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With so many different mind mapping software available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to brainstorm, plan, and visually collaborate but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using mind mapping tools with large teams and projects, with my picks of the best mind mapping software.

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We’ve been testing and reviewing mind mapping software since 2012. As project managers ourselves, we know how critical and difficult it is to make the right decision when selecting software.

We invest in deep research to help our audience make better software purchasing decisions. We’ve tested more than 2,000 tools for different Project Management use cases and written over 1,000 comprehensive software reviews. Learn how we stay transparent & our mind mapping software review methodology.

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How To Choose Mind Mapping Software

With so many different mind mapping software solutions available, it can be challenging to make decisions on what mind mapping software is going to be the best fit for your needs.

As you're shortlisting, trialing, and selecting mind mapping software consider the following:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the mind mapping software feature gap you're trying to fill to clarify the features and functionality the mind mapping software needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who'll be using the software and how many licenses you'll need. You'll need to evaluate if it'll just be the project team, or the whole organization that will require access. When that's clear, it's worth considering if you're prioritizing ease of use for all, or speed for your mind mapping software power users.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as accounting, CRM or HR software. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together, or alternatively, if you can replace multiple tools with one consolidated mind mapping software.
  • What outcomes are important - Consider the result that the software needs to deliver to be considered a success. Consider what capability you want to gain, or what you want to improve, and how you will be measuring success. For example, an outcome could be the ability to get greater visibility into performance. You could compare mind mapping software features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to drive, you could be wasting a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the software selection alongside your workflows and delivery methodology. Evaluate what's working well, and the areas that are causing issues that need to be addressed. Remember every business is different — don’t assume that because a tool is popular that it'll work in your organization. 

Best Mind Mapping Software Reviews

Here are my detailed overviews of each tool that made it onto my best mind mapping software shortlist! I’ve included each platform’s best use case, pricing information, and pros and cons.

1

Miro

Best mind mapping with built-in communication tools

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
3415 reviews

Free plan available

From $10/user/month

Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard with over 1,000 templates including mind maps, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, product wireframes, research boards, and flowcharts.

Why I picked Miro: This visual platform provides a fast, intuitive way for teams to capture, organize, and structure ideas. Communication tools are included in the platform such as chat, comments, and the ability to auto-organize and add content to your map. It's built for hybrid work, and empowers in-person, remote, and hybrid teams to brainstorm, plan projects, map out information architecture, create org charts, and develop sales strategies.

Miro Standout Features and Integrations

Features include a template library, clustering, voting, timer, mind maps, freeform drawing, access controls, and GDPR and CCPA compliance.

Integrations include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Workspace, Asana, monday.com, Jira, Dropbox, OneDrive, Notion, Airtable, ClickUp, and Unito, among others.

Pros

  • Free forever plan available
  • Intuitive and easy setup
  • Built-in communication features for streamlined collaboration

Cons

  • Visitor/guest accounts locked to paid plans only
  • Zooming can be jumpy on larger projects
  • Free version does not allow high-quality export to pdf
2

FigJam by Figma

Best for creating live mind maps during team meetings

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
1032 reviews

Free plan available

From $3/user/month

FigJam is a digital whiteboard tool developed by Figma, designed to facilitate online brainstorming and mind mapping.

Why I picked FigJam: This is a really intuitive and user-friendly tool. It's like a virtual playground for your ideas, where you can sketch, write, and move things around as you would on a physical whiteboard. It's a great tool for anyone who needs to visualize their thoughts, from designers and developers to project managers and educators.

Thanks to its real-time collaboration features, it's also a versatile mind-mapping tool you can use during your project meetings or weekly standup sessions. You can invite your team members to join your board and see their cursors moving around in real-time. It's like being in the same room, mapping ideas out together on the same whiteboard. You can also add comments and reactions to each other's ideas, which makes the brainstorming process more interactive and fun.

FigJam Standout Features and Integrations

Features include pre-built project management templates, audio and live chat, stamp and emoji reacts, external collaborator access, calendar and timeline widgets, bitmoji avatars, music player, and mobile app.

