Showing posts with label outlines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outlines. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Transno - Quickly Turn Outlines and Notes into Mind Maps

Transno is a new service that lets you write notes and outlines that can then be turned into mind maps and flowcharts with just one click. It reminds me a lot of the old Text2MindMap service that I used to use. Transno is better because it offers a variety of mind map and flowchart styles while Text2MindMap only offered one. Transno also supports collaboration by letting you invite others to edit and add to your notes. In the following video I demonstrate how Transno works.


Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing Transno in his weekly Ed Tech Digest

Applications for Education
What I like about Transno it that it can be used by students who like to look at their notes as outlines as well as by students who prefer to see their notes in mind maps to see the connections between topics. Transno's option to quickly change the style of the mind map displayed could also prove to helpful in getting students to see connections between topics. And for students who need a little help taking notes, Transno offers some templates to follow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Text2MindMap is Back - Outlines and Mind Maps on the Same Page

For a few years there was a popular mind map tool called Text2MindMap that enabled you to create mind maps from typed outlines. It was popular because you could see a written outline on one side of your screen and the connected mind map on the other side of the screen. Unfortunately, Text2MindMap went offline a couple of years ago and never returned. However, this morning I discovered that an independent developer named Tobias Løfgren has revived it on his own site.

Tobias' installation of Text2MindMap is open for anyone to to use. To use it simply go here, clear the existing text and replace it with your own text. Every line that you type in your outline becomes a node in the mind map. You can create a branch from a node by simply indenting a line in your outline (see my screenshot below for an example).

You can save the text of your mind map as a plain text file but there isn't an option to print it other than by using your browser's print function which will print the entire webpage instead of just the mind map. There is not an option to save your mind map or outline online so you will need to either download the plain text file, print the webpage, or take a screenshot of your mind map.

Applications for Education
Text2MindMap is an excellent tool for students to use to write outlines and see the connections between ideas in their outlines. Students can rearrange the connections in their mind maps by simply cutting and pasting lines from their written outlines.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Design Mind Maps and Flow Charts With Lucidchart for iPad

Lucidchart is a mind mapping tool that can be used in your web browser or on your iPad. The app and the website are both easy to use to create flowcharts, mind maps, and graphic organizers.

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, rearranged, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams.

Applications for Education
The collaboration aspect of Lucidchart is excellent for students to use to plan group projects and or create study guides together. The app is free to install. To access the full functions of the app you will want to use your school email account to register as a teacher or student.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Two Tools for Turning Outlines Into Mind Maps

Some students prefer to see ideas organized in an outline style while others see large concepts better when they're in a mind map format. Text 2 Mind Map and MindMeister's Google Docs Add-on bridge the gap between the outline format and the mind map format. Both tools allow you to type an outline then see that outline turned into a mind map.

To create a mind map on Text 2 Mind Map type out an outline in the text box. After typing your outline click "draw mind map" to have your mind map created for you. If after creating your mind map you need to add more elements to just add them into your outline and click "draw mind map" again. Your mind map can be downloaded as a PDF or PNG file. The mind maps that you create on Text 2 Mind Map can also be shared via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

To create a mind map with MindMeister's Google Docs Add-on create a bullet point list in your document. Highlight your list then select the MindMeister Add-on and click "insert as mind map." A mind map will then be generated based on your list. There are a couple of tips to note about MindMeister's Add-on. First, you cannot edit the position of cells in the mind map. Second, you must use bullet points or number lists generated by the list menus in Google Docs. I tried just selecting a list without the bullet points and MindMeister didn't create a mind map for me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Simple Surface - A Simple, Collaborative Online Whiteboard

Simple Surface is an online whiteboard tool that I initially reviewed a couple of years ago when it was known as My Simple Surface. The "my" was dropped from the name because the tool is now a collaborative tool. With Simple Surface you can collaboratively create outlines and mind maps.

To get started with Simple Surface just click on "use for free now," double click on the surface, and then start typing. To create an additional thought box just double click anywhere on your board. To make sibling and child thought boxes use the enter and tab keys. You can edit the color and size of fonts. Your boxes can be linked to URLs too. Right-click on your surface to open the full menu of editing options.


Applications for Education
Simple Surface could be a great tool for students to use to create webs and mind maps to plan creative stories, draft outlines for research reports, or diagram a set of concepts they're trying to connect.  You could also have students use Simple Surface as a storyboard tool to plan video projects.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

MindMup - A Mind Mapping Tool That Saves to Google Drive

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. 

