Review: MindMup is a free, effortless way to create mind maps in moments

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder MindMup

    PCWorld Rating

    MindMup is simple, fast, and has a very low learning curve.

Mind maps are fundamentally very simple. You can create one on the back of a napkin in mere seconds, so it follows that there should be an equally effortless way to do it online. And there is: MindMup, a free and lightweight service lets you throw together simple mindmaps without having to download anything, open an account, or do anything else. It's Web-based, too, so it works across Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

MindMup makes good use of the mind map format to explain how the product works.

When you go to MindMup.com, you first see a default map explaining how the service works. It goes over keyboard and mouse use, and includes notes on how open and frictionless the service is. And for once, it's no hyperbole: MindMup requires no registration to work, not even when you save your mind map. And if you're afraid of saving your work to the service, you can easily connect it with your Google Drive, or even save to the local browser storage using HTML5.

MindMup is JavaScript-based, so you don't need to have Flash installed to use it.The service works best for simple mind maps. You can nest nodes, change their color, expand or collapse them, and move them around using the mouse. Motion is accompanied by pleasingly smooth, bouncy animations.

MindMup lets you export your work as a PNG image, as well as in several other formats.

MindMup supports undo and redo operations, but doesn't have a fancy timeline interface like the one MindMeisteruses. Its interface consists of a top menu bar and a floating toolbar, both of which can be collapsed. In its barest form, only the mind map is visible. To access the menu once you've collapsed it, simply hover your mouse at the top of the screen, and the menu will become visible.

Once the time comes to share your work, you can export it to .png or FreeMind .mm formats, or you can simply share the link to MindMup. Anyone clicking on the link will see your mind maps and be able to make changes, but the changes will be saved in another copy. They can share that new copy with you, of course, but that's no substitute for real-time collaboration.

MindMup lets you zoom the mind map so that it's big enough to project and present.

MindMup is super-simple, lightweight, and generally a joy to use. The next time I need to jot down a quick mind map to explain a concept or make sure I cover all bases at a meeting, I may well use it.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can use the latest version of this Web-based software.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    MindMup is simple, fast, and has a very low learning curve.

    Pros

    • Fast
    • Simple
    • Requires no downloads or accounts

    Cons

    • Difficult to add extra information to nodes
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