A-Z Tools & Technologies: bubbl.us

What is bubbl.us?

Bubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm and create collaborative mind maps online.  You can create colourful mind maps, share and collaborate with colleagues or peers, embed your mind map in your blog or website, email and print your mind map, or save your mind map as an image.

How does it work?

Bubbl.us is a Web 2.0 tool that enables users to create mind mapping and brainstorming diagrams online. To begin, the main topic/concept is entered in to the parent bubble. Then ideas and thoughts are recorded in colourful text bubbles linked to the parent bubble. Users continue to add text bubbles which are colour coded according to hierarchy.

Note: The application is Flash-based so the latest Flash viewer needs to be installed.

What about Teaching & Learning?

Bubbl.us could be used with students for communication and productivity activities:

  • Brainstorm group project assignments and discussion
  • Create timeline for group project management
  • Problem solving
  • Curriculum outline/framework design
  • Structure/relationship representations
  • Group collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Creating personal learning networks
  • Creating historical family trees or timelines
  • Creating decision trees for demonstrating reasoning
  • Creating mood boards and storyboards

How much does it cost?

Bubbl.us is a free, web-based, tool, so there is no software to download.


One disadvantage of this site is that only 3 mind maps can be saved after creating an account, unless you upgrade to a subscription-based account. A ‘work-around’ is to simply delete maps as you finish using them. You can also apply for an educational discount if you are an academic.


Phil Vincent

Phil’s focus is to work across Faculties to support the implementation of the Academic Strategy, and in particular contribute to the effective development and implementation of technology enhanced learning.

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