Applications for Education
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. MindMup can be used by any student without the need to create an account. That makes it suitable for students who don't have email accounts to use. MindMup mind maps that are published online can be made into collaborative exercises. Consider starting a MindMup mind map with a central idea and then share it with your students to complete as a group.

H/T to Lifehacker.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Memofon - Create Mind Maps from Outlines

Memofon is a new mind mapping tool that makes it possible to create mind maps from typed outlines. Memofon uses the same concept as Text 2 Mind Map which I really like. To create a mind map with Memofon you just have to type an outline. It takes some time to figure out the outline formatting tricks. Once you have the formatting down Memofon has more features than Text 2 Mind Map. Memofon can be used to create to-do lists within your mind map. For example, if I have created a mind map of a project that I am working on I can include to-do tasks in each branch of the mind map.

Applications for Education
What I like about Memofon is that students who prefer outlines to webs can use Memofon just as well as students who prefer webs to outlines. Because the formatting tricks take a while to figure out (hopefully, Memofon adds better help documentation soon) I would only use Memofon with high school and college students. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Slides and Outlines from my Presentations at TAIS

Yesterday, I had the privilege of giving four presentations at the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools' technology conference. It was a fun day of learning and sharing. The slides and outlines from my presentations are linked below.

Ten Common Challenges Facing Educators
Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration
Best of the Web 2013
Google Across the Curriculum

Monday, October 8, 2012

Text 2 Mind Map - Type to Create a Mind Map

Text 2 Mind Map offers a great way to turn your typed outlines into mind maps. To create a mind map on Text 2 Mind Map type out an outline in the text box. After typing your outline click "draw mind map" to have your mind map created for you. If after creating your mind map you need to add more elements to just add them into your outline and click "draw mind map" again. Your mind map can be downloaded as a PDF or PNG file. The mind maps that you create on Text 2 Mind Map can also be shared via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

Applications for Education
Text 2 Mind Map bridges the gap between outlines and mind maps. If you have students who prefer to see ideas organized in an outline style they can see them on Text 2 Mind Map. If you have students who prefer to see ideas organized in a web style, they too can see them on Text 2 Mind Map.

Monday, July 16, 2012

MindMaple - Desktop Mind Mapping

MindMaple is a desktop mind mapping application that recently released a free product for Windows users. MindMaple Lite is a free download for Windows users who want to create mind maps on their desktops.

Like any good mind mapping tool Mind maps created with MindMaple Lite can include images, links, and text. One of the handy features of MindMaple is the ability to draw loose elements into a group. In other words, you don't have to construct elements in a connected sequence. You can move elements of your mind map into groups after you've put them on the canvas. Completed mind maps can be exported to Microsoft Office.

Applications for Education
I don't think that MindMaple is superior to any of these web-based mind map creation tools, but if you're looking for a mind mapping tool that runs on a desktop, give MindMaple a try.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

7 Tools for Creating Mind Maps and Outlines Online

One of the presentations that I made this week was about having students create videos to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic. In that presentation one of the points that I stress is the need for students to create outlines of their videos before moving onto the technical aspects of constructing a video. Here are some tools for creating outlines and mind maps to plan video projects, podcasts, or essays.

Quicklyst is a nice tool for taking notes and creating outlines. Quicklyst provides a simple outline template that you can use to take notes. There are two neat features of Quicklyst that really stand out. First, you can do basic web searches within the framework of taking notes. To do a search just type a question mark (?) before a word then press enter. Quicklyst will then fill-in that line with some basic information about that word. For example, when I typed ?egypt that line on my outline was filled with some basic information about Egypt. The other useful feature offered by Quicklyst is the option to search within your notes. If you've created a lot of outlines in your Quicklyst account you can use the search function to quickly locate your notes about a particular topic.
Knowcase is a free tool for recording ideas and creating outlines. To get started using Knowcase just click create then start typing. Each time you press enter or return a new element of your outline is started. To rearrange the sequence of elements on your outline just drag them into a new order. Knowcase outlines can be made private or public. There are two public settings. A public setting that allows people to only view the outline and a setting that allows others to edit your outline.

Spider Scribe is an online mind map creation service. Spider Scribe can be used individually or be used collaboratively. I've reviewed a lot of mind mapping tools over the years. What jumps out about Spider Scribe is that users can add images, maps, calendars, text notes, and uploaded text files to their mind maps. Users can connect the elements on their mind maps or let them each stand on their own.

