Product Review: MindMeister
Free version Review
The free version offers many features to get you started. The quick tour provides easy set up for your first mind map. It walks you through each feature step by step and you can refer back to the steps at any time by clicking the icon in the lower left corner.
When you create an idea topic you can add notes, comments, links, images, or files.
- Capture your thoughts through notes.
- If you are working with team members, you can add comments so that a team member knows what you intended, or what you need from them.
- Link web pages that inspired your thoughts or that you want to refer back to as you expand upon your idea.
- Add images as a reference or that will be added to an article, eBook, or blog post when you execute upon your idea.
- Add files as a reference point or to expand upon your ideas.
If I had one issue, although it is minor, you have to click back to the main topic each time after adding an idea to add a new topic. If you are moving quickly with your thoughts this can be a little distraction. The good news is you can easily move your thoughts around to where you want them to be after you have entered it.
Once you have created your first mind map, MindMeister creates a dashboard so you can easily track and re-access your mind maps.
From the dashboard, you can invite others to view and contribute to your mind map, create new folders and import other Meister-type and plain text files. You can also access available templates.
With templates, you can use any of the hundreds available to kickstart your own mind map session. You can also create templates for yourself to use again and again.
The types of templates available vary from simple brainstorming, project planning, to-do lists, org charts, meeting planning, website planning, SWOT analysis and so much more.
When you use a template, the program walks you through on how to update the template to make it your own. If you have mastered MindMeister and don't need the assistance in updating a template you can easily close out of the update workflow process and do it on your own.
What I like about the templates is that it provides the main point of the specific topic and you just have to focus on expanding the idea to customize it for your needs. For example, there is a website planning template. Not all of us really know what needs to go into a website. The template outlines the main website features and then allows you to customize the ideas for your specific needs. What you don't need you can easily delete.
- You can add a relationship between ideas with the click of an icon.
- There are also color-coding options if you wish to visually distinguish various areas of your topic.
- You can easily move around your thought bubbles as your ideas develop further.
- When you finished you can download or print your mind map to share with others or to create your own task list if you are not using MeisterTask. *
Efficiency Tip: If mind mapping is right for you, it would be beneficial to sign up for both MindMeister and MeisterTask to save yourself from the extra step of moving it from idea to executable project plan.
Free: up to 3 maps, share, collaborate, import
Personal: starts at $4.99/mo, unlimited mind maps, file and image attachments, export, pdf, priority
Pro: starts at $8.25/mo per user, multiple team members, admin account, statistics and reports, G suite domain sign-on, export to word, pdf or PowerPoint, custom styles, boundaries, and themes
Combine MindMeister with MeisterTask for a more powerful tool by turning your ideas into a task list to implement your ideas. Receive 30% off when you buy both.
If you choose to upgrade the lowest cost is based on an annual payment. MindMeister also offers a 6-month subscription if you just want to try it out before committing to the annual subscription, however, there is a slight price increase.
MindMeister can be a very powerful tool to kickstart any project or thought idea. The only limits I could see are the limits of your own imagination and the free version only allows you to have 3 maps at a time. Once you start using this program, you will be addicted to the creativity it invokes and you will need many more than 3. For just $4.99 a month it could be worth the upgrade so you don't have to worry about downloading your maps to allow you add another one.
Although I didn't try out MeisterTask, I can see how pairing the two can quickly create a project plan saving you a lot of time when you are ready to execute your idea.
If you are visual in your thought process, you should give MindMeister a try. You could be expanding your ideas and thoughts in no time into something much more than you originally imagined.
Note: The MindMeister links are an affiliate link that will provide me with free bonus maps. I am not currently on a paid subscription, but if I do upgrade I will receive 20% commission on any referrals who click the links in this article.