Integrations include Asana, Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, Notion, Slack, Trello, and numerous tools for prototyping, user testing, and developer handoff.

Pros

  • Includes a mobile app
  • Supports unlimited collaborators
  • Includes 300+ templates

Cons

  • Could use more integrations with project management tools
3

Invision

Best design template library

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
744 reviews

Free plan available

From $7.95/user/month

InVision Freehand is a free online whiteboard that can be used for collaborative mind mapping, note taking, and wireframing.

Why I picked InVision: From product managers and marketers to recruiters and engineers, this tool's simplicity makes everyone feel at ease. Whether you’re brainstorming, planning, or facilitating a meeting, the platform allows you to spend more time contributing than figuring out how to contribute.

You can draw a variety of shapes quickly and easily with intuitive tooling and connect shapes with snapping line connectors. Then, add sticky notes and collaborate with others in real-time on a shared canvas. Integration with Microsoft Teams allows you to co-create during a live meeting or asynchronously through chat.

InVision Freehand Standout Features and Integrations

Features include pre-made templates from leading companies; facilitation features like voting, present mode, and sticky notes; Advanced controls like locking and version history. Enterprises plans can access custom templates, SSO, SCIM integrations, audit logging, and a dedicated customer success team

Integrations include Atlassian products (Jira, Trello), Asana, Adobe XD, Figma, Google Workspace, Microsoft Suite, Zoom, and Slack.

Pros

  • Simple and intuitive
  • Free-forever plan available
  • Excellent Microsoft Teams integration

Cons

  • Custom templates locked to enterprise plan
  • Their pro plan is free now, but only temporarily
4

MindGenius

Best simple mind mapping software

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
20 reviews

14 day free trial

First year $160, year two onwards $56

MindGenius is a combination of a concept map creator and a project planning tool. It’s designed for use in educational settings as well as for freelancers, small businesses, and agencies.

MindGenius’ suite includes drag-and-drop mind map creation, along with project planning features like Gantt charts, kanban task views, and some basic project reporting tools. They include several features for making mind maps more useful, with filtering, highlighting, and labelling tools to help you organize and present your mind maps effectively. MindGenius also integrates with Microsoft Office, so you can easily export project data and mind maps to Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint and Microsoft Project.

Overall, MindGenius is a useful brainstorming tool that helps you convert your mind maps from simple brainstorming documents into tools for managing your projects and business. They consistently roll out cool new features; most recently, their MindGenius 2019 version offers ways to share information with others with integration to MindGenius Online, Twitter, Facebook and Dropbox, One Drive and Google.

MindGenius offers two pricing models – Perpetual and Subscription. Perpetual is $256, Subscription is $160 in year one followed by $56 annually from year 2 onwards. A subscription includes upgrades to all future revisions of MindGenius.

Pros

  • Easily move MindView maps into MS Project
  • Easily switch from MindMap to Gantt chart or timeline
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • RTF editor for notes can be awkward to manage
  • Templates with embedded graphics can be finicky
  • Slight learning curve compared to other apps
5

Creately

Best with ULM diagram templates and real-time collaboration

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
229 reviews

Free plan available

From $4/user/month

Creately is an online visual workspace with advanced capabilities to make drawing mind maps online quick and easy. It's suitable for both individual and team use, and can be used in any industry, from marketing to education.

It has an infinite canvas, simple drag-and-drop functionality, and the ability to create shortcuts to visualize and organize information and ideas. With its context toolbar, you can also easily color code and format mind maps. The tool has an extensive library of mind map templates apt for all kinds of scenarios including brainstorming, design thinking, problem-solving, documenting research, and more.

Creately allows you to copy and paste or drag and drop images and graphics from your device, or browse and add more elements with its built-in Google image search option. You can also add hyperlinks which can be displayed right within the app with an iFrame, to make your mind maps more resourceful.

You can also collaborate with others on your team, or with your clients in real-time using in-app video conferencing or in-line comments which also serve as an in-app chat function.

