Using MindMeister for Creating Awesome Mind Maps
In this article, you’ll learn about 1) what mind maps are, 2) the features of MindMeister, 3) how to create a mind map, and 4) how to use MindMeister for students, teachers, creatives, and your business.
INTRODUCTION TO MIND MAPS
MindMeister is an online tool designed to help users create mind maps. It is an easy to use tool that encourages collaboration between two or more people. The program is designed for empowering online brainstorming and creativity sessions. Users can work together via MindMeister’s website or its mobile application to create mind maps.
What is a mind map?
A mind map is a visual aid that works in the form of a diagram. Many people consider it to be an excellent tool for brainstorming because it helps you remain focused and establish links between different ideas.
To begin, you draw a circle in the center of the map and write the primary concept you are thinking about in the circle. As you come up with new ideas based on this concept, you can draw branches away from the center and add the new idea to each branch.
A mind map can be as large and complicated as your brain storming session. You can also create a basic mind map with a central concept and key features.
The fact that you can use this tool in so many versatile ways adds to its popularity among students, teachers, businesses, creatives and anyone who has to think creatively and organize information.
Who is MindMeister for?
MindMeister is for anyone who wants to create a dynamic mind map online. You can create awesome mind maps with only a basic plan that is free of costs. The features that MindMeister includes in its functionality makes the website as dynamic as the tool itself.
The main benefit of MindMeister is that users do not need to install software to use the program. All they need is an internet connection and functioning internet browser. Once they are set up, they can even use the mobile applications to brainstorm on the go.
FEATURES OF MINDMEISTER
One of the best thing about MindMeister’s service is the number of features that have been integrated into the system. These features help alleviate any worries that users might have the utility of a cloud based mind map.
Collaboration is one of the key features of MindMeister’s system. The site was designed with collaboration in mind. As a result, the site truly succeeds at allowing people to work together on a map.
Collaboration happens in real time on MindMeister. All you need to do is invite other people to your mind map through the sharing tool to get started.
MindMeister has also integrated a chat function into their collaboration tools. From within the map editor, you can participate in both group and one-on-one chats with your fellow collaborators. All you need to do to begin a chat is to click on the name of another editor of the footer bar of the map. You chat history is saved alongside your map history so that you can reference it later.
MindMeister is also built for sharing. The site makes it easy for its users to take their online creations and use them virtually anywhere else. There are three main ways that users share their creations.
Users can share their mind maps through e-mail via the sharing function. They can also invite people to edit their mind maps through this tool.
MindMeister allows you to share your creative endeavors on social media. You can promote your maps through Facebook, Twitter and Biggerplate.
Finally, you can share your map by making it a public map. Any map you make is private by default but you can change the settings so that the public can view it. When your map is public, it can be viewed by anyone on MindMeister. Public maps also become searchable on Google. MindMeister even integrates SEO to that your maps show up in relevant searches.
Another great feature of MindMeister is that the site makes it easy to present your mind maps. There are three main ways to present a map you have created online
If you are an Apple user, you can connect your iPad or iPhone to your Apple TV device to seamlessly present your maps on your TV. You will need MindMeister’s free iOS app to complete this function.
You can create stand-alone slides from your map by using the floating topics tools. This is a great way to focus in on singular ideas or keywords from your mind map.
The live broadcast tool allows you to use the MindMeister website to broadcast a slideshow to the collaborators that you have invited to your mind map.
Many users cite that one of the main features of MindMeister is that they can use a fully functional version of MindMeister through the site’s mobile apps. The apps are available on both Android and iOS. The iOS app includes an extra presentation feature in addition to the usual functions of the site.
MindMeister keeps a full history of the changes made to the map on its servers.
This is a great addition to the collaborative tool because you can see what changes were made, where they were made and when they were made. This becomes more and more useful when you have several collaborators.
MindMeister’s approach to changes allows you to undo any and all changes made to the mind map.
It also includes a playback tool that lets you view the whole evolution of your map from creation to the present day. This tool lets you rediscover your whole thought process.
MindMeister offers plenty of support for its users through several channels.
The FAQ, help and tutorials provided on the site are well-known for being both thorough and practical. These functions are available to all users who have an account with MindMeister.
Paying subscribers have the added benefit of email support from MindMeister. The site promises to respond to all emails in less than 13 hours.
You have several options to make your mind map completely your own. Users have the option of creating different styles for their mind maps. You can also integrate different boundaries for the maps.
The different styles available will help you organize your thoughts in different ways. The boundaries will help specific ideas on your map stand out and be noticed.
You can even use a color coding system to help organize different topics and ideas.
