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10 Best Free Mind Mapping Software In 2022

The Best Free Mind Mapping Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best free mind mapping software:
  1. Canva

    Free design tool with over 250,000 templates included.

  2. Invision

    Free forever plan with voting features and guest permissions.

  3. Mindomo

    Limited free version with multiple diagram options.

  4. MindMeister

    Free starter plan with real-time collaboration features.

  5. MindMup

    Free unlimited mind maps + Google Drive storage for your files.

  6. Figma

    Free forever plan with mobile app functionality.

  7. Gitmind

    Brainstorming tool for PC and mobile devices with a full-featured free plan.

  8. Venngage

    Infographics tool with mind mapping capabilities.

  9. Coggle

    Mind mapping with full change history details in their free plan.

  10. Mural

    Infinite canvas, unlimited users, and full template library available in the free version.

Best Mind Mapping Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best mind mapping software:
  1. Whimsical

    Best for real-time mind map collaboration

  2. Lucidspark

    Best virtual whiteboard for mind mapping and collaboration

  3. Miro

    Best mind mapping with built-in communication tools

  4. Invision

    Best design template library

  5. Creately

    Free mind mapping software with ULM diagram templates, task management tools, & real time collaboration features. Unlimited mind maps on any paid plan.

  6. Mindomo

    Simple concept mapping tool with a key feature being their user-friendly, omni-platform experience across cloud, desktop, Android, & iOS.

  7. Ayoa

    Best all-in-one mind mapping and task management tool

  8. MindMeister

    Best mind mapping software for business

  9. MindGenius

    Best simple mind mapping software

  10. Coggle

    Best for embeddable mind maps

Mind mapping is a way to visually represent concepts and a tool that we can use to make our projects run smoothly. Free mind mapping software can help you create these maps and collaborate with your team without having to break the bank.

Normally created around a single concept, mind maps have been around for A WHILE. It is a practice that started in Aristotle's times but then got popularized by Tony Buzan in the 70s as a brainstorming tool. However, because of its way of gathering ideas using lots of visual aids, it is rarely conceived as a good tool for non-visual concepts. I wonder then, is mind mapping for projects different?

Mind mapping for projects isn’t about pictures and drawings, it is about how you can bring your team together during the planning phase of a project to pour ideas and build a visual knowledge database. When used properly, a mind map will provide a visual way of identifying the scope of a project, its limitations, resources required, and even potential bottlenecks.

How I picked the best free mind mapping software

To decide which tools to feature in this list, I evaluated and compared the details for a number of popular mind mapping tools. I weighed a variety of key factors and functions that I describe below.

  • Ease of use + aesthetics: Since this is a collaboration tool that is normally based on visual elements, like multimedia objects, it needs to be good-looking. Having a simple user interface where every element to build the mind map is easy to find is important for its use and overall user experience.
  • Available templates: Since the mind map is not a common deliverable for our client, we need to get through it as fast as possible, and that’s where templates come into play. I looked at the available templates, the option of creating your own or even sharing with the community.
  • Security: The information that we put into these maps can sometimes be sensitive. Therefore, I looked into the security features that the tool has to prevent it from leaking. I will disclose if the security features are available in the free plans or if they are exclusive to higher-tier options.
  • Integrations: I compared the number of available integrations for each tool as they represent ways in which we can expand functionality. Imagine how nice it would be to work on a mind map within your current project management tool or share it with another tool after you’re done.

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Overview Of The 10 Best Free Mind Mapping Software

1

Canva

Free design tool with over 250,000 templates included.

Canva is a design tool that has become one of the mainstream platforms for building marketing collateral. Despite this, not many people know it can be used to build great mind maps in a collaborative way.

One of the reasons Canva is so popular is because of the vast amount of templates and stock images it offers. The free version of this software is not the exception. Just to give you an idea, I got 292 template options for the keywords “mind map”, which is how I found the one you see in the image above. Other templates require you to upgrade to a paid plan.