You can track changes other teammates make on the canvas with real-time change previews and live mouse tracking. Additionally, you can export your mind map in SVGs, PNGs, JPEGs, or PDFs for printing or publishing, or you can embed them as images in a web page or document with a secure link.

Creately also has plugins for Slack, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Confluence, and a desktop version. However, Creately’s free version only allows 3 collaborators; if you have a larger team, you will have to consider switching to a paid version.

Pros

  • Multiple scenario-based templates
  • Easy-to-create mind map shortcuts
  • Standard shape libraries for 70+ diagram types

Cons

  • Free version only allows 3 collaborators
  • Free plan limits shape libraries and document sizes
6

Whimsical

Best for real-time mind map collaboration

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5
36 reviews

Free trial available

From $10/user/month

Whimsical is a mind mapping software that's built for real-time (or asynchronous) team ideation. Users can comment on individual connections and follow another teammate's cursor around the map. Your mind maps can be integrated with other Whimsical files so you can switch between mind maps, wireframes, projects, and docs.

Whimsical also gives you the ability to create mind maps without over-complicated styling options. Keyboard shortcuts help with organizing your ideas, which you can add in the form of text, images, links, and even icons from Whimsical’s library.

You don't have to download any additional apps or browser extensions to use Whimsical mind maps as all functionality is available within your browser.

Whimsical has a direct integration with Github and can be embedded in Notion docs. It also supports two-factor authentication with any authenticator app.

Whimsical costs from $10/user/month. You can create up to 1,000 items in Whimsical for free

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Viewers and guests are free
  • Great for beginners
  • Modern, intuitive user interface

Cons

  • Sometimes struggles to import large images
  • Can't delete mind maps
7

Mindomo

Best omni-platform experience across cloud, desktop, and mobile

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
6 reviews

Free version available

From $6/user/month

Mindomo is an easy-to-learn concept map generator geared towards teachers and students, but it’s useful for small businesses and corporate agencies. It offers a suite of mindmapper tools with an emphasis on collaboration, providing users with the ability to easily co-create, share, and present their mind maps.

Some of Mindomo’s most useful mind mapping tools include real-time collaboration, a template library, the ability to add links, video, and audio to mind maps, and the ability to easily search for web images directly within the app. You can quickly turn mind maps into presentations with their Presentation Mode feature, or you can export in various formats (pdf, .docx, .pptx, .txt, .opml, .mpx, .html, .zip, .png.)

Overall, Mindomo is a practical, user-friendly mind mapping software that focuses on doing one thing and doing well. Their native mobile apps make it all the more convenient to use this tool, enabling users to create and edit mind maps while offline from any mobile device (Android, iPad, iPhone, etc). Additionally, Mindomo integrations are more numerous than most other mind mapping software, including Google Apps, Office365, and LTI integrations with education apps like Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn, itslearning, Schoology, and others.

Mindomo pricing works out to $6/user/month, and they also offer a free mind map software supporting up to 3 mind maps.

Pros

  • Plenty of styling options for color coding and branding
  • Simple, good quality PDF exports 
  • Great shortcut keys for map design inputs

Cons

  • No filtering across multiple maps (what tasks are due across all, etc.)
  • No code formatting and image integration in notes
  • Does not integrate with project management platforms
8

Ayoa

Best all-in-one mind mapping software

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
55 reviews

Free version

From $10/user/month (billed annually)

Ayoa is a mind mapping tool developed by Chris Griffiths, the world’s leading mind mapping expert, who worked with Tony Buzan for over 20 years, the inventor of the Mind Map.

Why I picked Ayoa: This software mimics the natural thinking process through organic mind mapping. It has built-in artificial intelligence features as well as freehand mind mapping capabilities. It provides a blend of whiteboard, task management, and mind mapping tools. 

The whiteboard features let you add various types of media to your mind map, including free-form text, documents, notes, images, and lists. You can also draw diagrams, flowcharts, and even embed other boards.

Ayoa Standout Features and Integrations

Features include organic maps, radial maps, speed and capture maps, freehand drawing to produce hand-drawn digital mind maps, unlimited sharing and collaboration, and extensive image libraries.