There are several options available for users who want to export their maps. The exporting functions are not complicated and are designed to allow users to export creations with only a few clicks of their mouse.
To export your map directly from the map editor, you need to click on the Export button. The button is found in the footer of your map.
You can also export your map from the dashboard. To do this, you should click on the advanced map menu and then click export.
Exporting your map is available in a huge number of formats including:
- Mindjet Mind Manager
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Document Outline
- Image files
Maps can also be embedded into websites and remain interactive.
When you integrate your MindMeister account with your other accounts at Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive, you can include the files you store on the cloud in your creative processes.
Task management is an unexpected but welcome feature of MindMeister. The task management options demonstrate the site’s commitment to being a collaborative tool for educators and businesses.
TaskMeister was created by MindMeister to turn your brainstorming project into an intuitive management system. Using TaskMeister allows you to turn your creative ideas into actionable tasks.
These tasks can be assigned to a person and given a completion date. It is a great way to make all your ideas into a reality all within one tool.
CREATING A MIND MAP
One of the greatest features of using MindMeister is that it is intuitive and easy to use. If you’re not sure what you are doing when you first log-in, you can employ a number of tutorials or step-by-step guides available on MindMeister to help you get started on the right foot.
Creating a New Mind Map
To create a new blank map, you will click on the New Mind Map Function and then click on the Blank template. To jump straight to a blank map, hold down the ALT key when you click on New Mind Map.
The new map will automatically open in editing mode.
When the map opens, you will enter the concept or topic that your map is about. It will then become the title of the map. When you have entered the key topic, you can then press Enter to continue.
When you want to begin adding to your map, you can use the ENTER key or the TAB. The TAB key will create child topics that surround the sibling topics.
To move an idea away from its original position, drag it from its current location to the desired location with your mouse.
Adding Images and Icons
Adding images to your mind map is easy. All you need to do is select the topic that you want to add an image or icon to.
To add an icon, click on the icon function and then select the desired icon. It will then be inserted into your mind map.
To add an image, you have several options. You can choose to upload an image from your hard drive. Alternatively, you can drag an image from your hard drive directly to where you would like it placed on your mind map.
You can also use a feature called WunderBild. WunderBild will search Google Images for the most appropriate pictures for your idea.
If you are looking for an image that you have already uploaded to MindMeister, you can click on Browse Image Library to find the picture you are looking for.
Adding Notes, Links or Files
You can add notes, links or files to any of the topics on your map. This is a great way to organize all of your information on a certain topic and keep it accessible in one place.
If you want to add a note, you simply need to select the topic and then move to the Notes tab to enter your note.
If you want to add a link to a topic, you must select the topic you want to add the link to. Then, you must move to the Links tab and enter the link or URL.
The process of adding a file is slightly more complicated. To add a file, you must first select the topic. You will then click on the Files tab. After this, you can either click on the + symbol or you can grab a file from your hard drive and drop it on the topic.
MINDMEISTER FOR STUDENTS
Mind maps have been a major tool in education for several decades. With the encouragement of teachers, students have started to use mind maps to improve the way they organize learning material and the way they study. Using MindMeister has several positive benefits for students on many different levels. Here are just a few of the positive contributions that mind maps can make to the learning process:
Mind maps are perfect for taking notes.
Instead of writing out linear notes, students can draw a mind map to help them include more information. This is important because most lectures are not given in a truly linear manner. Many lectures will include references to previous lectures as well as references to future lectures or outside topics. When a student uses a mind map instead of traditional notes, they can demonstrate the connection between different topics.
Mind maps also help students capture the most important information instead of struggling to write down every detail.
Mind maps aid students in memorization.
Mind maps are said to help students use several different parts of the brain when they use mind maps. As a result, the brain is more active and alert and this makes it easier to remember the information in the map.
Mind maps are great study aids.
The visual nature of a mind map makes studying fun. Instead of reading through information and memorizing words, students will be able to engage with the information.
Even working on the map will help students remember the information included because they will become more familiar than the content.
Students can study for tests in the car, on the train or on the bus because they can access MindMeister from their phones and tablets.
Mind maps make it easy to write plot summaries.
Writing a summary or analysis of a book or article is easy with mind maps. It is easier to distribute complicated information through a mind map than to write it out in new sentences.
For example: Mind maps are a great tool to use to study Russian literature. If a student is not used to the Russian naming system, they can use a mind map to write out all of the names and nicknames associated with each character in a novel.
The collaborative nature of MindMeister makes it great for group projects.
The task functions and the chat functions allow students to communicate while planning projects for school or university.
When the project is planned, the tasks can be assigned to each respective student.
MindMeister is easy to present.