Regarding security, Canva offers single sign-on and ISO 27001 compliance and certification as part of their security package. This, unfortunately is included in the Teams plan.

Features & Integrations

Features include a drag-and-drop editor, over 250K free templates, and collaboration through invites to design. The tool offers over a million stock photos and other services, like printing.

Integrations are available as a way to amplify the platform. Therefore, you will find common productivity apps like Slack, Mailchimp, Tumblr, Pardot, Gain, Hubspot, and many others.

Free to use

2

Invision

Free forever plan with voting features and guest permissions.

Freehand is a collaboration app by Invision that has a free version perfect for creating mind maps and collaborating with up to 30 active users.

The interface is simple, with a bottom navigation bar that has all the options you need to build your first mind map. The free-hand tool will let you create your own visual elements, the chat bubble will give you a view of all comments on the project, and the 3 dots display all other integrations and fun widgets you can add to your boards.

The thing I liked the most about this free version is that the only obvious difference compared to the paid plans is the security features available. Everything else is there. Great experience!

Features & Integrations

Features include custom templates, polling, exporting work as a .png file, version history, and guest permissions. Also, you can post reactions with emojis on any place in the canvas and insert gifs to make your maps more entertaining.

Integrations include Vimeo, Trello, Microsoft 365, Loom, Jira, Asana, Adobe XD, and more.

Free version available

From $4.95/user/month

3

Mindomo

Limited free version with multiple diagram options.

Mindomo is a mind mapping software with a free version that will let you work on your project planning in a fun way. Its interface is colorful & minimalistic, leaving most of the functionality hidden in keyboard shortcuts or right-click menus.

The free plan allows you to build a mind map, concept map, organigram, tree organigram, timeline or Gantt chart with a limit of 3. However, this free version is very limited as uploading multimedia, exporting as a PDF, and collaborating with other people are limited to the paid plans. Therefore, with this software, you will have to go at it solo.

Features & Integrations

Features this free version offers are a playback diagram history that will show a video of all changes the diagram has gone through, a full-screen view if you want to present your map, keyboard shortcuts for anything you can think of (available in the top left menu), and a search feature where you can look for any word in your diagram, and it will be spotlighted.

Integrations mostly focus on your file uploads, so if you get a paid plan, you will be able to upload multimedia files from Dropbox, G Drive, and OneDrive.

Free version available

From $6/user/month

4

MindMeister

Free starter plan with real-time collaboration features.

MindMeister is a collaborative mind mapping tool with support for unlimited subtopics, so you can explore your thoughts and projects to their full potential. Their free version offers a maximum of 3 mind maps and limited functionality.

This experience was a bit disappointing, to be honest. The free version is extremely limited and takes away from the beauty of having real-time collaboration enabled in this free plan. Embedding multimedia is locked, as well as PDF exports and any attachments. What you see in the image above is the maximum variability I was able to introduce with the available features. I wasn’t able to drop elements in any part of the whiteboard as they have to be associated with a node.

Expert tip: Every node you add to the canvas has a locked layout by default. If you want a bit more freedom to move the nodes, select them using shift, go to the layout option on the right navigation bar and disable the alignment option.

Features & Integrations

Features that need to be highlighted include an outline mode to display your information differently, icons and emojis so you can complement your visual representation of concepts, comments and real-time collaboration with notifications included.

Integrations include all Meister Suite products like Meister Task, and Meister Note. Also, Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams.

Limited free plan (up to 3 mind maps)

From $2.49/user/month

5

MindMup

Free unlimited mind maps + Google Drive storage for your files.

Mindmup is a free mind mapping tool where you can create your diagrams in a public environment without the need for an account. The software has a paid version that is account based and makes it possible to create private maps.

This is an odd one, I must say. The fact that I didn’t need to sign up to create my project felt strange. Throughout the entire project, I felt like I was doing something wrong. Anyway, the tool is great! Although maybe it's because it presents itself so badly both on the security and UI front.

