Brainstorm Using Bubbl.Us
Brainstorming is the first step of creation. If you have a central idea, you need to properly structure your related thoughts in order to follow through with that idea. This wiki will explain how to use Bubbl.us, a Brainstorming-tree application, to help with organizing your thoughts. Note: Bubbl.us is an online application. You do not need to download any software to use it.
- Open bubbl.us in your browser. Click here or type "bubbl.us" into your browser's address field. According to its documentation, bubbl.us is optimized for use with these browsers:
- Sign in or create an account. On the right hand panel, a gray box contains a form to sign in with a username and password (if you've used bubbl.us before) or to create a new account. In order to save or share your brainstorming work, you'll need an account. If this is not a concern for you, you may proceed to step 4.
- Note: when creating a new username and password, be sure to read and agree to the website's terms of services. (Link located beneath the form.)
- Begin brainstorming with your central idea.
- If you've signed in, click the "Start Brainstorming" link in the center of the workspace.
- If you haven't signed in, click the large blue "Start" button in the center of the page. Again, keep in mind that if you have not signed in, you will not be able to save or share your work.
- Type your central topic into the yellow bubble. This is the start of your brainstorming tree. It should contain the most general idea you're considering, since sub-ideas and sub-sub-ideas will stem from it. (In our example to the right, the central topic is for an essay defending the statement "You are what you eat". This is the main idea, and all supporting ideas will follow.)
- Expand your brainstorming tree.
- Hit the 'Tab' button on your keyboard to create another idea on the same level. (For example, comparing support for "You are what you eat" to support for "You are NOT what you eat", shown to the right.)
- Hit the 'Command + Enter' buttons (hold command, press Enter) to create an idea on a sub-level. This idea will show up as a different-colored bubble.
- Expand your tree by repeating the previous actions ('Tab' or 'Command + Enter') on different idea bubbles.
- Move, change, or delete ideas. If your ideas change, so can your brainstorming tree. The bubbl.us tree will automatically reposition itself to fit your ideas, but if you'd like a custom change, you can move bubbles around or delete them:
- To move a bubble, simply click and drag to reposition. Note: To edit an idea, simply click and re-type. Pressing Enter will allow you to expand your bubble vertically.
- To change or delete an idea bubble, hover over it with your mouse until a formatting pop-up appears. From here, you may connect it to another bubble, change the font size, change the color of the bubble, or delete it.
- Save your work. Click the arrow next to the "Save" button in the upper right-hand side of the workspace. Choosing "Save As..." will allow you to rename the sheet. (The default name is "New Page".) Note: There is also a box in the Save menu for automatic saving every 2 minutes. It is recommended that you leave this box checked to protect your work.
- Share your tree with others. You can share your brainstorming tree as a read-only file, or you can allow others to edit it.
- Read-only sharing: In the upper right-hand corner, the "Sharing" button allows you to share a read-only link to your tree on bubbl.us or embed the tree in HTML (for use on other websites). To share a read-only link, you will be prompted to either copy the link URL or enter email addresses of friends you wish to share with.
- Collaborative sharing: In order to work together with others on bubbl.us, the users you wish to share with must have their own bubbl.us accounts. Once you're sure this is the case, click the drop-down arrow next to the Contacts button on the right hand panel. When prompted, you must enter their names, usernames, or email addresses in the "Add Contacts" pop-up.
- If you have a wheel on your mouse, you can scroll and increase or decrease the size of your work. (You may also do this with the tool panel located in the top left of the workspace.)
- Also in the upper left tool panel, you will find options to print your tree, export it as an image file (.jpg or .png), or import any saved work you have stored on your computer.