I’m a big fan of mind-mapping and over the years I’ve sketched out many on scraps of paper, saved the odd ones in notebooks, and eventually started visualising mind-maps in my head. Okay, I know you’ll say that imagining a mind-map is a bit of a strange process, but when you’re sat in a meeting and are unable to take notes for any reason (or just don’t want to be seen writing your response) building a mental mind map and then being able to run through it in your response is a handy skill.
So I’m building a mind-map of objectives for 2009. This is a practical map listing the tasks and projects we want to complete this year, and I wanted a way to document it that would be easy to update, and accessible from both work and home. I also wanted it to be free, and not involve me downloading software onto any computers I wanted to use it from. So a quick check on LifeHacker guided me to the simple mind-mapping website Bubbl.us
Bubbl.us is not the world’s most robust and feature rich tools, but it is quick to load, easy to use, and produces reasonable print options. It doesn’t have some of the advanced tools that you’d find in installed applications, but for being free (they accept PayPal donations) and online it nailed my requirements brilliantly. The organisation of bubbles can be a bit annoying, but you can always drag and drop to rearrange them as you’d want them and it remembers your arrangement when you save. You may get some print appearing outside bubbles on certain print configurations, but if you fiddle with it a bit you can resolve most issues and when something is this cheap and simple you have to accept the odd glitch.
Sign-up is only required if you want to save you map, so if all you want to do is have a play with the tool and see if mind mapping can be of use to you, go visit Bubbl.us and have an explore.