diagram that gives a visual overview of a topic and its related ideas. These ideas are arranged around the main topic in a hierarchical way and that makes the connections or relationships between them very clear. Creating mind maps is a fantastic way to unleash creativity, enhance your learning, collaborate, problem solve, and think critically. MindMeister is a mind mapping app that can help you do all of this. Watch this 55 second video to get the idea.
MindMeister is available for free from iTunes and Google Play. It’s also available here via a browser.The free version allows the creation of 3 mind maps, however, having said that, if you access your account details via the web-based version, and choose ‘get a bonus’, you will get an additional free map (up to a maximum of 10 maps) for every friend you invite through there that signs up for an account. After that, if you wish to upgrade, go to the Education page on their website and there you can get 6 months for €18 rather than the usual €36
It’s really simple to create and build mind maps using the MindMeister app and in just under 2 minutes this MindMeister video explains a lot of it to you. However, note that uploading images, presentation mode, and exporting your map to anything other than a PDF file, RTF, or a PNG image requires an upgrade.
If you like MindMeister and would like to learn more, further tutorials can be found here. There’s also a quick help page that can be accessed from within the app when you tap info>help.
The following sections explain how MindMeister can help Visual learners, Auditory learners, Read/Write learners, and Kinesthetic learners access and engage with information, and demonstrate your understanding of it. If you do not know what your preferred learning style is, go to the student page and take the short questionnaire linked to there and read how understanding your preferred style can help you personalise your learning.
Mind mapping is probably something that you do naturally already to help yourself access and engage with content. The maps make sense to you and the branches and sub-branches help you break content down and see and make connections between topics and issues. You can visualise the topic or the project. Creating such maps using pen and paper though can be messy to say the least - if you wish to add in extra branches later to expand on your ideas it’s very likely you’ll run out of space, and they can get lost too!
At a very basic level MindMeister can help on both fronts. You’ll never lose them and you’ll never run out of space as branches can be rearranged to allow for additional information to be added. Furthermore, at any stage during the creation of your map, you can even toggle between different alignments of the entire thing with just one tap!
Different background colours can be used for different elements of the map; different colours can be applied to different pieces of text too; text can be italicised and made bold as well as resized; and icons, and even your own images (paid version), can be inserted where needed. All of these features create essential visual clues for you.
MindMeister can also help express your understanding of certain topics. You can create mindmaps and use them in presentations. You can even share them with your friends and lecturers.
Press play on the sound file below to learn how Mindmeister can support Auditory learners.
To download the transcript, just click here to download it.
Mind maps can actually be a good way for you to engage with information. They can help you distill the information you’ve taken in and make sense of it.
Your mind maps will look a lot different from those of a visual learner. Yours will probably be very text based and you won’t make much use of colour or the visual icons or cues that MindMeister provides. But that’s ok - MindMeister can handle text heavy mind maps!
You’ll appreciate being able to instantly change to layout of your mind map at a single tap. You like lists and being able to rearrange your mind map easily into left aligned or right aligned list-type designs will appeal to you
That is the first app we have reviewed that really allows you, a kinesthetic learner, to make and build something. Mind maps can help you access information or take it in more easily, engage with it, and express or demonstrate your understanding of it.The the very act of ‘drawing’ information helps you organise your thoughts and make sense of the information you're working with. You can simulate that ‘drawing’ action when using a mind mapping app such as MindMeister, especially when you use your fingers to tap draw and type rather than a stylus. And, it has an advantage over paper maps in that you can revisit them later to edit them further.
Does Mindmeister provide opportunities for you to communicate and/or collaborate?
Absolutely! MindMeister has provided a ‘share’ button that lets you share by inviting others to access your map. MindMeister sends them an email with a link to your map. You can choose for your shared map to be read-only or you can allow those you shared it with to edit it. This is a great feature and one that makes the app even more valuable as a learning tool.
Students, you can use MindMeister to plan group projects collaboratively, or to map out with friends the important aspects of topics that need to be revised for an exam. Two, or more, heads are better than one and this lets you all to tap into each other as learning resources.
Educators, you could get your students working on mindmaps as part of your ‘assessment as and for learning’ strategy and let them share the maps with you via the app. Note though that you will probably need to upgrade from the basic MindMeister in order to have access to so many maps at once.
Alternative Apps to check out
iMindmap is another mind mapping app that available from both iTunes and Google Play that works in a similar way to MindMeister.
Install MindMeister and create an account
Create a new map and call it The 12 Apps of Christmas
Create a branch for each of the apps we’ve covered so far (OneNote, Lens, Trello, Pocket and IF and DO Button) and a few sub-branches from those noting the best features of each app for you personally
Either take a screenshot of your map or export it as an image and email it to yourself, then tweet it to #12appsDIT
As this is App No. 6, we are now at the half way point of our 12 day project. So...
HALF WAY GIVEAWAY!
Check out Twitter #12appsDIT and the morning email for details of how to enter to win a lovely prize
Don’t forget to tweet comments, tips and hints about Mindmeister to #12appsDIT