Integrations include Google Calendar, Evernote, and Zoom.

Pros

  • All-in-one mind mapping, collaboration and task management solution
  • Uses AI to stimulate ideas
  • Highly organic mind mapping experience
  • Great for individuals or small teams

Cons

  • User management for large teams needs improving
  • Ayoa, as a new entrant, has few integrations
9

Edraw Wondershare

Best mind mapping software for business and education

From $4.92 monthly (billed annually)

EdrawMind is a collaborative mind mapping, brainstorming and outlining tool. It runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and web.

EdrawMind comes with 12 different structure options including a radial mind map, timeline and bubble, fishbone diagram, and sector map. Its minimalist layout keeps things simple and is complemented by the auto-alignment feature, which makes the overall editing process simple for non-designers.

EdrawMind features a customization toolbox for colors, fonts, notes, outlines, as well as 33 themes and 700+ clipart graphics and lets you export to editable file formats such as graphics, PDF, MS Word, Excel, PPT, HTML, and SVG.

In the EdrawMind Brainstorming Mode, you can enter as many ideas as you want and color-code each concept, then drag and drop them onto your mind map to organize. When turning ideas into actionable tasks, you can use the Gantt Chart mode to track project progress. You can also discover more creative ideas from the Mind Map Gallery where mind maps are shared by users from all over the world.

The online edition offers a collaborative workplace where you can share files across your teams and control editing and viewing access. Project managers or students can also use the Slideshow and Traverse feature to present in the boardroom, and use the Outline mode to take notes.

EdrawMind costs from $4.92 per month (billed annually) and comes with a lifetime plan. They have a free version with some feature limitations.

Pros

  • Modern and simple to understand UI
  • Runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and web
  • Mind Map Gallery of user-shared mind maps
  • Single click conversion of mind maps into Gantt Chart, Outline, and Slides

Cons

  • Mobile app lacks some features the PC version has
  • Short list of integrations
10

XMind

Best mobile mind mapping app

Free plan available

From $5.99/month

XMind is a popular brainstorming app used by anyone from startups and entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. It offers several practical features for making mind maps and business diagrams (org charts, timelines, etc) more useful and accessible.

XMInd offers some unique features for speeding up the process of making mind maps, converting mind maps into outlines, and quickly turning your mind maps into professional presentations using auto-formatting and one-click slide creation. They provide styles and themes to get you started, and as you create your mindmaps you can attach files, audio, images, and links. You can also work in “zen mode”, which eliminates distractions from the interface.

The most useful XMind feature for project managers is Gantt View feature, which converts mind maps into Gantt charts (although you can find more specialized Gantt chart tools in our review of MS Project alternatives). They also have a mobile app that users have praised as being convenient easy to navigate. XMind integrations are minimal: it has an Evernote integration, but to share with other apps, you XMind enables you to export in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, RTF, HTML, Plain Text, to PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, and SVG files.

XMind costs from $5.99/month for the mobile brainstorming app. You can also buy XMind for a one-time purchase of $129.00, and you can try it before buying with a free download.

Pros

  • Have multiple interconnected sheets in one file
  • Can link to files, webpages, and emails
  • Brain dump mode for quick map outlines
  • Plenty of file export options

Cons

  • Free version does not support real-time collaboration
  • Limited choices for different node types
  • Fewer customizations for deeper level maps

Other Mind Mapping Software

The options below did not make it to the top 10, but are worth checking out if you are looking for more tools.

  1. MindManager

    Best to use with Microsoft Teams

  2. Visio

    Best mind mapping software for Microsoft users

  3. Slickplan

    Best diagram designer for web planning teams

  4. SmartDraw

    Best for mind mapping templates

  5. ConceptDraw MINDMAP

    Best with a timer-based brainstorm mode

  6. Milanote

    Best multimedia mind mapping software

  7. Coggle

    Best for embeddable mind maps

  8. MindView

    Best with unlimited document attachment space

  9. ClickUp

    Best free plan for mind mapping software

  10. Lucidspark

    Best virtual whiteboard for mind mapping and collaboration

Check out our video review of the top tools.

