A mind map is a way to organize your thoughts or study materials in a way that is more comprehensible. Instead of being a series of notes in your notebook, you can make them more logical and visually understandable. Using mind mapping software will allow you to study better, help you to understand difficult concepts with greater ease, and will allow you to become more adept at organizing your thoughts before the big exam or presentation.
It is very easy to learn how to mind map. While different programs have different interfaces, the basic idea is to create a central concept and then attach related ideas to it to give you a broader picture of a complicated problem. Let’s say that you need to make a mind map for why the USSR fell apart. The central idea would be Soviet Union Collapsing followed by similar blurbs around the central idea that explains one-by-one why it collapsed.
Because mid maps allow you to explore very complicated questions or events visually, they allow you to study better. With them, you can clearly see why certain things exist the way they do or happened in a visually stimulating and interesting way. Most mind maps have colors that you can add to certain blurbs, pictures, and other important texts to expound on your important ideas.
Here is a list of the best mind mapping software for free that can help you with your courses.
At the top of our list of free mind mapping software is MindMeister at http://www.mindmeister.com/. This site’s free mind mapping is very straightforward and easy to use. You may also get a paid premium account that gives you additional features like offline editing, exporting maps to other software, and map searching. But if you need to simply organize your thoughts visually, the free version is more than enough.
In order to get started, you need to create an account so that you can save maps to return to later. To use, just enter your central idea on the map. Click on the plus sign to add parts to the central idea. You can also add emoticons and pictures to enhance your mind map even further. To add notes to a specific blurb within the mind map, just click on the plus sign and then on the blurb that you want to add another part to.
Additionally, you can also export files to a text outline with PDF, JPG, PNG, or GIF. It is also possible on MindMeister to view past versions of the map you are currently working on if you want to return to an earlier version. Overall, this is a very useful and free tool for organizing your thoughts in a visual and comprehensive way.
XMIND at http://www.xmind.net/ is also a free tool that has paid Plus and Pro versions. But with the free version, you can create a variety of diagrams with mind maps. For instance, you can have a mind map that is in the form of a fishbone, organizational tree, and even logic charts. Additionally, charts can be exported as HTML, images, or text. It has more options than MindMeister, but with less functions in its free version than MindMeister.
FreeMind Mapping Software at http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page is immensely popular because it is written in Java. It also works with the same interface as Ubuntu and Windows. This program is keyboard friendly and visuals are easy to customize. All mind maps with this software can be exported as HTML, PDF< and PNG files. It also has a great support wiki and received the best user ratings on LifeHacker.com’s list of the Five Best Mind Mapping Applications.
RecallPlus at http://www.recallplus.com/index.php is mind map software that is built for students. It’s free version RecallPlus Lite allows you to make mind maps while paid versions allow you to make online flash cards to help you study. It’s a generally older version, but can nonetheless help you study.
Other Great Tools for Students
Writing bibliographies and works cited sections are just a part of turning in papers. But with great tools on the web, you can easily get an APA bibliography after entering in or selecting your sources from their databases. If you’ve been searching “grade my essay” so that you can get your approximate grade on a paper, an online essay grader can really help you. This tool allows students to check if their writing is clear, the central idea is explained thoroughly, and if it is grammatically correct. With all of these features, you’re sure to get higher grades. And if you have troubles calculating gpa, you can always use gpa calculator online.
- GPA Calculator
- Essay Grader
- Educational Software