Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I'm still trying to figure out if "mindmapping" is a useful tool for me and for my students. I've noted a few mindmapping programs before here and here, especially in connection with diagramming sentences. Here is a good introduction to the topic with links to a number of mindmapping tools and a rather thorough review of MindMeister. One of the main issues that is emerging in this field is the degree to which mindmapping is valuable as a collaborative tool. Is the point to show others how you personally envision a topic? Or is the greatest advantage in having others work together to envision a topic? In light of my field of work, I'm trying to think of ways that it will help in biblical studies. Maybe I should create a mindmap and have you all sort it out... Wikipedia does have a decent survey article on the topic of mindmapping, and it links to another article on the similar, but significantly different, topic of concept mapping.

Some options

  • Check out this list of mindmapping tools.
  • Another free online tool that has recently become available is Wisdomap. I do like the idea of separating but keeping available more info apart from the map in articles and links. (Free account allows for 3 maps. HT: Jane's) Also check Mindomo which has a very rich interface, and you can use it as a collaborative tool. (Free account allows for 7 maps, but it is ad-supported.)
  • UPDATE: In the comments, Judi points to "View Your Mind." Here is what a project looks like. Do note that is only available for Linux and Mac OS X. Thanks, Judi.
If anyone has made good use of mindmapping tools in their own work or in the classroom, especially in the area of biblical studies, please share some links for us.


  1. I don't know what OS you run (Windows, Mac, Linux), but I've found VYM (View Your Mind) to be really good. It's opensource and free, so a great option for anyone who's thinking about mindmapping but not ready to take the plunge yet. It's very customizable, and you can save your maps as .jpgs and print to .pdf. I use it to brainstorm papers and keep track of ideas; it's incredibly useful to have such a free format to keep ideas in--no distracting hierarchy to mess with. Only problem could be if it's only a Linux program; some run cross-platform, some don't.

  2. I am a Bible teacher and Hebrew student and writer. I use PersonalBrain6 (www.personalbrain.com) and find it extremely useful. Compatible on Mac and PC. Free trial version. I use it for research for writing ideas, etc. They have lots of sample brains and webinars each week to teach/train. I highly recommend it.