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these other project management tool reviews we've curated for you:

Selection Criteria For Mind Mapping Software

Selecting the right mind mapping software involves a comprehensive evaluation of various functionalities to meet the unique needs of project managers and teams. Through personal experimentation and extensive research, I have distilled the selection process into specific criteria that address both the fundamental and advanced needs of users.

Core mind mapping software Functionality (25% of final scoring):
Common features for mind mapping software typically include real-time collaboration, template libraries, integration with communication tools, drag-and-drop editing, brainstorming modes, presentation capabilities, project planning aids, mind map sharing, customization options, and support for multimedia elements. To be considered for inclusion on my list of the best mind mapping software, the solution had to support the ability to fulfill common use cases.

  • Brainstorming and ideation sessions
  • Project planning and tracking
  • Knowledge management and information organization
  • Collaborative team meetings
  • Creative problem-solving

Additional Standout Features (25% of final scoring):
Unique features and functionalities set apart the most innovative mind mapping tools. Here are some of the ones present in mind mapping tools.

  • AI-Powered Idea Generation: Identifies tools like Ayoa that use AI to suggest new ideas or branches.
  • Advanced Integration Capabilities: Looks for platforms such as Miro that seamlessly integrate with a wide array of other software, enhancing workflow.
  • Unique Visual Elements: Explores tools offering unique visual customization options beyond basic mind mapping, such as dynamic charts and interactive timelines.
  • Enhanced Collaboration Tools: Identifies software providing exceptional collaborative features, including live chat and video conferencing within the mind map environment.
  • Mobile and Cross-Platform Accessibility: Prioritizes software with robust mobile apps and cross-platform support, ensuring accessibility and flexibility for users on any device.

Usability (10% of final scoring): Tools with high usability usually have higher rates of adoption. Therefore, I look at tools that:

  • Prioritize intuitive interfaces that simplify complex functionalities, allowing users to focus on ideation rather than navigation.
  • Value drag-and-drop capabilities and easy-to-use toolbars that make organizing and modifying mind maps a seamless experience.

Onboarding (10% of final scoring): Good onboarding materials help flatten the learning curve for new users. Therefore, I considered the following:

  • Availability of comprehensive training materials, including video tutorials, interactive product tours, and user guides that enable quick mastery of the software.
  • Presence of pre-designed templates and examples that help new users understand the potential applications and start creating mind maps quickly.

Customer Support (10% of final scoring): This criterion is particularly useful for new tools in the market as they will normally have less developed knowledge bases and rely heavily on their support team's capacity to solve problems. I examined the responsiveness and availability of customer support, prioritizing software with multiple channels such as live chat, email, and phone support. Additionally, I consider the presence of a knowledgeable community or forums where users can share tips, ask questions, and find solutions.

Value For Money (10% of final scoring): The cost should never be an issue if they are providing the necessary value to users. Therefore, I:

  • Analyze pricing structures to ensure they align with the features offered, looking for transparent, flexible plans that cater to a range of user needs.
  • Compare cost-effectiveness, taking into account free plans, trial periods, and the overall return on investment for businesses.

Customer Reviews (10% of final scoring): User reviews are a great way to discover the real-world applications that a tool has and whether or not it is delivering on its promises. I include in my evaluation:

  • An investigation of user feedback to gauge satisfaction with the software's performance, ease of use, and impact on project outcomes.
  • Patterns in reviews that indicate reliability, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, focusing on feedback from project managers and team leads.

Through this meticulous selection process, project managers can find mind mapping software that not only meets their immediate needs but also supports the evolving demands of their projects and teams.

In 2024, the landscape of mind mapping software is evolving rapidly, with developers focusing on enhancing collaboration, brainstorming, and idea management functionalities to meet the dynamic needs of project teams. This evolution is driven by the necessity for tools that not only facilitate individual idea generation but also bolster collective creativity and efficiency in a remote and hybrid working environment.

