MindMeister (mind mapping)

App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
MindMeister (mind mapping) App Poster Image
Create visual mind maps with solid tool; pricey features.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can plan writing and other projects visually to help organize ideas. While it provides an alternative way to present information, some features limit its potential as an educational tool.

Ease of Play

Kids may find it challenging to add child and sibling content (and to understand what this even means in the help tab included on the main screen). Additionally, it may be difficult for some kids to modify content preloaded in templates.

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The majority of the worthwhile features are only available through a subscription.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MindMeister (mind mapping) is a collaborative brainstorming tool that requires an internet connection to utilize all the features. The app comes with a basic subscription plan, which allows users to create up to three maps with minimal creative features. For users willing to pay a little extra, features such as integrating images and video may help some kids create visual representations instead of writing formal paragraphs or essays. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use MINDMEISTER (MIND MAPPING), users begin by signing in or creating a new account. Kids can use one-touch sign-in (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or Office 365). This option collects your email address and allows access to your basic profile. After logging in, the app automatically signs users up for the basic plan. Other plans will cost anywhere from $6 per month to $15 per month, all billed in six-month increments. If starting from a blank template, kids click to create a new center bubble, then click anywhere on the empty space to create a new child idea (connected bubble) or double-tap to create a sibling idea (on the same level). To adjust the color or size of the font, kids use the built-in keyboard or click the icon in the top right of the screen. Kids can navigate the mind map by dragging the background and zoom in and out by pinching on the background and can search user-generated content. After they're finished, they can share maps in various formats, including downloading a PDF, an image, a rich text file, or a Microsoft Word document or PowerPoint spreadsheet.

Is it any good?

For a minimal mind-mapping tool, this app is a solid choice, but it's not perfect. The platform is clean, and the limited features will prevent some kids from wandering from the task of creating a mind map. Additionally, kids can share their work in plenty of formats, which makes it easy to work with someone on any kind of mobile device. Some features may be frustrating for kids with fine motor challenges since the bubbles are small and the multi-tap gestures can sometimes create more new circles than kids intend. Unfortunately, there are no built-in research options to allow kids to easily map out paragraphs, essays, or reports. Parents may want to let their kids try MindMeister (mind mapping) to get their take so they can decide whether they want to continue or upgrade the subscription.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the benefits of collaborating with someone else on a mind map as they use MindMeister (mind mapping). Ask kids whether they prefer to work independently or in a small group.

  • Families can work collaboratively on a mind map for a common project or goal. For example, describe what you love about a family member by creating a web, or plan a family event by creating a tree map to organize details.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: writing clearly
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, working efficiently
    Collaboration: group projects, teamwork
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (requires subscription for full features)
  • Subscription price: $6/month
  • Release date: December 5, 2016
  • Category: Productivity
  • Size: 66.70 MB
  • Publisher: MeisterLabs
  • Version: 6.6.6
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.2 or later; Android 4.0 and up

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