MindMeister and mind maps are great for presentations because they are easier to follow than a slide show. Students can point to the idea that they are explaining as they present the topic.
It is easier to understand presentations with mind maps because the audience can use the map as a whole to draw connections between topics. This is often difficult to recreate in a slide show or an oral presentation.
MINDMEISTER FOR TEACHERS
MindMeister and mind mapping are tools that are great for education as a whole. There are several great benefits that mind maps have for teachers to help organize their day and improve the learning experience for their students.
MindMeister is perfect for creating lesson plans that flow.
Teachers can use MindMeister to help them put together a lesson plan for a quarter, semester or even a year.
Because it is so easy to change, teachers can rearrange their lesson plans easily in the event of cancelled classes or changes in the schedule.
Teachers can even share the map with students who can use it as a basic study guide.
Mind mapping is great for facilitating class projects.
Instead of typing out a linear project handout that is crammed full of details, teachers can create mind maps that makes all of the project information students need visible and accessible.
This is a great way to provide students with a clear expectation of the project and help them avoid missing key steps.
Mind mapping is great for both planning and making presentations.
Visual planning makes presentation organization much easier. When all of the details are visible on one page, teachers miss fewer details during the planning stages of their lectures.
Teachers can even present their MindMeister map using the presentation tools available online.
Mind mapping helps teachers teach critical thinking.
The visual nature of MindMeister will help students draw conclusions and think critically. It removes much of the frustration that stems from the confusion of dealing with notes, books, papers and other materials that transmit information in a linear way.
MindMeister can be used to play games.
Games and quizzes are a great learning tool in any teacher’s arsenal. MindMeister gives great examples and tutorials about how teachers can use their software to encourage students to play educational games.
MINDMEISTER FOR BUSINESS
MindMeister is perfect for organizing research.
Mind mapping is a great organization tool on its own. MindMeister has created it to allow you to include images, documents and links, so you can finally keep everything you need in one place.
MindMeister boosts productivity.
MindMeister boosts productivity in a variety of ways. Because it provides a better tool to organize research and has created a truly collaborative platform, the site drives continuous productivity.
Productivity continues with MindMeister into the activation and management phases of any project.
The platform is perfect for collaborative projects.
Workers can now collaborate on projects remotely without any of the worries of other systems.
The archive of changes prevents important information from being lost. It also demonstrates what changes were made, when they were made and who made them so that thought processes are easily identified.
The archived chat allows collaborators to work only in one space instead of relying on multiple programs.
You can transform your planning map into a full blown project management operation with MeisterTask.
When your project is ready to go, you can assign tasks to collaborators. You can also assign due dates and view completion rates on each task.
MINDMEISTER FOR CREATIVES
MindMeister is an excellent site for creatives. Many creatives appreciate this tool because they often enjoy thinking visually. The value of MindMeister extends beyond the mind mapping tool and straight into the heart of the creative process. Here are the biggest benefits for writers and designers:
Writers can use MindMeister to create timelines. The online tool allows them to shift timelines around simply by dragging and dropping ideas. This removes the confusion of the traditional paper method with its confusing arrows.
Writers can add pictures to their ideas to create an experience that is even more visual.
Writers can find inspiration from publically available maps on the site.
The collaborative features of MindMeister are great for designers. Designers can send suggestions to their colleagues for opinions and approval. If the colleague suggests any changes, they can be made on the map itself to demonstrate exactly what they mean. There is never any fear of lost work because MindMeister backs up all of the changes to each map in its archive.
The sharing features are also ideal for designers. With so many ways to share their mind maps, designers can send their ideas to collaborators, supervisors, clients or even on their design blog or portfolio.
WHY USING MIND MAPPING AND MINDMEISTER IS SO EFFECTIVE & CONCLUSION
Mind mapping is an incredibly effective tool for anyone who needs to think critically or creatively. Whether you are a student, a teacher, a creative or anyone who needs to plan a project, using a mind map can help you get through the planning stages faster.
Why are mind maps so effective? Because they help you organize all of your thoughts on a concept in a visual way. It removes the need for confusing arrows, footers and notes written in margins. It also helps you see the bigger picture.
Scientists suggest that when you use a mind map, you have to use more areas of your brain. This kind of radiant thinking not only helps you make connections faster but it helps you develop further ideas on the subject.
Because your brain is so actively involved in the process, you are able to remember what you learned or created. This is better than the pure memorization of facts because it helps you remember the connections you made and makes memorization part of the greater learning process.
MindMeister has capitalized on the benefits of mind mapping and has even improved them dramatically. Their online tool makes drawing a mind map easier than ever. The collaboration and integration features make it the perfect way to create awesome mind maps in any scenario.
Image credit: MindMeister.
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