MindMeister: Online mind mapping

Russell Bryant just sent me a link to a neat site that allows you to do online collaborative mind mapping: MindMeister. If you’re not aware of what mind mapping software does, it is a method to quickly and easily allow you to brainstorm ideas without getting in the way too much. It works by starting from a central node and breaking out in lines from there where you start with an idea or thought, then break that thought down further with additional lines from that node.

While working on the next edition of the Asterisk book, we spent a significant amount of time using FreeMind to brainstorm ideas of what we wanted in the book, then develop a detailed outline to the book which included the chapters, and what each of those chapters would contain. This way we can reference the mindmap while working on the book, and later review all our thoughts to make sure we covered all our original ideas. We continue to refine the mindmap on an almost daily basis while we come up with additional ideas and layout tweaks while working on particular chapters.

The website allows you to import mindmaps from FreeMind into the site, which is a valuable tool for those who have existing mindmaps. Check it out and tell me what you think!