Rapidly Evolving Features

  • AI-Powered Mind Mapping: Ayoa and Wondershare EdrawMind leverage AI to expand on central ideas and generate new branches, ensuring a more dynamic brainstorming process. We expect AI to continue to infiltrate mind mapping tools and help expand on ideas to keep the team engaged and prevent mental blocks that normally occur in time-limited sessions.
  • Interactive Tools for Enhanced Collaboration: Boardmix and Lucidchart emphasize interactive tools such as commenting, voting, chatting, and video conferencing to enhance the collaborative experience. We expect more developments in interactivity leveraging new technologies.

Novel and Unusual Functionality

  • Neuro-Inclusivity: Ayoa's approach to mind mapping focuses on neuro-diversity, offering a visually engaging environment that caters to different cognitive styles.
  • Extensive Integration with Productivity Apps: Platforms like Whimsical AI offer robust integration with popular productivity apps, facilitating a more integrated workflow.

Now that remote and hybrid work models are here to stay, features that support real-time collaboration, integration with other productivity tools, and the use of AI for idea generation will becoming increasingly important.

What Is Mind Mapping Software?

Mind mapping software is a tool that visually and interactively organizes ideas, information, and concepts. It enables users to represent ideas, tasks, or concepts as branches stemming from a central theme, thereby creating a "mind map" that mimics the way the brain naturally organizes information. The visual nature of mind mapping software helps to see connections between ideas, fostering more effective learning and enhancing memory retention.

Mind mapping software is a great tool to facilitate and capture collaborative and creative thinking,. It's particularly useful for brainstorming sessions, project planning, complex problem-solving, and consolidating information in an easily understandable format. Users can add text, images, links, and even documents to their mind maps, making them dynamic and interactive.

Features Of Mind Mapping Software

Mind mapping software plays a pivotal role in project planning, brainstorming, and fostering collaboration among team members. These tools convert complex ideas into visual diagrams, enhancing comprehension and creative thinking. When selecting mind mapping software, it's essential to focus on features that streamline these processes and promote efficiency.

  1. Real-time Collaboration: Allows team members to work on mind maps simultaneously. This feature is critical to ensure that all team members can contribute to the brainstorming process and share their ideas, regardless of their physical location.
  2. Integration with Communication Tools: Integration with chat, video conferencing, and project management tools. Seamless integration with communication platforms facilitates discussion and feedback without leaving the mind mapping environment, making the ideation process more dynamic and inclusive.
  3. Template Libraries: A range of pre-designed templates for various project needs. Having access to a diverse set of templates speeds up the setup process for brainstorming sessions and ensures that teams can quickly organize their thoughts and ideas into structured formats.
  4. AI-Powered Idea Generation: The use of artificial intelligence to suggest ideas or expand on existing ones. AI features can inspire creativity and help overcome mental blocks by suggesting related concepts or expanding on the central theme of the mind map.
  5. Flexible Mapping Options: Support for various mapping styles, including flowcharts, Gantt charts, and more. Flexibility in creating different types of diagrams allows teams to choose the best way to visualize their project plans and workflows, enhancing understanding and strategic planning.
  6. Interactive Elements: The ability to add links, documents, and multimedia to mind maps. By embedding interactive elements directly into mind maps, teams can access all relevant information in one place, making it easier to connect ideas to their real-world applications.
  7. Access Controls and Permissions: Managing who can view or edit the mind maps. Proper access controls ensure that sensitive information remains secure while still allowing for collaborative editing and viewing among authorized team members.
  8. User-friendly Interface: Features an intuitive and easy-to-navigate design. A user-friendly interface reduces the learning curve for new users and allows teams to focus more on the content of their mind maps rather than on how to use the software.

Selecting the right mind mapping software is crucial for project success. Features such as the ones above enable teams to effectively brainstorm, plan, and execute projects.

