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Mind-mapping for Beginners

Mon, April 03, 2017 10:52 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

My apologies for missing March's post. My family and I were on a wonderful cruise to the western Caribbean. We were so relaxed, I totally forgot about my job. Now, it's back to reality.

Working with a client on campus, we are plotting out the workflow of event approvals on campus. Microsoft Office does have some tools for this, but they do take a bit of work and formatting. I just wanted to put something together quickly without a lot of work.

My first tool was MindMup. There is a free version and a Gold Membership for $2.99/mo. I went for the free version. There was no need for me to even sign up for a free account. I just started creating. It was super easy to figure out and easy to create. When I was done, I saved my map. Before the map is saved, you have to confirm that you want to save this map as a free file. Free files are public, cannot be deleted and are removed after 6 months. Please be aware of this before you save anything you don't want made public. I also had the option to download my map as a PDF, PNG, or SVG among other formats.

The downside to MindMup was that I was limited in customizing the map just the way I wanted. I didn't want to do much to it, but my alternative process hung over to the side awkwardly. However, for the simple ease of use and no learning curve, it did the job. Afterwards, I began to click on the menus and explore. I found what is known as a "Sidebar." It gave me options to create/show a Storyboard (great idea for building training!). I could also show Notes, Measures and Progress. The progress looked neat, but I could only have one option at a time. I'm guessing this may be more helpful if I had the Gold Membership.

Another online tool I had heard about was Mindomo. Even though this, too, had a free and paid version, I did have to sign up for the free account. When I did, I found out you can join for free for a personal/business account, teacher/education account or a student account. Ooooo, sounded intriguing, so I got the teacher account. With it, I can create assignments and have learners access specific maps. I have got to check this out more later. I still had a deadline for my workflow map.

The formatting was much more along the lines of what I was wanting for my nodes. I could also add better images and icons to my nodes. What I was really looking for was the ability to move my nodes and adjust the relationship lines. Mindomo gave that to me where MindMup did not. Although my map doesn't require it, I could add tasks and progress to the map. I also found that if I were to require presenting this, I could easily transform it into a presentation. I only need a printout, so I was able to save it as a PDF.

Now that I have the account, I'll be using Mindomo again, but I will recommend MindMup for those looking for something quick and easy.


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