MindMeister is without question the most innovative of the web-based mind mapping applications available today. Its developers have taken a truly creative approach to leveraging the capabilities of this Web 2.0 tool to the maximum.
Here are 8 cool but little-known things you can do with MindMeister:
1. Send ideas to your default map via a desktop Windows Vista, Mac OS X or Yahoo! Widgets Desktop, without having to open a browser or login to your MindMeister account.
2. Submit ideas to MindMeister directly from the search field of your web browser, or use the new Internet Explorer 8 Activities to do so.
3. Add ideas to your default map via e-mail, by sending a message to a personalized e-mail address that MindMeister creates for you. The subject of your e-mail becomes the topic, while the body of your message becomes an attached note. Cool!
4. Create an entirely new mind map via e-mail. You use a different personalized e-mail address that MindMeister gives you, and subtopics are designated by indenting them or adding spaces before them. MindMeister automatically parses the body of your e-mail and arranges topics and sub-topics accordingly.
5. Send ideas to your default map from your Blackberry, iPhone or other mobile device using SMS (short message service) via Twitter.
6. Work on maps offline, using the Google Gears capability built into MindMeister. All changes will be saved locally and synchronized back into your MindMeister account the next time you go online. I’ve tried this and it works very smoothly. This is perhaps the coolest and most practical feature of MindMeister, because it delivers a truly integrated and easy to use online/offline experience.
7. Automatically add definitions as notes to your map using MindMeister’s new “WunderNote” feature.
8. Chat via Skype with other team members when brainstorming with them, using MindMeister’s built in Skype integration. Clicking on one of the collaborators names in the footer will open a context menu that allows you to start Skype calls and chats with individual users, or initiate a conference call with all currently online collaborators.