Benefits Of Mind Mapping Software

Mind mapping software has become a crucial tool for project managers and organizations looking to streamline their brainstorming and project planning phases. These tools offer a visual approach to organizing thoughts, ideas, and information, making complex projects more manageable and understandable. Here are five primary benefits that mind mapping software brings to users and organizations.

  1. Enhanced Collaboration: Facilitates teamwork and idea sharing. Mind mapping software allows team members to contribute to projects in real-time, regardless of their physical location, ensuring that diverse perspectives are captured and incorporated into the planning process, ultimately leading to more innovative solutions.
  2. Improved Productivity: Speeds up the planning and brainstorming phases. By providing a visual overview of tasks, dependencies, and progress, mind mapping software helps project managers quickly identify bottlenecks and reallocate resources as needed, significantly reducing project timelines.
  3. Increased Creativity: Stimulates creative thinking and idea generation. The visual nature of mind maps encourages users to see connections between ideas they might not have considered otherwise, fostering an environment where creativity can flourish and leading to more inventive project solutions.
  4. Better Information Retention: Aids in understanding and memorizing project details. Visual information is processed by the brain faster than text, and mind mapping software's use of colors, images, and spatial relationships improves retention and recall of project information, making it easier for team members to keep track of complex project elements.
  5. Flexible Project Management: Offers adaptability in project planning and tracking. Mind mapping software supports various methodologies and can be used for a wide range of projects, from software development to marketing campaigns, allowing teams to customize their approach to project management according to their specific needs and preferences.

For project managers and organizations, adopting mind mapping software can lead to more efficient project execution, enhanced team collaboration, and the creation of more innovative solutions.

Costs & Pricing For Mind Mapping Software

Selecting the right mind mapping software can be a daunting task for software buyers, especially those with little to no experience using such tools. Mind mapping software varies widely in terms of features, pricing, and intended use case, catering to a range of needs from basic brainstorming to complex project management. Here's a breakdown of the common plan options and pricing for mind mapping software to help simplify your decision-making process.

Plan Comparison Table For Mind Mapping Software

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features Included
Individual$5 - $15/monthBasic mind mapping features, limited templates, single user access
Pro/Plus$9 - $29/monthAdvanced mind mapping capabilities, more templates, collaboration tools, priority support
Team$15 - $60/user/monthTeam collaboration features, admin controls, unlimited templates, advanced security options
EnterpriseCustom PricingCustomizable features, enterprise-level security, dedicated support, training and onboarding, SSO integration
Free$0Basic mind mapping functions, limited templates, minimal collaboration features

The pricing and features of mind mapping software can significantly impact your team's ability to collaborate and generate ideas effectively. When choosing a plan, consider both your immediate needs and potential future requirements to ensure the software can scale with your projects.

Mind Mapping Software FAQs

Find answers to common questions people ask about this topic.

What is a mindmap? What is mind mapping?

A mind map is a conceptual web showing the relationship between ideas. Here’s a simple example of a mind map:Website Build Mind Map GraphicMind mapping can be used for brainstorming, task management, workflow diagrams, and more. It’s a tool that’s often implemented by project managers to help teams understand the scope of their project, and the steps involved.

How do I make a mind map?

Because mind mapping is a creative exercise, how you make a mind map will depend on your personal preferences, tools, and project at hand. There is no “single way” to do mind mapping, but if you’re using mind mapping software, you’ll follow a process like this:

  1. Begin with a blank canvas.
  2. Add a central node—your central idea or theme.
  3. Brainstorm sub-ideas or related ideas, adding them to the canvas.
  4. Draw lines to connect ideas and represent the relationship between ideas. Drag and drop the elements to re-organize your ideas as you add to the map.
  5. Use formatting tools to visually organize and display your information—change colors and size, add icons and images, etc.

When are mind maps useful?

Mind mapping tools are useful in a number of settings. The purpose of mind mapping can vary, but here are a few common use cases:

  • Brainstorming: Use one of several best practices in mind map sessions to visually organize and present ideas.
  • Diagramming: Create engineering diagrams, project lifecycles, architectural plans, org charts, network diagrams, Gantt charts, and other business or technical diagrams.
  • Software development and web design: Create wireframes and site map diagrams.
  • Business Intelligence: Import and visualize live data from business applications in charts, diagrams, etc.