However, when it's time to download your map, they explicitly mention that the file is sent to their servers and secured using Amazon standard S3 security mechanisms, so your information is transferred safely to a server for conversion and download. That file then lives on the server for the next 24hrs before being deleted.

Features & Integrations

Features included in this tool are multimedia embedding within any node, placing multimedia as child nodes, reactions to nodes using emojis, and exporting to popular file types such as PDF and JPG.

Integrations include the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Dropbox, Zapier, LUMA Workplace, Slack, Google Calendar, Webex, Jira Cloud and more.

6

Figma

Free forever plan with mobile app functionality.

Figma is a design-centered diagramming tool that can help you create attractive mind maps, application mockups, design kits, wireframes, and much more. Their whiteboard feature, called FigJam, will be your go-to for mind mapping.

My first impression of this tool is that it is robust. From the loads of templates that they gave me as an option to start a FigJam board to the in-app collaboration features, Figma is a top tool even in their free version. The only limitation really is the number of files you can create, as it has a limit of 3 Figma + 3 FigJam files.

Expert tip: For quick collaboration, type “/” and watch a text box appear next to your cursor. Everyone on the board will see what you write in real time! Use it for quick communication.

Features & Integrations

Features for the free version include unlimited collaborators, personal files, and mobile app access. Also, it offers fun and interactive elements like a timer to keep everyone on track, stamps for reacting, quick vote and live poll widgets, and multimedia file attachments.

Integrations include multimedia platforms like Vimeo, Youtube, Spotify and Loom.

Free version available

From $15/user/month

7

Gitmind

Brainstorming tool for PC and mobile devices with a full-featured free plan.

Gitmind is a mind mapping and brainstorming tool for PC and mobile devices that helps capture ideas in a single place. Their free software has 2 great things: one, it has all the features available and two, it has support for all platforms.

Using the tool was a unique experience because it looks like it’s an unrestricted tool when in reality, it’s a bit of the opposite. The interface is based on objects that serve as containers. Therefore, any element you want to add to the canvas has to be associated with a container. For example, an image or icon cannot be placed in an empty space, it has to be placed within a text box.

Features & Integrations

Features that I noticed are available include image uploads, a focus mode that hides all toolbars and leaves you to create everything with left and right clicks, an option to reverse the mouse click behavior for left-handed people, and a version history log.

Integrations have not been developed at this moment.

8

Venngage

Infographics tool with mind mapping capabilities.

Venngage is an infographics builder that can easily be used to create mind maps. Their free version allows you to create up to 5 designs and share them publicly once you are done. This infographic maker could be your best ally if you need to present your work to project stakeholders.

Creating your mind map is simple. Their drag-and-drop interface allows you to upload texts, icons, data, or images and collaborate with other users through comments. Once you are done, you can download your design in different formats, like PDF, PNG or Powerpoint.

Features & Integrations

Features included in the free version are the minimum needed for a mind mapping tool. Therefore, you will only find the option to drag elements into the canvas (including images), and templates that you can choose from to get a quick start on your project.

Integrations are unfortunately only part of their Enterprise plan, at which point there are other software solutions with much more functionality.

From $19/user/month

9

Coggle

Mind mapping with full change history details in their free plan.

Coggle is an online software for creating and sharing mindmaps and flowcharts. As an online tool, they focus on ways to improve collaboration across teams, whether it’s in the same or different time zones.

The free plan gives you up to 3 private diagrams so you can safely test the tool. Honestly, this version is very limited and not as friendly as you would expect. Adding images or changing to bolded text will make the app display code that will turn into the real thing once you click outside of the element you’re editing.

The one thing I will say I enjoyed is the search feature on the chat window. It becomes very useful to find parts of your conversation as the interactions between your team increase.

Features & Integrations

Features included are an unlimited number of multimedia uploads, auto-arranged branches, a full change history log, and exports to PDF and image files.

Integrations have not been developed for this tool so far.

