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iMindMap Blog

Building Educational Resources with iMindMap

Last week we asked our Twitter followers how iMindMap fits into their lives and what they use it for.  Our first response was from an @asober saying:

Alessio Bernadelli“I use @iMindMap 4 almost everything! I do virtually all my planning on it! A fantastic tool that changed the way I work and my productivity.”

We thought it would be worth having a proper chat with this Alessio Bernadelli, the man behind the tweet, to find out more.  Alessio resides in Wales, after coming over from Italy for a trip 10 years ago and deciding to stay for good.  He has been teaching for 7 years and now works for the National Grid for Learning Cymru and the Institute of Physics Coordinator for Gloucestershire, focusing on technology in education.


Alessio has always naturally gravitated towards Mind Mapping, but admits that perhaps he did not start using it effectively until one fateful day 3 years ago in Cardigan, West Wales…  Perusing the hidden treasures of a local charity shop, Alessio came across ‘The Mind Map Book’, by Tony Buzan.  On a whim, he bought the book and the rest is history.  Reading about the process properly, for the first time, Alessio began to see how powerful these little maps could be.

Alessio started using Mind Maps when teaching his classes, improvising with sketch tools and PowerPoint.  Not quite as quick as drawing on paper, and without the editing capabilities of Mind Mapping software, but showing great initiative!  He would also show his classes a video of Tony Buzan to introduce them to the concept of working in a different, more effective way with Mind Mapping.

Alessio eventually stumbled across iMindMap Mobile, the app for the iPhone.  He found that he could now do almost everything work related from his phone – whether it be planning his time, or designing workshops for school – capturing his ideas quickly and then editing and refining them later in iMindMap on his desktop.

Alessio now develops educational resources for schools and says his iMindMap app allows him to jot down his initial ideas wherever he is.  One of his projects was to create a workshop for the Institute of Physics.  The workshop was planned out one evening when Alessio threw together his ideas on his iMindMap Mobile app one evening in bed.  A whole workshop put together very quickly in the few moments before sleep.

'Think Physics Kid' Mind Map

“Here is the Mind Map created on my iPhone and started in my bed.  The inspiration came and I had to put it  down – and what better way than using a Mind Map?  Without iMindMap I  couldn’t have done it.  The other advantage was that I could keep adding  and reviewing the Mind Map on the go and create new branches as new ideas came!

Alessio also shared with us the map he and his colleagues put together for a new educational resource, ‘Maths in Science’, using his iMindMap Mobile app and later refining on the desktop version of the software.

'Maths in Science' Mind Map

“This one was a collaborative mind map that we used to plan the whole [Maths in Science] resource. Then, the three of us went away to develop the bits we assigned to each members of the group. The Mind Map will become the map of the resource too, and the main branches will be the hyperlinks to the relevant part of the resource!”

Alessio hopes that in the future he can have all students using iMindMap on their smartphones, tablets or  computers in class – taking notes, giving presentations, and capturing  ideas.

We also asked him, as an avid Mind Mapper,  to have a look at iMindMap 5 and see what he thought.  He sent us the following response:

“I am having a little play with iMindMap 5 and there really are no words to describe it! The whole feel of the software is absolutely awesome. I have never seen anything like this!

I had watched videos on the new 3D feature, but actually using it is beyond what I had envisaged! I think you need to create a mind map with a powerful message, of an educational one and record a good presentation using 3D to fully show the potential of this amazing tool!  It’s just like Tony Buzan’s mental picture of Mind Maps as 3D, very dynamic and multi-layered associations of the brain becoming true.

You have made it guys! What was not possible and never will fully be on paper has become a reality! What’s next? 3D glasses? A holographic version of iMindMap?”

Guess he did find the words to describe it in the end!

You can see what Alessio is up to by taking a looking at his blog or on the NGfL blog (National Grid for Learning).