There are plenty of benefits of mind mapping, especially for project managers and team leads who need to outline project tasks, resources, deadlines, and more.

Which are the mind mapping software key features?

These are a few additional features that are value-adds in a mind mapping solution:

  • Organic mind maps: The flexibility to draw anywhere and sketch anything (like on a whiteboard) is key to making sure a brainstorming session maintains a creative and adaptable approach to project planning.
  • Collaboration feature set: Collaboration should be as easy as commenting, @-tagging, sharing, and uploading. Bonus points for tools that go above and beyond here, with features like collaborative note-taking.
  • Mind map template library: An easy way to get up and moving quickly when you don’t have time to start from scratch. Templates should cover different types of maps, like concept maps, org charts, flowcharts, UML diagrams, etc.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Built-in quality of life tools should be available for users to quickly perform basic actions like adding comments, shapes, notes, and attachments. The less time menu-ing, the better.

Why should I use mind mapping software?

You should use an online mind mapping tool because they help you understand and communicate ideas. Of course, you can create a mind map on a piece of paper, but using a web-based solution has several advantages, such as:

  • No size limitation: you’re not limited to the size of your paper.
  • Flexibility: you can easily re-organize ideas by clicking and dragging.
  • Co-creation: in software that allows you to create a mind map online, you can often have multiple users collaborating on the same mind map.
  • Visual presentation: you can use the formatting tools to create professional diagrams that you can quickly share and present.

Note: If you’re planning on outlining workflows specifically, you might opt for a more specialized workflow diagram software.

How do I make a mind map for free?

To make a mind map for free, you need to look first at the tools that you use within the company.

If you use Google as an email client, you will have access to Google docs. Therefore, you can make a mind map using Google Slides and share it with your team for collaboration. Although it won’t have the live cursors, it will be able to tell you who is viewing the document at the same time and offer an in-doc chat.

However, if you want to use free mind mapping software, be careful with the information you share on those boards. Usually there is not much security around free solutions. I recommend going instead for the free version of a paid tool, even if it has its limitations, like Lucidchart.

Is there mind mapping for mobile phones?

There are many mind mapping apps available. I’ve noted the software on this list that have a mobile app, but I thought I’d share a few additional ones:

  • Simplemind. Simple, reliable mind mapping software for Android, iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Windows.
  • MindNode. Highly-rated mind mapping app for Mac and iOS.
  • Mindo. Basic mind mapping app for iPad.
  • Maptini. Collaborative mind mapping app for iPad, iPhone, or web browser.
  • Popplet. User-friendly mind mapping app for school and work, available on iOS or web browser.
  • iBlueSky. Uncluttered, intuitive mind mapping app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Best Mind Mapping Software Buyer's Guide

How do you choose the best mind mapping software?

The best mind mapping software for you depends on what mind mapping technique you want to use. In general, there are two big questions to ask yourself when narrowing down the options:

Do we need live collaboration (co-creating with other users)?

Mind mapping can be an individual creative exercise, and it can also be a group planning or presentation activity. Not all mind mapping software offers a live, real-time collaboration that enables multiple users to co-create the same diagram.

Do we want diagramming beyond mind maps?

While some people use mind mapping software to simply brainstorm ideas in a visual way, others use it to make more complicated visuals. For example, engineering diagrams, architectural plans, and network diagrams.

In some cases, teams use mind mapping software as a diagramming tool for laying out wireframes or websites or even as a data visualization tool to import and display complex data from their business in charts and diagrams.

mind mapping software logos list

What's Next?

If you're still unsure about getting mind mapping software for your team, read about how this practice supercharges project management and helps you with your project planning. However, if you are ready for your next step, read about how to write a Statement of Work.

Related tool lists:

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By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedpm.com. I've been in the industry for more than 20 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony. I'm a Certified Scrum Master, PRINCE2 Practitioner and productivity nut!