We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.
Have you ever been brainstorming for a paper or project, felt stuck, and needed a different way to look at your work? If you’ve ever drawn word bubbles to connect concepts and visualize a project, then you’ve created a basic mind map. Mind maps are a great visual organization tool, and an effective way to tackle any thinking or learning task, especially outlining research papers, creating presentations, and studying concepts for exams.
After contemplating the benefits of mind mapping and noticing a price tag on most mind mapping software, I hoped to find a free app that would suit my brainstorming/organizing needs–and serve as a great tool for students, too. Mindly is a relatively new app that appears to fit the bill.
Most helpful features:
- Very easy to use – double tap on a circle to add text, change the color, or add an icon.
- Tapping on a subtopic takes the subtopic to a new part of the screen, where you can add other associations, like notes or links (see photo above).
- Design – if you’re a space nerd like me, you’ll probably appreciate the elegant, “planetary” look of the map.
- The ability to use emoji icons, attach web links, photos, or notes to each topic/concept – perfect for organizing sources for a project
- Great for group projects; map out a strategy with your teammates
- With the free version, you can email your map, print it (with a printer that supports AirPrint), or save as PDF. Other files types and options are available with the paid version.
- You can utilize your documents from any device with Mindly installed, via iCloud storage
- You can have up to 3 maps with the free version, and unlimited elements with the paid. If you think you’ll be using different maps constantly, it may be worth the upgrade. If not, you can delete maps as you go along.
The free app is technically limited – you can unlock more features with the paid version of Mindly ($6.99), which gives you unlimited maps/elements and allows you to have the full version on all of your devices.
Mindly’s simple, sleek features and user-friendly interface make it an effective way to visualize and map out any project. Check it out, show us your maps, and let us know what you think!
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.
Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian