Create Mind Mapping Activities

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a cental key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

Visual thinking is a body of methodologies that uses diagrams to represent ideas, concepts, process flows and relationships. Generally, ideas and concepts are represented by images and text, and connected by lines to show association and represent flow.

Mind maps or graphic organizers can be invaluable tools for visual thinkers and visual learners. The process of creating a mind map can help students gain an overview perspective on complex, multifaceted concepts. Mind maps can also help students outline an essay or story they're planning to write. The following list contains tools that can be used by students to create mind maps and other graphic organizers independently or collaboratively.

For additional information about types of graphic organizers and how you can use them in the classroom, visit: 

Using Timelines in the Classroom or


A free collaborative mind mapping tool, Wise Mapping has fairly easy to use editing and sharing functions. Each cell created in a Wise Mapping mind map can be dragged and moved around in the map without losing any text or text formatting. Wise Mapping lets users collaborate on the creation of mind maps, and maps made on Wise Mapping can be shared with others via email, url link, or embedded onto your website.


Slatebox offers a variety of intuitive tools for designing and editing mind maps and charts. Creating a mind map is a simple matter of using the visual editor to place text and images in boxes. Those boxes can be resized and rearranged using the drag and drop editor. You can embed the chart on a webpage and even invite others to collaborate and chat.


"Brainstorming made simple." Another free mind mapping/graphic organization tool that allows users to collaboratively create and edit mind maps. takes seconds to figure out, and you can try it, print it, or export an image before registering for an account. Once an account is created, you can email a link, invite friends to collaborate, or copy and paste an embed code on your webpage.


You'll need a free account to use this feature-rich collaborative diagram creation resource. Like similar diagram creation tools, Cacoo allows you to draw shapes, type, and drag and drop elements of your diagram. One of the unique aspects of Cacoo is that you can upload your own images to include in your diagrams. The collaborative aspect is that you can invite other people to contribute to your diagrams and you can chat with your collaborators in real-time while you work.


Exploratree is a free graphic organizer creation tool. Users can use pre-made graphic organizer templates called "thinking guides" or create their own templates. The Exploratree thinking guides can be used online or downloaded and printed to offline use. Thinking guides can be created collaboratively, which makes Exploratree a good tool for students working in groups to design projects together. You need to register for and activate (by email) an account in order to use this site. 


Mind Meister's basic account is free and has all of the features that a teacher or student needs. With a free account, users can collaborate with thers, share via email or embedding (will need to publish your mind map first to get an embed code), and download or export files. One of the best features is the ability to add active links to websites-- great for students trying to organize their thoughts for a research paper! Other features include adding attachments, notes, and tasks, as well as icons and images-- creators can even choose from different map themes. 


Mindomo offers free and premium accounts and is useful for organizing thoughts, solving problems, managing tasks, and much more. Users can insert hyperlinks and symbols to individual topics or the entire map. Users can also choose from a wide variety of layouts or create their own design. Minomo also has a find and replace feature as well as a spell-check option. Maps can be shared by exporting as an image, a Microsoft Project file, .rtf, and .pdf file formats. The Take a Tour ad Video are worth viewing.


Webspiration is a new online version of the visual thinking outlining and organizing program called Inspiration or Kidspiration. Webspiration has many of the same features as Inspiration but is free to sign up and allows for collaborative visual thinking. Webspiration is perfect for planning, organizing research, and completing projects successfully from beginning to end. Brainstorming and outlining tools help students organize their thoughts for papers and projects. Collaboration on Webspiration documents is simple and allows for same document contributing, posting, comments, and viewing changes.


A work in progress, but simple and free-- and no need for an account! Simply type (or paste) text in the box provided, choose indents/outdents, and the site creates a map. You can also save your map as a .jpg image.


"Realize the true potential of your amazing mind!" DropMind is impressive and versatile software that offers both online mind mapping and a downloadable desktop application. The user interface is intuitive, and images and hyperlinks can be included, as can icons and symbols from an extensive built-in collection. Collaboration is facilitated, and a chat featuer is included. A free registration is available, but does not include any export options-- a Premium account, or Academic (reduced rate) account is required to export.


Gliffy is another online diagram software site. There's no registration required unless you'd like to save or export your graphs, flowcharts, mind maps, and diagrams.


Additional resources with sites to record ideas on cards, show relationships, and draw diagrams. You can add images from the web or hard drive and color code the cards. There's even a chat ability allowing real-time collaboration inside a visual workspace.


Map and share your views of contents on the Web. Glinkr lets you create or edit your maps though the web using a simple browser. When they are made public, maps can be embedded in web pages.


ChartGo is a free service that allows users to quickly and easily create pie charts, area charts, bar graphs, and line graphs. The site does not require any registration to use the service. To create your chart, just select the chart style and chart dimensions, then enter your y-axis and z-axis data. ChartGo generates your chart based on your specifications and data input. You can either create a custom graph or choose from the sample graphs and modify them. When your chart is done, you can save a copy to your computer or share it via a unique url.


Chartle allows students to create simple and interactive charts online-- no sign up or registration required. Type or import your own data into organizational flow charts, bar graphs, pie charts, scatter plots, annotated timelines, Venn diagrams, mtion charts, maps, and even gauges. Chartle's website also mentions an upcoming feature allowing improved import from Excel.


ChartPart is another web tool that lets you instantly create charts online without signing up or registering. The application supports different types of charts including #d pie, line, scatter, plot, Venn diagram, and grouped bar. To create a chart, select chart type, and then enter the data into the provided field. The data will appear on the chart as you type it in. You can easily edit the input numbers and the chart will automatically regenerate. Once the chart is ready, you can share it by forwarding a url or embedding the html code on your web page.


Simple Diagrams is just that-- a small desktop application that lets you express ideas simply and quickly. Drag, drop, and size symbols from libraries, add photos and notes, choose from various background styles (chalkboard, whiteboard, etc.), save diagrams on your computer, and export your diagram to .png picture file format. The simple version is free, or you can purchase the full version for $15.00.

Spider Scribe

With Spider Scribe, users can work individually or collaboratively and can add images, maps, calendars, text notes, and uploaded text files to their mind maps. Users can connect the elements on their mind maps or let them each stand on their own.
Lucid Chart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create a chart, just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can resize any element and type text within elements. Arrows and connecting lines can also be resized, repositioned, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams. Now an add-on for Google Drive also!
SlickPlan is a web-based sitemap/flowchart generator that allows for the creation of free sitemap and flowchart design. Login is required, but registration is free, and you can embed the sitemap on your website.

Create and share diagrams by writing sentences! Can even login with existing Google account.

A collaborative browser-based online mind mapping tool.


No account registration is required to use Diagramly. Just visit the site and start creating diagrams instantly. Saves go directly to your hard drive and can be formatted as XML, PNG, JPG, or SVG. You can print directly from the app, too.


A free mind mapping tool that assists users in visualizing thoughts and finding connections. Editing and changing the mind map is very simple and allows for easy organization. You do have to create an account to use the service, but all you need is a name, email, and password. Your mind map is in the cloud and therefore always accessible.
My Simple Surface

Provides users the ability to zoom in and out on your mind map or list. The services allows users not only mind mapping ability but also the ability to create outline formats. NO sign up is needed to use the service, but an account does allow the saving of work.

"Brainstorming without the storm." Simple site to take outline-style notes, including a search feature. Also compatible with browser on iPad.
iPad Apps for Mind Mapping: