If you’ve ever utilized mind maps before, you’ll know how useful they can be for organizing your thoughts and producing ideas. There are lots of uses for them, and they can be a fantastic tool for work, studying, and everyday life.
If you want a space to create mind maps, and work with them seamlessly, the MindMeister application is an excellent option. Let’s take a look at some of its features, and how you can make the best use of the app for creative and collaborative work.
What Is MindMeister?
MindMeister is an application that enables you to create and store your mind maps. It’s designed to make mind mapping easy, efficient, and presentable so that you can use them both internally and with your colleagues.
It offers four different pricing levels, depending on what your needs are. The basic account is free, and allows you to make up to three mind maps, collaborate in real-time, and share your creations. The paid-for accounts include everything in basic and the lower, plus:
- Personal ($4.99 per month) for unlimited mind maps, file and image attachments, PDF and image export, and printing.
- Pro ($8.25 per month) for everything in personal, plus Word and PowerPoint export, multiple team members, admin account, and Google Workspace for domain sign-on.
- Business ($12.49 per month) for everything in personal and pro, plus team grouping, backups, custom team domain, multiple administrators, and more.
However, if you just want a simple space to work with your team on mind maps, the basic account will provide everything you need. Regardless of which you choose, MindMeister is available for download on Android and iOS devices and for use on your web browser.
How to Create Mind Maps in MindMeister
As you may know, mind maps are generally used for brainstorming ideas, and are a staple of most workplaces. However, pretty much anything that you can display in a map-style format can be applied. They also have a lot of benefits, including:
- A planning alternative for visual learners.
- Encouraging creative thinking.
- Enhanced project planning.
- Increasing working memory and recall.
- Presenting processes and relaying information to colleagues.
Once you’ve created an account on MindMeister, you can make a new mind map from your home page. Where it says My Maps, just click the blue Plus icon and select New mind map from the drop-down. Alternatively, you can click the Mind map button just left to the Plus icon.
This will take you to your new mind map. In the center, there will be a bubble that says “My new mind map”. You can click here to type what you would like the heart of your mind map to be.
You can add a new direct connection to the main bubble by clicking the orange Plus sign above your mind map. Alternatively, when you select the main bubble, hover over the small, gray Plus sign to Add child. This will create a connection that stems from the main subject bubble.
If you click one of the Child buttons, you will have the option to Add child, which will create a connection from it, or Add sibling, which will create another direct connection from the main bubble. The wording is designed to appear like a family tree.
When you have a bubble selected, you can click the Ellipses icon, and it will bring up a plethora of customization options, such as:
- Actions, including Connections, Comment, Note, Media, Attachment, and Assign.
- Style, with the option to change the color, font, text size, shape, borders, and much more of the bubble you selected.
- Icons, which you can add to your selected bubble.
- Layout, for auto-align or to change the layout.
There are a lot of different features here, so definitely spend some time testing them out, to get a better grasp of how it all looks. Alternatively, if you just want a simple, pre-made layout, you can select the multicolored Themes icon on the right side of your screen to select from the options.
Collaborating in MindMeister
Now that you have your mind map set up, you can start collaborating on them with your colleagues:
- Click the blue Invite button at the top-right of your screen to bring up the Add member window.
- Under Invite people, type your colleague’s e-mail addresses.
- Under Message, you can type a message that will be sent via e-mail.
- Click the Pencil icon to select whether you would like your colleagues to be Editors or Viewers.
- Click Invite.
Once your team has accepted the invite, they will be able to add and edit connections on your mind map, with access to all the customization options you have.
This is where the Comment feature can be handy, as it allows your colleagues to post a comment in relation to any of the bubbles, and your team can respond to it in real-time. On the other hand, if you want to use the Note feature, this posts a note that your team can’t respond to. Just select the bubble, click the Ellipses and Actions and select Comment or Note.
Outline and Export Your Mind Map
One particularly useful feature of MindMeister is that you can switch your view from mind map to outline, and vice versa. This is great if you’re a student planning an essay, or you just want to translate your visual map into a written overview. When you’re done with your map, click the blue icon in the bottom-left of your screen to toggle between Mind map and Outline.
From the mind map view, MindMeister allows you to export what you have created. Click the Cloud icon in the top-left of your screen, and select from the on-screen options. What you can do here depends on the type of account you have, but at the very basic, you can export as a Document Outline (under Common File Formats), or as a Mindmeister file (under Mind Map Formats).
Mind Maps Enhanced With MindMeister
There are so many remarkable features that come with MindMeister, which truly enhance your experience of mind mapping. Once you’ve learned what the application can do, it can really transform your experience of organizing information and collaborating with your team.
If you’re still unsure, give the free, basic account a try. You will likely find many ways that MindMeister can serve your productivity in many useful ways during the working week.
Using the same mind map for all your projects may not be the most effective strategy, so take a look and learn about the different types of mind maps.
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