Mindmap integration in Google Docs

thinking Many schools, including my own, use Google Apps for Education (GAFE).  As such, I was interested to discover the new partnership between one of my favourite mindmapping tools Mindmeister and GAFE.  With the new MindMeister add-on, (accessible via the add-on tab within a Google Doc) users can turn any bullet-point list into a MindMeister mindmap and automatically inserts it into their document. The mindmap adopts the exact hierarchical structure used in the list and adds a visually appealing graphic to the document.  It’s free and doesn’t require a MindMeister account.  The map created is not editable so students need to do the thinking and planning before they convert it to a mindmap.  Nothing lost however, as they can always delete and re-do if they need more details.  As we are basically visual learners, this is a useful, easily accessible learning support tool. There are many, many online, collaborative mindmapping tools available.  A couple of other favourites are:

  • Bubble .us – ‘Freemium’ model also with full access but limit of 3 maps.  Good collaborative interface.
  • Wisemapping – Free, open source, collaborative and able to be embedded into websites.
  • iThoughts – very popular IOS tool for iPad and iPhone

Comments and suggestions for other recommended options are welcome.

Personal brain

Personal Brain is a total mindmapping tool. There is a free account or the choice to upgrade and pay.

Personal brain homepage
Personal brain homepage

Personal Brain enables project management and collaboration with colleagues. Marco Torres explained that Personal Brain is how movie studios keep track of productions; schedules, budgets, actors, locations and so on. If Personal Brain can effectively manage multi mullion dollar shoots, then it sounds like it will get the job done in schools.

Students and teachers who are visual learners will love Personal Brain. And as Marco Torres suggests, Principals could use Personal Brain to map the entire school curriculum and immediately see which class was studying which topic at a given time. This could lead to more interdisciplinary studies as often we aren’t exactly sure what some of our colleageus in other levels or learning areas are currently teaching.  Productivity is sure to increase when using such a tool for planning as it is quick and easy to use and share and all users can immediately see where a project is at and what still needs to be completed.

Free webinars are held weekly to introduce users to Personal Brain and how to get the most out of the program.