What would you ask the inventor of Mind Mapping and the creator of iMindMap 5? Tony Buzan and Chris Griffiths are at your service…

After 6 weeks off the radar on his travels, Tony Buzan will be joining us back in ThinkBuzan headquarters in Cardiff next Thursday 31st March.  We will be filming an exclusive interview with Tony and ThinkBuzan CEO, Chris Griffiths, plus getting lots of footage for our all new iMindMap 5 Resource Pack (more on that soon).  With iMindMap 5’s launch just around the corner, a packed year ahead and Tony returning from time in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Dubai just for starters, we’re sure we won’t run out of things to talk about!

However, we get to talk to Chris and Tony pretty often (well, daily in most cases), so we thought we’d open up the forum to find out what burning questions you have for the big cheeses of ThinkBuzan.  What do you want to know?  Have a think about it and get back to us – we’ll do our best to ask as many questions as we can.

And just for a taster, take a look at a few pics that Tony sent us from Kenya:

Tony in Kenya


Tony teaching Mind Mapping

Remember to post your questions on here and be creative, let’s keep them on their toes! The interview is Thursday 31st March so think fast!

Red Nose Day 2011

The ThinkBuzan Team on Red Nose Day

The ThinkBuzan Team taking a break to do their best ‘thinking’ poses for Red Nose Day 2011.  Get involved in Comic Relief!

Not walking but swaggering – The TLI Dubai

The Burj Khalifa
Another successful ThinkBuzan Licensed Instructor Pathway (TLI) came to an end last week; the second to be held on the sunny shores of Dubai.   Tony Buzan joined the group to teach a dynamic afternoon session and join the TLI group for dinner, having flown in from a month-long retreat in Kenya working on new books (more on that to come when Tony shares his travel stories….).    We thought we would share some visual highlights and feedback from our new TLIs.

Tony in full swing

“Learning about the brain from Tony Buzan and Chris Griffiths and team!  Does it get better than this?”

Dharmendra Rai, Training Consultant, India

The TLI courses have gone from strength to strength, with the feedback from this latest one showing a 97% average rating for Content, Course Leaders and Facilities, from the attendees.

ThinkBuzan CEO Chris Griffiths & Gordon Smith

“A well constructed course presented with enthusiasm.”

Gordon Smith, Training Consultant, South Africa

The TLI dinner cruise on the Bateaux Dubai was an excellent opportunity for the course leaders and attendees to swap stories and take in stunning, panoramic views of the city at night.  Tony was also present to contribute his own experiences and find out more about the new additions to the global ThinkBuzan family.

Tony dining with the new TLIs
The Bateaux Dubai Dinner Cruise

“Looking forward to putting it all into practise.  Very inspiring and insightful.”

Alexandra Garton, Nurse

The Dubai TLIs were an incredibly creative and intelligent group and we can’t wait to see what they do next.  Our ThinkBuzan family is expanding rapidly and with the next course in Florida just around the corner, these are exciting times.

The TLI Dubai March 2011

“ThinkBuzan does not walk the talk – it swaggers it!”

Dharmendra Rai, Training Consultant, India

Visit our page on Flickr to see photos from Dubia, London and much more.

FloridaNext TLI Course – Florida

From Monday 23rd – Thursday 26th May we will be in yet another sun-soaked location, Orlando, Florida, for the first ever ThinkBuzan Licensed Instructor Pathway to be held in the US.

If you want to experience the ThinkBuzan Licensed Instructor Pathway, then book now to reserve one of the limited places.

Find out more on the TLI in Florida

Contact us at, or call us on  +44 (0) 20 71 177 173, 1–800–961–4582 (US)

To those who are suffering from The Great Tohoku Earthquake, our thoughts are with you


2011年3月11日に発生しました「東北地方太平洋沖地震」により、お亡くなりになられた方々のご冥福をお祈り申し上げますとともに、被災されました皆様、また そのご家族の皆様に対しまして、心よりお見舞い申し上げます。皆様のご無事そして一日も早い復興をお祈り申し上げます。

We would like to express our sincere condolences to the people of Japan facing the devastating effects of last week’s earthquake.

