Introducing: Whimsical Mind Maps

Steve Schoeffel Posted on Jun 17, 2019 in Product

We are on a mission to make visual communication more fun, fast, and collaborative. Whimsical Mind Maps are available starting today and here’s why we built it.

Mind maps are a powerful tool for organizing ideas.

The beauty of mind maps is that they combine speed and structure at the same time. This allows you to focus on your ideas without worrying about the layout. For example, you can brainstorm a blog post quickly (btw, here’s the mind map of this blog post 😉). Or you can list out all the pages in a website information architecture (fyi, Amazon is preeeetty large!). Mind maps provide structure and tidiness without effort. They make reordering content a breeze. They are a more visual way of organizing information and infinitely more fun than a word document.

Aren’t there a lot of mind mapping apps out there?

Yes! 🙂 There are many. However, we’ve found three fundamental problems that are prevalent in existing mind mapping tools:

1. They aren’t collaborative. You can’t easily work on them together with teammates. You can’t add comments or update them at the same time. This fundamentally limits their value.

2. They’re old and not fun to use. Many of the existing mind mapping apps were created more than 10 years ago and haven’t seen much updating since then. They slow you down by making you dig through menus. They make it difficult to produce something you’re excited to share with others.

3. They’re limited. Almost every mind mapping tool on the market today does only mind mapping. Some are Mac-only. Getting your team to adopt a new tool that just does one thing can be a struggle and software costs add up.

Whimsical Mind Maps is collaborative, fast, and beautiful.

We believe that having quality communication tools is vital. And so we built the mind mapping tool we’ve always wanted. Here are a few important characteristics:

1. Deeply Collaborative

Just like the other Whimsical products, Mind Maps are built with multiplayer mode for real-time collaboration. You can have as many people as you want working inside of a Mind Map board at the same time.

For a more asynchronous style of working, robust commenting is available with support for rich text formatting like bullet lists, images, and code snippets.

2. Super Speedy

As we were planning to build Mind Maps, we asked quite a few people what was most important to them in a mind mapping tool. Without a doubt, the most common answer was that it needed to be fast. Whether you are a veteran mind mapper or a complete noob, we designed Mind Maps to be super fast and easy to use. Here are a few ways we accomplished this:

  • Intuitive Shortcuts: People who have been mind mapping for years will feel right at home as we’ve integrated an intuitive and comprehensive set of keyboard shortcuts.
  • Quick Add Buttons: For folks newer to mind maps, we have included Quick Add buttons that make adding new sibling or child nodes a breeze.

  • Contextual Toolbars: We placed all the relevant controls right at your finger tips by using contextual toolbars. This way, you can easily add a link, an icon, or collapse a branch without having to browse through menus or memorize the shortcuts.

3. Beautifully Visual

Our goal was to create mind maps that you are super excited to share with others.

Whether it’s the overall layout and line styles that form the backbone of Mind Maps, or small details like color coding the link arrows to the line color, we scrutinized every detail to ensure that the output is effortlessly beautiful.

We also integrated our comprehensive, searchable icon library right into the tool to give your mind maps that extra level of polish.

Part of an Integrated Product Suite

Over the past year or so, we’ve launched Flowcharts, Wireframes, Sticky Notes, and now Mind Maps. Our goal is to simplify and unify the visual communication work that you’re doing. It’s all in one place, with one cohesive visual style. Instead of using multiple different services and paying for each one, you get everything together—four products for the price of one. Instead of having your work spread between half a dozen different apps, you can do it all in Whimsical.

Happy mind mapping!