Monday, March 24, 2014

Three Mind Mapping Tools That Save to Google Drive

One of my favorite aspects of Google Drive is the option to create content with third party services and save that content in your Google Drive account. The option to sign into a service with a Google Account makes it convenient create content without the need to keep track of a separate user name and password. Creating mind maps is one of my favorite ways to organize ideas and information. I've often had my students create mind maps as an exercise in making visual connections between important concepts, events, and people in a unit of study. The following three mind mapping tools allow students to save their mind maps in their Google Drive accounts.

MindMup is a free mind mapping tool that can be used online, with Google Drive, and on your desktop. MindMup works like most mind mapping tools in that you can create a central idea and add child and sibling nodes all over a blank canvas. MindMup nodes can contain text and links. When you're ready to save your MindMup mind map you can save it to Google Drive, save it to your desktop, or publish it online. If you publish it online, you can grab an embed code for it to post it in a blog post or webpage.

Lucidchart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create with Lucidchart just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can re-size any element and type text within elements on your chart. Arrows and connecting lines can be re-sized, repositioned, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams. Google Chrome users can use Lucidchart offline through the Lucidchart Chrome app. Lucid Chart offers the option to include interactive tables and notations to your charts. You can right-click on any shape in your mind map to write and add a note about it. Lucidchart now offers a Google Documents Add-on too.

Mindmeister is a colorful mind mapping tool that offers a Google Drive app and a new Google Documents Add-on. The Google Drive app is an intuitive tool through which you can click and drag nodes on your mind map. The Google Documents Add-on creates a mind map from a list in your document.