Our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected by this tragedy, as well as their friends and family.  We extend our best wishes to everyone in Japan at this very difficult time.

Why We Are Posting This

Japan experienced its largest ever earthquake “the Great Tohoku Earthquake” on Friday 11th March 2011. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck 130km east of Sendai, the capital of Miyagi prefecture, followed by tsunami causing major destruction in the coastal region. Many people are still unaccounted for and those who evacuated are without electricity and not enough food.

How You Can Help

Several international aid agencies are working in Japan to help the victims of this earthquake. If you would like to help or show your support please use the below links:

BritishRedCross logo

World Vision logo

‘iMindMap 5 evolves into a solid business mind mapping tool’

iMindMap 5 Review by Chuck FreyPopular Mind Mapping software expert, Chuck Frey, recently published the first full review of iMindMap 5 on the mindmapping software blog.  We wanted to say a massive thanks to Chuck for a very thorough review!

We have been using and testing iMindMap 5 in the ThinkBuzan headquarters for months, through all of its various incarnations and phases.  So to read that others are enjoying the features and seeing the same improvements and possibilities that we are is brilliant!

“iMindMap marks the transition from a solid, organically-oriented mind mapping program to a solid business tool that can help you get many different types of work done, and to do so with style.   The future of iMindMap looks very bright indeed.”

Chuck raised a question in the review that we thought would be worth addressing – whether or not people would find MultiMaps useful.  When you’re used to using single maps in your workspace, it is a completely understandable query.  Back when we first prototyped the MultiMaps feature, we weren’t really sure ourselves if this was something people would need or use.  After a few days of using it though, it is impossible to go back – it would be like putting yourself back in handcuffs.  Now I know we’re biased, but if we didn’t love a feature and use it everyday, we wouldn’t put it in the product.

iMindMap 5 lets you do it all in one place – we have tried to pull down the obstacles so you can get on with what you do best without being slowed down or tripped up by convoluted technology.  MultiMaps give you so much more scope for exploring various elements that fall under the same over-arching topic – it gives you room to think.


For example, if you are planning an important meeting you may draw up a Mind Map covering the Who, When, Where, Agenda, Objectives… With MultiMaps you can create another map alongside this exploring in more detail the issues on the agenda, ensuring that you have considered all sides and have all the data needed.  You can also move over and create another map to fully outline what your objectives are.  Preparation is key to getting the outcomes you want from a meeting and MultiMaps give you the room to get ready without having to jump back and forth between different files.

Beta Tester Feedback

“MultiMaps – breathtaking – thank you!  I have just discovered the Multimaps feature – and played with it in presentation mode and in 3D View – WOW – you developers did really impressive work to bring iMindMap to the next level of real brain-friendly work AND to show complex processes, too!”

“Multi-mapping is so useful. I ended up with quite a complicated map which had spawned lots of smaller maps…I needed to simplify things and did so by developing one of the smaller maps. I transferred branches to it and it eventually became the main map following which I deleted the remnants. So a much simpler single map which had started life as a “baby” developed from another.”

In the review, Chuck also went on to compliment iMindMap 5’s ‘streamlined user interface’, focusing on the ‘colorful Office 2010-style ribbon toolbar’.  We just want to reassure our Apple fans that we haven’t forgotten them.  iMindMap 5 will also be available with a brand new native Mac interface.

iMindMap 5 - native Mac interfaceCheck out the full review from Chuck for a great analysis of the new features from a business perspective.

iMindMap 5 Update

iMindMap 5 is due for release on April 6th.  We are still offering a free upgrade to anyone who buys iMindMap v4 between now and the launch, plus 3 months free access to iMindMap Online!  Visit the iMindMap 5 page for more info.

What features are you looking forward to the most and what do you hope to see?

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