OK, sure, there are several of these online mind mapping sites like bubbl.us, mindomo, mindmeister, and others. But there’s a new player on the block, and I happen to like this one. Take a look at (and drag and click) my map I created for cellular organelles. For best results, put it in full screen view (second button on left):

I really like the way the text scrolls within a balloon- that allows for longer summaries and explanations to be added. Adding the pictures was great too! There are quite a few styles to choose from so you’ll have to explore to see them all. The site works on a freemium model, so the free version has a few limitations:
  • All maps are watermarked (like we’ve ever let that stop us from using something free)
  • Can’t password protect the free maps (so if you don’t want everyone to see it, don’t put it out there)
  • Can’t collaborate with others on a single map (we have other tools for that)
  • Limited number of styles (which actually saves time in the classroom)
  • Some features not available (like adding sounds, editing the appearance, etc.)
Anyway, try it for yourself- it requires a verified email address to set up your account, but it’s worth it. The interface is easy to use, and the results are… well, rewarding! BTW- You can log in with Google account info!

external image GW482H398Gliffy

This online diagram designer will allow you to create a variety of diagrams such as mind maps, flow charts, floor plans, computer networks, user interfaces, etc. Here are some features and limitations:
  • Large delay when entering text
  • Doesn't remember color selections
  • Aligning objects isn't easy
  • Link styles are limited and are difficult to adjust
  • Basic and standard tools
  • Can upload your own images (must be tagged)
  • Can print to printer or save as .jpg .png .svg (Visio)
  • Multiple people can collaborate on the same diagram

external image GW488H302Mindomo

  • Free registration (email verification required)
  • Can make maps public or private
  • Free accounts limited to 7 private maps
  • Can embed or save maps as graphics or PDF, RTF, TXT (WetPaint did not allow this type of embed, but it embedded fine elsewhere)
  • Can only add hosted images
  • Many different layout options & easy to navigate (Office 2007 type interface)
  • Students can collaborate on maps


A simple tool that allows for text-only mind maps. No registration is required to create and download as JPEG or PNG. Registration is required for saving the created map and embedding. Registration requires an email address but verification is not necessary. Sheets can be shared among registered users for collaboration.

external image GW504H329Text 2 Mind Map

This is a cool little tool that allows students to enter text in an outline format and it automatically converts it to a simple map- no bells & whistles, no graphics, just colored text bubbles. This is great for quick organization of ideas. You can't save the mind map in any other format than .jpg. No registration of any kind is required. Here's a simple sample that I created and saved.


Creately is a site that allows users to collaborate on diagrams. Creately includes many different templates for objects in common types of diagrams and flowcharts- including those specific to education. In fact, data can be connected with different nodes and that data can be automatically interpreted in a useful way according to predefined rules. For example, a diagram of a logic circuit could display the output given each of the inputs.