Elusid Coimbra

(1) What kind of tool or resource are you thinking of focusing on?

Mind Mapping

(2) How is this tool useful to college students?

Helpful at organizing your thoughts and figuring out which ones relate to each other

(3) How will you limit your selection of tools? Some aspects you might use to limit your selection include cost, platform (Mac or Windows), availability (web-based vs. downloadable), and so on.

  • Web-based
  • Have a free version
  • Be able to save
  • Work on any OS

(4) What criteria might you focus on as you test the tool? Criteria might include ease of use, flexibility, potential uses, and so on.

  • Easy to use
  • Useful features
  • Ease of editing

(5) What process might you use to test the tool? In other words, what will you plan to do in order to see how the tool works and how it measures up against your testing criteria?

Create a complex web with many branches and sub-branches using Harry Potter as an example, save it, access it, export/print it, view it

Introduction

In college, writing papers is just a necessary evil that comes with passing classes. But the difference between a good and great paper is how well the content is organized and mind mapping software is meant to do exactly that. With mind mapping, you can separate different ideas into groups visually which is much easier to form into single subject paragraphs than reading off of scribbled down notes. Take it as a sort of middle step between the notes and the paper. It might take a little extra time to create but the difference in quality of the final product is very noticeable. Not all mind mapping software is created equal however so we set out to find the one application that would be the most useful for college students based on a few things. First of all, it must be on the web, nothing should need to be downloaded to run it. Also it must be able to save to your account so when running from computer to computer throughout the day on campus, you can access your work anywhere. And on top of all of that, it must be able to work on any OS. So once we narrowed those programs down we then graded them based on three things. We wanted to see how easy it is to use, how flexible is the overall program, and how good is it at exporting and importing. With these things set in mind, we set off to find the best mind mapping software on the web.


Bubbl.us

Screenshots

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Keyboard shortcuts for fast production
  • Color changing
  • Innerlink bubbles together
  • Save
  • Export
  • Import
  • Collaborate
  • Click and drag

Cons

  • Hard to separate with many bubbles
  • Auto arranging can be frustrating

Criteria 1 (Ease of use)

Bubbl was extremely easy to use. It felt very straight forward for the features it offered and was a quick tool to get the hang of.

Criteria 2 (Useful features)

This is the major drawback from using this service, there isn't much you can do other than make a bubble and put some text into it. If you have a web that has a lot of different elements to it the whole thing it becomes really cluttered and unorganized. This is a great tool for making smaller, simplistic webs.

Criteria 3 (Ease of editing)

They seem to have this feature down pretty well. You can export to a variety of formats so you can edit later as well as being able to export to images to be able to save or upload to the web. If you want to be able to import the web for later editing though you need to export it in an XML format.


Mindomo.com

Screenshots

Pros

  • Add notes to bubbles
  • Insert hyperlinks
  • Insert multimedia
  • Define each thought as advantage, problem, important, etc
  • Text formatting
  • Search the web
  • Set web size and shape
  • Define relationships
  • Change theme
  • Zoom
  • Save onto account
  • Keyboard shortcuts

Cons

  • Can't save to computer for free
  • Difficult to use
  • Can't individually move bubbles

Criteria 1 (Ease of use)

Criteria 2 (Flexibility)

Criteria 3 (Exporting and importing)


MindMeister.com

Pros

  • Can export and view on Iphone/Itouch
  • Has a grid to easily line up thoughts
  • Visually pleasing
  • Text formatting
  • Has a map "navigator" to easily snap to sections
  • Export
  • Add notes to thoughts
  • Share the map
  • Link thoughts
  • Add icons to thoughts
  • Semi easy to use
  • Universal keyboard shortcuts work (Ctrl+c, Ctrl+v, del, etc)
  • Click and drag
  • Can move individual thoughts
  • Has a web "play" feature that allows to have the web build itself when it's finished for presentations

Cons

- not as visually appealing as the other Mind Mapping websites.
- Once saved difficult to re-edit.

Criteria 1 (Ease of use)

Criteria 2 (Flexibility)

Criteria 3 (Exporting and importing)

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