Create Simple Graphic Organizers with MindMeister in Google Drive.

I love using Google Docs for writing with its ease of collaboration and access. Google Add-Ons bring new functionality right into a document itself, without having to go to an external Google Drive App, Chrome extension or Chrome app. Google Add-ons are still relatively new so some features are still being fine-tuned, but they can have great functionality in the classroom or for writers in general.

One great Google Add-On is MindMeister. This Add-On can take any bulleted list and create a simple word web. If your bulleted list has different hierarchical levels in it, those levels become different sections of the word web. I like this tool as it is a quick introduction to creating graphic organizers. Students would not be faced with an onslaught of design choices from fonts, colors, text box shape, etc.

Let’s say I wanted to flesh out one of my characters more. I could start by creating a list in Google Drive of what I do know about my character.

  • Chance Mateer
    • High School Senior
    • Trombone Player
    • Sketch Artist
    • Dyslexic

Then click the Add-Ons tab on Google Drive and select ‘Get add-ons’. Search for MindMeister and then add it. Once you have the add-on, it will be a choice on any Google document you create.

Select your entire bulleted list. Then click the Add-Ons tab and select Mind-Meister. Choose Insert As Mind Map.

The word web is then inserted into your document beneath your list.

Screenshot 2014-07-14 at 10.03.57 PM


If I wanted better organization, I could brainstorm about different areas of my character’s life and create a list and web like this:

  • Chance Mateer
    • Hobbies
      • Trombone Player
      • Sketch Artist
    • Family
      • Kindergarten sister Annie
      • Mom
      • Stepdad

Screenshot 2014-07-14 at 10.14.35 PM


Once I had a web that I was satisfied with, I could delete my list and leave the web at the top of my document. Underneath I could write a character interview, a dossier or a piece of a scene.

Watch my screencast below to see MindMeister in action.


Categories: Writing with Google Drive

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