Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Privacy, Team Work and a lot more... MindMup just became 10x more useful

Our mission with MindMup is to build the most productive mind mapping platform out there. Because it's opensource, we felt that unlike services that hold you ransom for your data, we need to build an open platform that sets your data free (as in bird, it was free as in beer always). From today, MindMup enables you to use a private storage through Google Drive. The code is on Github, and you can also try it out online immediately.

This opens up some very interesting capabilities on MindMup:
  • Secure, private maps: By default, MindMup stores maps on Amazon S3. As the system is anonymous, we don't know who created what so everything has to be public. With Google Drive, the maps are stored to your private file storage, so we've made them private by default. A key aspect of this is that the data never passes through our systems. Your browser communicates directly with Google services using https, so as long as you can trust Google with your data, you can trust our application. 
  • Sharing control: Sharing privileges on Google Drive control who can access your maps and how. You can, for example, give your team members the ability to edit the map, or enable only certain people to view it. As long as they access the system while logged on to the appropriate Google account, they will get access. Even if people have the link on our system, but you've not authorised them to see the map on Google drive, they won't be able to access it.
  • Permanent links for a lifetime of a map: public maps stored anonymously on MindMup are editable by anyone, and we create a new URL every time a map is saved to prevent unauthorised changes. With Google Drive, you control authorisation, so we update maps when they are saved. This means the URL of the map is permanent, and if other people change and save the map, everyone will see the updates next time they load the map.
  • Your data is free: Even if the service goes down in the future, or we decide it's no longer worth keeping, your data is safe with an external provider. Google Drive also has a synchronisation application that can automatically download the updates to your hard drive. This was an important step for us as we wanted to ensure the system is open and transparent, but at the same time did not want to burden you with another account or privacy concerns.

As always, it was crucial to make things zero-friction. This is why we chose to integrate with Google Drive (formerly Google Docs), Google's hosted file storage. Most of the people we work with have Google accounts (even my grandmother has one), and Google gives you a decent amount of storage for free. (if you have a personal Google account or a Google Apps company account, you probably have Google Drive access even if you've not used it). Though seamless integration, MindMup automatically uses the storage of the currently logged in Google account. This means that you do not need to open a separate MindMup account, remember usernames and passwords, and that you don't have to worry about any private data stored on our systems.

All you have to do is select Google Drive as the storage option when you save.

The first time you do so, or the first time you ask for a map stored on Google, we'll ask you to allow Google account access to the MindMup application. Just click on the link and follow the instructions.

In "My Maps", maps stored on Google Drive automatically appear with a Google Drive icon so you can differentiate them from the ones stored with MindMup.

To control privacy, sharing and everything else on the maps, go directly to your Google Drive. We plan to add those features directly to the MindMup toolbar soon. 

This is the first version of the Google Drive integration, and we'd love to hear what you think about this, and get your feedback on the functionality, especially if you discover that something does not work as expected. Go to the site and try it out!

We'd love to hear your feedback - let's continue the discussion on Reddit!


  1. Such great work guys.. Any plans on adding things like undo/redo ?

  2. Please vote for that at http://www.mindmup.com/#vote - we tend to work on the top voted items.

  3. Awesome work, especially the google drive integration. This is the mindmap product which i am looking for. Kudos to the team and i am the long term (paid) user of Mindmeister(http://www.mindmeister.com). Though it is not competing with mindmeister at this time, it provides the basic mindmap features and the important feature is storage choice.

  4. Nice app! I use my Google Drive as storage. I don't like "default:public". I uninstall!
    Your Google Drive-option is important for me! Good work.