Turn grocery lists into mind maps with Text2MindMap

Got a list you want to map out? Check out Text2MindMap.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

We've looked at quite a few mind mapping tools here on Webware. Most recently, Webware's Rafe Needleman checked out a half dozen services that do the job one way or another. Nearly all of them require you to build and develop maps in a giant 2D space, something I think most people will spend more time trying to figure out rather than simply getting ideas down, which is where Text2MindMap is quite handy.

Instead of having you build out your ideas on some huge network of nodes, the tool lets you simply write down a list. Whenever you place indents, it will separate the bundle of items into a node, with little sub-nodes below each one. It makes it delightfully simple to put together huge mind maps in a very short amount of time--and without futzing about with any special control schemes or overly ambitious UIs.

Missing are some advanced bits, like special icons to help categorize what each node is, or a way to zoom around the canvas once your work becomes a giant storm of items. The key thing here is simplicity.

When done mapping your ideas you can save it as a JPEG file. You can also simply save the text list for later. One thing I'm not too keen on is that if your list is more than about 18 lines you've got to scroll back and forth to see all of your text items. If you're seriously ambitious about creating a large mind map you can come back to and collaborate on with others, this is not the best service. The upside to that is that it's great for creating small shopping lists of items you need to get from certain stores or locations. For that, it beats out the old paper list if you've got a printer handy.

Thanks for the tip, CJ!

Turn lists of text into easy-to-make mind maps with Text2MindMap. Seen here is a grocery and call list I made in about a minute. (Click to enlarge.) CNET Networks