I’m a big fan of mind mapping for certain things (not everything, sometimes just a rough notepad, or even ‘internal’ notes is enough).

And the FreeMind software is more than enough for people (it’s totally free and let’s you produce mind maps – what more could you want?).

What if you want to share your mind maps online?Let’s say you’re teaching a course or coaching. You might want to make your mind map available, but not everyone will use FreeMind.

Or, maybe you just don’t want people to be able to reuse your mindmap – viewing is enough.

The good news is, this need not be difficult. I’m going to share a few techniques you can use to share your mind map.

Use a PDF Printer Driver

PDFs are a great way to share information which looks like the original.

You’ll notice that if you save directly from FreeMind you end up with a text file, something that doesn’t look that much like a mind map install.

But, if you print, your mind map looks as it should.

To get around this, simply install a PDF Printer Driver. This is used like your regular printer driver, but instead of sending the output to a printer it goes to a PDF file.

You can then share the finished document. Problem solved!

Use The Full Version Of FreeMind

The full version (still free) comes with a build in option to Export to PDF. This can give you much the same result as the Printer Driver, but without the extra stage.

I still recommend having a PDF Printer Driver installed, as this can be very useful for getting output from almost any software application onto the web.

Send The Output As Picture Files

This can be great if you want to tell a story with your output.

For instance – let’s say you want to show the output with the nodes all closed up, then with each of the branches opening in turn.

Simply get a series of screen captures (you can use the PrtSc button, or I tend to use the Snip tool built into many versions of Windows).

Now you can arrange these with some linking text and you’ve got a solution (and possibly a product).

Show The Mind Map As A Video

This can work very similar to the picture option, but you can simply run through the different screens as a video.

Keep this short.

You can add linking narration if you want, but this would generally be in a fuller product.

You might also want to grab frames from the video to create images.

Use Online Mind Mapping Software

There’s no need to assume that all mind map software is desktop based. One online alternative, which is also free, is Mind42 (http://mind42.com).

This online solution will open up your FreeMind mind map and allow to share it. Other people can then view it, open and close the nodes, and generally interact with it using whatever methods best suit their learning.

You can use this as a collaborative tool if you want to generate mind maps as a group, which can be useful for some styles of coaching and accountability.


Any one of these options should be quite sufficient for you to share your mind map.


Now Share Your Thoughts

I love interacting with everyone on this blog. Just go ahead and post your thoughts below.

Do you use mind maps? Have you ever used them online? Share your hints and tips.

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