A few weeks ago Jason Langridge wrote an article on his blog “Online Mind Mapping” which caught my attention and covers a great online service for Mind Mapping called MindMeister.
Last year I attended a traning of Marc Tigchelaar which I covered in the article: “Speed reading, mindmapping & braintraining“, and during the recent “Business Model Knowledge Fair & Book Launch” I could experience the power of visual (thinking) techniques in business communication myself by applying it on drawing a business model.
Introduction: “What is mind mapping ?”
On the mindmeister website a very nice definition can be found which covers most of the concepts behind the mind mapping technique:
“Mind mapping is a creativity and structuring technique that focuses on the human mind and its assumed inner workings. Contrary to the conventional methods of linear reading and writing, mind mapping is based on the central thesis that our mind works both rational and associative. In order to mimic this behavior we have to adapt our traditional methods of note taking, brainstorming, and creating lists. We need to introduce visual stimuli based on imagery, colors, icons and a more holistic view on a given topic or theme. “
On the website of Tony Buzan -the developer of the Mind Mapping technique- you can find a very practical and helpful example called: “Exam Revision 10 Top Tips“. Here comparison overview is shown of a mindmap next to the list of tips, so please compare for yourself.
MindMeister and some key features
Now we know a little about the basic concepts and reasoning behind mindmaps, let’s have a look in which ways MindMeister extends on these concepts and makes this tool extremely useful for business and working in projects:
“MindMeister is the market leading and multiple award-winning web-based collaboration solution that uses proven mind mapping concepts to facilitate multi-user planning, brainstorming, and project management sessions from within a standard web browser.”
While I used Mindjet Mindmanager 8 until now to draw mindmaps on my Lenovo X60 tablet, it is not easy to work simultaniously, adjust or share the mindmap easily with you project team. This brings us to THE unique feature of the MindMeister service.
Collaborative Online Mind Mapping
“MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions. Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere.”
With this concept MindMeister become a valuable business tool, which projectmanagers and engineers could use on daily basis, without the need to be writing on a white board in the same physical room with your team mates. It will help to capture idea’s in an efficient way, and describe relations among the different idea’s in a graphical way.
Another feature that I really like as a mobile technology enthusiast is the availability of a MindMeister for mobile application. With this application you really have total freedom of accessing your mindmaps on the go, even without the need of a computer or notebook.
“MindMeister mobile, our iPhone application, provides access to your online mind maps whereever you are. You can create new ones, edit them and sync them with the server. Through our unique user interface you have both the comfort of an iPhone application and the familiar interface of MindMeister”
Unfortunately the MindMeister for mobile application is only available for the Apple iPhone, and as a Windows Mobile fanboy I truely hope that this great application will be ported to the Windows Mobile platform as well. I think it would a great application to have in the business center of Windows Marketplace for mobile.
Despite I really like Mindjet MindManager 8 on my Windows Vista powered Lenovo X60 tablet, I think that the MindMeister service brings mindmapping to the next level and making it available for a wide variety of business applications. You can easily share the mindmap with your colleagues and changes by your co-workers are shown on a real-time basis.
MindMeister connects the web, the pc and the smartphone so you can access the mindmaps anytime anywhere. This is a comperable strategy as some of the Microsoft products like Microsoft Live Mesh or another example Evernote. This multi-platform approach is a concept that I personally like, and I truly hope te see a Windows Mobile version coming soon !
MindMeister is offered in four different editions: (1) basic; (2) premium; (3) business; (4) academic; The basic version is free, and this is a great opportunity to get familiar with mind mapping or start instantly sharing and colaborating on mind maps with your co-workers and friends.