Managers rely on mind maps to solidify their strategies and explain the essence of their projects to team members, clients and stakeholders. That's a popular and efficient method of capturing and connecting new ideas, categorizing parts of a project and breaking down complex projects in a visually intuitive way. From this article, you'll get to know how your organization can benefit from mind mapping software and how to select an optimal solution. Plus, you'll recommend you an excellent app that enables you to draw mind maps at no cost.
Here is a brief step-by-step guide on creating mind maps in analog mode:
Put down your main idea or theme in the center of a blank sheet of paper
Trace lines branching out into new nodes — each line should stand for a particular theme or concept
Trace more lines from the nodes to develop various concepts
When you put all your ideas on the list, you'll clearly see relationships between them
You might prefer to rely on mind map software instead of a pen and a piece of paper for the following reasons:
Your virtual sheet won't have any limits
You can make your mind map searchable
The process of editing the map should be quick and easy
If you lose your digital file, you can retrieve its backup copy
Other team members can collaborate with you on the same map
Modern mind mapping software is highly intuitive. It won't take you much time to get used to it.
When choosing mind mapping software for your business, you should focus on the following parameters:
Real-time collaborative sketching. Your staffers should be able to collaborate on the same mind map in parallel.
One-click file attachments. You should be able to attach links and external files to your mind maps. Your maps should support video, audio, image and text files.
Presentation and sharing capabilities. You might frequently need to use your mind maps as presentation tools or for visual communication. You should make sure it will be easy for your to share them. Diagrams should allow you to toggle between views and convert mind maps into presentations.
Integrations. You might need to sync your mind mapping software with your documents, presentation and data management tools as well as other software. Pre-built integrations are essential for smooth work.
The primary mission of mind map software is to enable you to represent ideas visually.
Top mind mapping software should have the following features:
Organic mind maps. The term "organic" means that you can flexibly draw anything on the display just as easily as on a physical whiteboard. That should give a boost to your brainstorming sessions and make your project planning process more creative and adaptable.
Collaboration feature set. All your team members with appropriate access rights should be able to upload documents to mind maps, share them, comment on maps and tag each other. The more sophisticated mind mapping software, the more additional features it can offer (such as collaborative note-taking).
Selection of templates. To save time, you might prefer to use a template rather than draw a mind map from scratch. The collection can contain various types of templates, such as UML diagrams, flowcharts, org charts, concept maps and so on.
Keyboard shortcuts. This feature should accelerate the process of creating and editing a mind map. You should be able to add notes, comments and attachments with minimum effort.
Export. Good mind mapping software should allow you to conveniently export your maps through various communication channels in around one second.
You don't necessarily need mind mapping software to create a digital map. You may use MS Paint, Photoshop or PowerPoint for this purpose. Yet most non-profile apps lack the above-listed essential features and are not too convenient for building mind maps. It would be much more reasonable to use dedicated software with all the functions that are described in the article.
Try Bitrix24 - a popular mind mapping tool for capturing new ideas, categorizing parts of a project and breaking down complex tasks in a visually intuitive way.
One of the worthiest solutions on the market is Bitrix24. To be precise, it's not mind mapping software but a large and versatile system with extensive capabilities. It enables you to install the Mind Map app at no cost. You'll be able to use this app only for workgroups and projects.
You can either create a mind map from scratch or use one of the numerous templates. When carrying out visual editing, you'll be able to modify the following aspects of the map:
Map and node background
Map and node font
You can add images, emojis and links to the node. Plus, you can add Bitrix24 entities to your maps, such as tasks, users and meeting events.
Once your node is ready, you can perform the following actions with it:
Add a new node
Once your mind map is finalized, you can zoom it in, use the undo/redo option, export or delete it. Besides, you can assign a new owner to your mind map, grant and access permissions and quickly switch between multiple maps via the dropdown list.
You might want to assign a new owner to your mind map because this person has full edit access. Users who are not owners can only read and export maps but not edit them.
Bitrix24 is available as an on-premise or cloud solution as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android. Apart from the Mind Map app, it features a free CRM with an unlimited number of records and customizable fields, a built-in contact center for internal and external communications, task, project and time management software, website builder and many other useful functions. Over 10 million companies from all over the world use this system in their workflows. If you realize that you need more than the free basic functionality of Bitrix24, you can easily upgrade to one of the three paid plans with reasonable prices.
Hopefully, you found this article informative and now you better understand the specifics and advantages of mind mapping software. Such a solution should enable you to better explain the essence of your project and the relationships between its parts to your colleagues, customers or shareholders. Working with mind mapping software should be almost as intuitive as using a pen and a piece of paper. Among all the solutions that are available on the market, you might want to choose Bitrix24 whose basic functionality is available at no cost.