From $5/user/month

10

Mural

Infinite canvas, unlimited users, and full template library available in the free version.

Mural is a digital whiteboard tool that offers over 300 different templates and collaboration tools, so you and your team can collaborate in real time or asynchronously, and get the most out of your experience.

The free forever plan is suggested for individuals as it limits the number of murals (3) that you can have, and visitors to your mural can only view your work. Despite that, the drag-and-drop intuitive interface helps you build in minutes and add loads of visual elements to your mind maps.

Features & Integrations

Features included in the free version are facilitator tools like a timer, voting sessions, and a laser pointer. Also, a bunch of collaboration features like sticky notes, drawings, content library, and reactions. Finally, Figma offers a resizable and infinite canvas option, plus a little map on the bottom right to keep you aware of your overall position on the whiteboard.

Integrations include the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Dropbox, Zapier, LUMA Workplace, Slack, Google Calendar, Webex, Jira Cloud and more.

From $9.99/user/month

The 10 Best Free Mind Mapping Software Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Canva

Free design tool with over 250,000 templates included.

Not available

Free to use Visit Website
2
Invision

Free forever plan with voting features and guest permissions.

Free version available

From $4.95/user/month Visit Website
3
Mindomo

Limited free version with multiple diagram options.

Free version available

From $6/user/month Visit Website
4
MindMeister

Free starter plan with real-time collaboration features.

Limited free plan (up to 3 mind maps)

From $2.49/user/month Visit Website
5
MindMup

Free unlimited mind maps + Google Drive storage for your files.

Not available

Visit Website
6
Figma

Free forever plan with mobile app functionality.

Free version available

From $15/user/month Visit Website
7
Gitmind

Brainstorming tool for PC and mobile devices with a full-featured free plan.

Not available

Visit Website
8
Venngage

Infographics tool with mind mapping capabilities.

Not available

From $19/user/month Visit Website
9
Coggle

Mind mapping with full change history details in their free plan.

Not available

From $5/user/month Visit Website
10
Mural

Infinite canvas, unlimited users, and full template library available in the free version.

Not available

From $9.99/user/month Visit Website

Other Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Miro

    Free version with unlimited users and pre-made templates.

  2. Lucidchart

    Free version with a limit of 3 documents, 60 shapes per map, and 90+ templates.

  3. ClickUp

    Project management platform with whiteboard capabilities for project collaboration.

  4. Mind42

    Free online mind mapping software that allows you to share maps with a community.

  5. MindManager

    Multi-platform mind mapping tool with a full-featured free trial.

  6. Microsoft Visio

    Powerful diagramming tool with a 30-day free trial.

  7. Bubbl.us

    Mind mapping software with presentation mode for your team meetings.

Does Microsoft have a mind mapping tool?

Yes! Microsoft has software that, just like Microsoft Project, is a classic and known by most project managers. This software is called Microsoft Visio and can be purchased as an online solution based on a monthly subscription or a perpetual license.

How can I make a mind map for free?

Most of the tools on this list have a free version where you can make at least one mind map for free. However, if you do not want to download software or register for a free trial, you can try using the diagramming tools on Google Slides and Powerpoint.

Learn more about specific mind mapping techniques here.

What do you think about this list?

Now that I’ve covered some of the free options available for mind mapping, I’d love to hear from you. What are some of the tools you use to create mind maps? Do you find them useful in project management?

Read more about the benefits of mind mapping in project management here.

Speaking of project management… if you want to stay updated with the latest and greatest content, workshops, and PM reflections, subscribe to the Insider Membership Newsletter. New content in your inbox every week!

By Hermann Fink

Hi! I'm Hermann Fink Fuentes, a technology enthusiast and chronic researcher. I've been in project management for over a decade, both as a technical lead for global corporations like Hewlett Packard, and as an entrepreneur. I'm constantly looking for tools that can help improve productivity, boost efficiency, consume as little budget as possible, and help shorten project completion timelines. Join me as I search for the perfect tool and share some content along the journey!

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