5 Best Essay Brainstorming Tools

brainstorming essaySo, you’ve been assigned an essay, and now you’ve put if off long enough (read: till the night before) and you’re going to have to brainstorm the hell out of it. If writing things down doesn’t do it for you – or you just want to see your notes without having to cringe at your messy handwriting – try these five awesome brainstorming websites that will set you on your way to writing a perfect essay.

1. Xmind

One of the most popular mind-mapping software out there, this is probably the best one to use if you’re a ridiculously quick thinker – it’s more about getting the ideas onto the page than it is making them look gorgeous. It’s easy to use and you can download it for free, so you’ll never be without a way to streamline your ideas. There are loads of features and tools to play with, but you can always use the basic mind-mapping technique if you just want to get your ideas onto paper.

 2. The Brain

The Brain is what you need to get if you’re planning on researching as you brainstorm, as it provides a bunch of information on a wide number of topics that will give you a solid overview of whatever you’re studying. It’s slightly more complex than the other software on this list, but once you get the hang of it, it can provide a really useful spring-off point for future essays.

3. Bubbl.us

If you’re not the most computer-literate, this is probably the software for you – it’s extremely simple to use and comes with step-by-step instructions on how to construct yourself a mind map. It’s straightforward, but provides everything you need to arrange your ideas into a readable form and even print them out if you prefer to have them in hard copy.

4. SpiderScirbe

Featured in the Wall Street Journal, this is one of those websites that you just have to see to believe. You’ll probably find yourself totally lost in the cool features – like pictures, information, maps and flow charts – but what you come up with is so streamlined that it’s totally worth it. It’s the best one to use if you’re planning a really big piece months in advance, as you’ll have everything you need to get into really in-depth topics.

5. Mindmup

One of the few websites that doesn’t require you to download anything is also one of the best – it’s totally straightforward and provides walkthroughs so you can make the most of its software. It’s also linked up to Google Drive, meaning those with a Google account can easily share maps they’ve created as well as saving them online to access as a later date.

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