8 Excellent Concept Mapping Tools for Visual Learners

October 14, 2014
Today I have a short chat with some of my colleagues over the notion of concept mapping versus traditional outlining after which I decided to compile this list and share it with you here. Brainstorming ideas be it through concept maps or outlines is a scaffolding process that helps you flesh out relevant thoughts to include in your writing piece. On a personal level, I prefer to use outlines when I am engaged in an extensive writing project such as thesis writing or a literature review. Conversely, I feel more inclined to use concept maps with medium to short writing projects like writing a formal/informal essay, a long blog post, an article ...etc.

Concept map tools such as the ones below are useful for integrating in classroom instruction. You can probably use them with students to help them brainstorm ideas for their writing assignments or to crowdsource ideas around a given topic. I have gone through the tools available out there and handpicked for you this collection.

1- LucidChart

Lucidchart is a web-based diagramming software which allows users to collaborate and work together in real time to create flowcharts, organisational charts, and mind maps. Use Lucidchart in the classroom to create flowcharts, mind maps, graphic organizers and other diagrams. Enable students to easily collaborate on group projects.

2- Bubblus

Bubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. You can create colourful mind maps online, share and work with friends, embed your mind map in your blog or website, email and print your mind map, or save your mind map as an image. 

The leading online mind mapping application, MindMeister allows your team to be more innovative by providing a shared collaboration and brainstorming environment on the web. Plan projects, manage meetings and sketch out business plans online with partners and colleagues, all in real time!

4- Popplet

Popplet is a free online tool that allows you to create mind mapping and brainstorming diagrams. You may create a maximum of 5 Popplets.

5- Gliffy

Create professional-quality flowcharts, Org charts, UML diagrams, Network diagrams,
Wireframes, Technical drawings and more. Gliffy works directly in your browser!
6- Creately

Creately is a real time diagram and flowchart collaboration web tool.It provides over  types of diagrams with specialised features to help you draw faster and better.

7- SpiderScribe

SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. It lets you organize your ideas by connecting notes, files, calendar events, etc. in free-form maps. You can collaborate and share those maps online!

8- Mind42

Mind42 allows you to manage all your ideas, whether alone, twosome or working together with the whole world. Mind42 runs in your browser, so no installation necessary for the ultimate hassle-free mind mapping experience. Just open your browser and launch the application whenever and wherever needed.