Here’s a confession: Besides been totally obsessed with stationary (I have like 20 different black pens, I know it’s crazy!) I enjoy studying and doing homework using colors, images and all kind of methods that make easier to memorize the contents.
If you, just like me, are a visual learner you know what I am talking about. How delightful it’s when you have important info written in a different color, arrows that connects concepts, illustrations that explains or exemplified a term… Well, you get the point.
And, since my college classes started three weeks ago, I can’t believe how fast the time it’s going!, I tought it would be nice to share with you some of the websites and programs I use to make my concept maps for studying or assigments.
It was the first one I used and I’ve been using it for more than 4 years. You have to download it (some computers already have it) but it’s really simple to install and free. Works perfectly if you need a concept map with a medium-large amount of information on it. You can personalize it but not too much. It has a limit in this aspect. Also, if you want to add an image it’s kind of a problem (I don’t know how to add one yet!). A big pro it’s that you can print it directly from your screen or download the map in a png format to make it “bigger” or smaller.
Colorful, easy to use, free and via internet. It’s excellent for concepts you already know or a small amount of information. Why? Because you can’t edit the size of the font (or type), so the program automatically makes the more specific terms smaller and smaller as you add them to a bigger one. For example: Animals (font size: 18)>mammals (font size: 16) >acuatic (font size: 14)> dolphins (font size: 12). And, in case you print this, it would be harder for you to read it. Also, for using it you have to create an account (using google for example). But a big pro it’s you can add images from dragging them from the desktop to the webpage.
This one it’s my favorite! It have been helping me for 5 months and I am so happy I found it! You just need internet and create an account (using facebook, google or your email). In contrast with the other two programs this one allows you to create not only a mental map but summaries, tests, flashcards and much more. You can customize the font, size, color, background and much more. Also, add images it’s easier! Plus, you can add another concept map you already made. The only con to say about it, it’s that when you download your creation in a png format the quality and size of the text becomes a little bit smaller. So you have to struggle a bit to fit the image into a A4 sheet of paper.
Ok, so this one actually it’s not an specialized website for concept mapping, but it can work just fine. I use this more for infographics than for personal studying, but it has everything you can possibly need. You can login using your facebook or google account (or with your email). It’s really easy to use and has it’s own images to add, an enormous amount of backgrounds, fonts, templates. This gives you an infinity of ideas and tools for your own purposes. You can download it easily in a png format, which actually do have a very good quality (Big pro!).
Those were my top 4 based completely in my own opinion and experience. If you use another one that you can suggest me, please let me know. Trust me I will be happy to try it.