I like visual maps…

I think better when I can draw it out. Over the years I have used, become addicted to (and probably annoyed people) with my Omnigraffle project design maps.  Here are a few examples of the kinds of maps I have used with colleagues and students in the early development of a highly collaborative project involving social software (beta tools mainly), many partners and various objectives.

Project Overview LEAP DevelopmentSupporting Technologies

I also use NovaMind Faculty Development concept mapping and free tools like Bubble.us  and Gliffy.

The essential features for me are:

  •  easy to use and flexible (with features like: drag, drop, move, hide)
  • exportable to different formats
  • shareable: which is only possible with Omnigraffle and Novamind if other collaborators have the software installed – however the web based tools only require an account sign up (easy and straight forward).

I find that the mind mapping tools are most useful when brainstorming about the various pieces/ perspectives related to a single concept or theme.  The other visual mapping tools (like Gliffy or Omnigraffle) tend to be most useful in looking at relationships between things/themes/components.

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