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Last Updated: Oct 30, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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The Power of Mind Mapping - Using Both Sides of the Brain


More Mindmapping Videos

Your Amazing Brain and The Power of a Mind to Map  
These videos feature author Tony Buzan, considered to be the inventor of Mind Mapping, as a learning and thinking technique.  Additional videos from Buzan include:


Why is Mind Mapping effective?

Mind Mapping helps you to know what you know! Non-linear thinking helps with recall. Information is often presented to us in a linear fashion.  But this is not how people think naturally.  Mind maps help you to rediscover and rethink information and ideas with which you are already familiar. 

Mind Mapping helps you to identify information gaps!  As you create a map, you are laying down paths of understanding within your brain that lead from what you know to what you need to know and to your own ideas.

Mind Mapping  helps you to focus in on what's key!  Mind mapping forces you to think and categorize things according to their relationship to other ideas and their level of importance.

Mind Mapping  help you to become a creative problem solver!  Non-linear thinking and identifying gaps opens your mind up to more creative in developing unique ideas and solutions.

Mind Mapping uses your whole brain!  Mind maps are drawn and can therefore take advantage of tools the right side of your brain loves, such as color and images. 


When Should I Use a Mind Map

Mind maps are useful in all sorts of situations.  Consider:

  • Brainstorming
    Use mind maps when you need to come up with all the possible solutions or paths you could follow.
  • Summarizing
    Use mind maps to develop a better understanding of something you've read or a your class notes.
  • Organizing
    Use mind maps to organize ideas in preparation for presentation, whether written or verbal.
  • Memorizing
    Use mind maps to make connections between new ideas and things you already know.  You'll remember more!
  • Presenting
    Share mind maps to help others visualize your ideas more clearly.


Download this open source software to your local computer. Besides the common mind-map structure, you can also create trees and fishbone charts.  Gather ideas, organize and brainstorm, then export your mind map in common formats such as PDF and JPEG.  

Sign in with your google account to brainstorm, create notes or develop mind maps for sharing and collaboration. Customize colors, drag and drop images onto diagrams, keep track of edits with change history.  Export in PDF or PNG format, share publically or through private links.   

Think in lists but need to get your ideas across to a visual audience? This tool allows you to import a text list (with indented sub points) and instantly create a node map.  No signup is necessary to save or download the results!

Besides creating a visual record of your ideas, Popplet allows you to upload text, video, images and even draw on the canvas.  Connect with other users to work collaboratively and create presentations.    APPS:  iOS

Create interactive mindmaps that collapse and expand as you move through them.  Embed your maps in websites where all that interactivty makes sense.  Add your Spicenode to the gallery and share it with the world (or search the gallery for some nodes created by other members. is easy to use.  Simply type your main idea in the bubble to start a tree.  Trees generate automatically, but you can also manually reposition bubbles, as well as customixe colors and size.  If you log in with a free account, auto-save saves you alot of frustration and you can share your work as a read-only or collaborative map for editing by other members.   




Do real-time brainstorming and collaboration for up to 5 users with a free account.   The "sticky note" interface allows you to add ideas, photos, videos and more on a shared whiteboard.  Organize, prioritize, and even vote on ideas.  Each note h as a unique comment thread to help your group clarify and debate.  The library of templates will help you get started quickly.  


This is a free google chrome extension (available through the Chrome Store).  Works well with Google Drive and other cloud based storage solutions. You can also save your work locally or print/export as an image.  The app allows you to change fonts, position notdes, and add images as you develop your ideas.  Other Chrome Store apps:  Connected Mind,  MindMaprMindMup

Use the browser-based app or download the open source software for local installation.  Collaborate, embed, and easily import and export.   There's even an embeddable mind map viewer for use on other websites or blogs.

Spiderscrive allows users to create free style maps by combinging text, images, files, calendar events and geographic locations.


Different that the rest, Wridea is an idea management service. Users create new idea entries in seconds, update details, discuss in depth with friends and organize data under different categories.  


This 100% browser-based software let's you create flowcharts, diagrams and floorplans.  


Mobile Apps

Idea Sketch (iOS)
MindGenius (iOS)
Mind Map Memo (Android)
Mind Mapping (Android)
MindMemo (Android)
Popplet (iOS)
SimpleMind+ (iOS)


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