Folder Boy is a new service for recording, sharing, and organizing ideas with a team. At its most basic Folder Boy helps you organize your thoughts through an expandable outline format. You can create folders for each series of thoughts. Within each folder you can lists and sub-lists of typed thoughts.
Wise Mapping is a free collaborative mind mapping tool. Wise Mapping has fairly easy to use editing and sharing functions. Each cell created in a Wise Mapping mind map can be dragged and moved around in the mind map without losing any text or text formatting. Wise Mapping lets users collaborate on the creation of mind map. Mind maps made on Wise Mapping can be shared with others via email, url link, or be embedded into your blog or website.


Exploratree is a free graphic organizer creation tool. Exloratree users can use pre-made graphic organizer templates which Exploratree refers to as "thinking guides" or create their own templates. The Exploratree thinking guides can be used online or downloaded and printed for offline use. Thinking guides can be created collaboratively on Exploratree which makes Exploratree a good tool for students working in groups to design projects together.


Slatebox is a slick tool for collaboratively creating mind maps and organizational charts. Slatebox offers a variety of good-looking templates and intuitive tools for designing and editing mind maps and charts. Creating a mind map is a simple matter of selecting a template and using the visual editor to place text and images in boxes. Those boxes can be resized and rearranged using the drag and drop editor. If you need more text boxes, simply add more.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Best of 2011 So Far - Quicklyst

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Quicklyst is a nice tool for taking notes and creating outlines. Quicklyst provides a simple outline template that you can use to take notes. There are two neat features of Quicklyst that really stand out. First, you can do basic web searches within the framework of taking notes. To do a search just type a question mark (?) before a word then press enter. Quicklyst will then fill-in that line with some basic information about that word. For example, when I typed ?egypt that line on my outline was filled with some basic information about Egypt. The other useful feature offered by Quicklyst is the option to search within your notes. If you've created a lot of outlines in your Quicklyst account you can use the search function to quickly locate your notes about a particular topic.

Quicklyst can be accessed from your computer, your Kindle, your iOS device, or your Android device. You can also download and print your notes from Quicklyst.

Applications for Education
Quicklyst could be a good resource for students who need help creating notes and outlines in a consistent format. The built-in search function could be handy when students are taking notes during a lecture and they hear a word they don't understand. By typing a question mark before that new word, students can quickly get a basic definition to fill in their outlines.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Quicklyst - A Quick Way to Create Outlines

Quicklyst is a nice tool for taking notes and creating outlines. Quicklyst provides a simple outline template that you can use to take notes. There are two neat features of Quicklyst that really stand out. First, you can do basic web searches within the framework of taking notes. To do a search just type a question mark (?) before a word then press enter. Quicklyst will then fill-in that line with some basic information about that word. For example, when I typed ?egypt that line on my outline was filled with some basic information about Egypt. The other useful feature offered by Quicklyst is the option to search within your notes. If you've created a lot of outlines in your Quicklyst account you can use the search function to quickly locate your notes about a particular topic.

Quicklyst can be accessed from your computer, your Kindle, your iOS device, or your Android device. You can also download and print your notes from Quicklyst.

Applications for Education
Quicklyst could be a good resource for students who need help creating notes and outlines in a consistent format. The built-in search function could be handy when students are taking notes during a lecture and they hear a word they don't understand. By typing a question mark before that new word, students can quickly get a basic definition to fill in their outlines.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knowcase - Quickly & Collaboratively Create Outlines

Knowcase is a free tool for recording ideas and creating outlines. To get started using Knowcase just click create then start typing. Each time you press enter or return a new element of your outline is started. To rearrange the sequence of elements on your outline just drag them into a new order. Knowcase outlines can be made private or public. There are two public settings. A public setting that allows people to only view the outline and a setting that allows others to edit your outline.

Knowcase can be used on iPhones and iPads.

Applications for Education
Knowcase could be a nice tool for having students collaborate on simple outlines. Knowcase could also be used for creating simple timelines. I could see Knowcase being used by a teacher to create a list of events then ask students to arrange those events in the correct sequence.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you: 
Bubbl.us - Free Mind Mapping Tool
Flock Draw - Simple, Collaborative Drawing
Lovely Charts - Create High Quality Charts

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thinklinkr - Collaborative Outline Creator

Thinklinkr is a free service for collaboratively creating outlines. Users can invite collaborators to join into the outlining process at any point in the process. When you're done creating your outline you can embed it into your blog or website. People who have used NoteShare will notice that Thinklinkr has some interface similarities. As far as outlining programs go it's good, but it doesn't do anything other than outlines.

Applications for Education
As the video below demonstrates, Thinklinkr could be used for teaching outlining skills.