In today’s blog post, we will talk about the best mind mapping software platforms.
The term mind map was popularized by Tony Buzan, an English psychologist, mathematician, brain researcher, author, and educational consultant. He was inspired by visualization methods used by Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Joseph D. Novak Buzan. He mentioned his viewpoint in 1970 in the BBC’s TV series ‘Use Your Head.’
Mind mapping is a great technique to help collect ideas and brainstorm at the beginning of any decision-making process. It helps you build the foundation of your strategy, and then you can develop your plan. A good mind mapping of ideas enables you to avoid surprises and complete the task with minimal obstruction.
These days, many project management tools or CRM tools provide features to draw mind maps. But if you require mind mapping, I would recommend you go for a dedicated mind mapping software.
This post will discuss some of the best mind mapping software. You can review these platforms and select the one best suited to your requirements.
Best Mind Mapping Software
Now we will review a few of the best mind mapping software with their key features, pros, cons, and pricing details.
- Microsoft Visio
XMind LTD is a Hong Kong-based company founded by Brian Sun, and currently, he is the CEO and President of XMind.
XMind is a cloud-based mind mapping, brainstorming, and collaboration software. It is intuitive, simple, and has powerful features to gather and generate ideas, brainstorm, and collaborate. You can create a mind map, edit it and save it on the cloud, local hard disk, or on some third-party services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
XMind can be downloaded on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It also has iOS and an Android app.
Key Features of Xmind
- Can be used offline on PC/MAC/Linux
- Has an iOS and Android app
- Excellent tool for mapping ideas
- Brainstorming module to group ideas
- Needs improvement in document sharing among teams
- Lack of plugins that can enhance functionality
- Print output for large mind maps should be improved
Xmind Pricing Plan
The billing cycle can be chosen per 6 months or annually. The price for six months is 39.99 USD, and the yearly pricing is 59.99 USD. This plan includes XMind 2020 and XMind for iOS/Android.
Yearly pricing for XMind Pro 8.x version is 129 USD.
The purchased plan is allowed to run on 5 Macs/PCs and 5 iOS/Android personal devices.
Subscription automatically renews and can be canceled anytime.
iMindQ is a mind mapping software developed by Seavus, a software development, and consulting company. It was founded by Igor Lester in 2009 and is located in Malmo, Sweden.
iMindQ is a dynamic mind mapping software tool that can be used for visual thinking, brainstorming, and project planning. It is easy to connect ideas with this software, making the development of more complex concepts more efficient.
It is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and the web.
Key Features of iMindQ
- Advanced MS Office integration
- Interactive HTML mind maps
- Presentation of mind maps and diagrams
- Integration with iCalendar and iReminder
- iMindQ is very useful for Project Management
- iMindQ supports integration with Microsoft and SharePoint
- Lacks integration between mobile and desktop apps
iMindQ Pricing Plan
For Windows, iMindQ has three plans:
- 2Annual Subscription for 49 USD/year
- 3Lifetime License for 119 USD / lifetime
For Mac OS, it also has three pricing plans:
- 2Annual Subscription for 39 USD/year
- 3Lifetime License for 79 USD / lifetime
Mindomo was founded by Zoltán Lorincz and Frank Mrosk in 2002; It is a Romanian company. They started as a software consulting service, but in early 2006, they started building a mind mapping software and launched the first version of Mindomo mind mapping software in February 2007.
Mindomo is the best all-in-one visual tool to help you develop a mind map. It helps you in questioning, generating new ideas, problem-solving, and researching, and then it allows turning a mind map into a presentation easily using pre-defined templates.
It can be accessed online, on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Key Features of Mindomo
- Bookmarking the visual art
- Brainstorming and generating visual ideas
- Real-time collaboration
- Export mind maps
- Maintains revision history
- Sound recording and multimedia upload
- User-friendly and intuitive
- Integrates links, images, text
- Easy sharing
- Great presentation features
- Doesn’t support editing mind maps from other programs
- Free members cannot export mind maps
Mindomo Pricing Plan
Mindomo has four pricing plans:
- Premium for 5.5 Euro/month
- Professional for 13.5 Euro/month
- Team for 16.5 Euro/month.
David Deflorinier founded MindMup. MindMup is web software that focuses on ideas and removes distractions while creating mind mapping visual presentations. This tool allows brainstorming, creating presentations, and document outlines with mind maps and can be stored in the cloud.
It can be accessed online and has iOS and Android apps.
Key Features of MindMup
- A frictionless interface
- Convert maps easily to PDF, PowerPoint, etc.
- Close integration with Google services
- Free version
- Publish online sharing
- Time-saving keyboard shortcuts
- Responsive support
- Difficult to manage extended notes
MindMup Pricing Plan
MindMup has three pricing plans:
- Personal Gold for 2.99 USD/month
- Organizational Gold for 100 USD/yearly.
MindManager was previously known as Mindjet, founded in 1998 by computer programmer Mike Jetter and his wife, Bettina Jetter, to support the development of their mind mapping software. In August 2016, Mindjet MindManager was acquired by Corel Corporation.
MindManager helps individuals, teams, and enterprises work faster by simplifying how they capture, process, and share information.
It helps unlock knowledge by selecting the scattered ideas and turning them into structured, interactive visual maps that make information easy to understand, adapt, and share.
MindManager is available on the Web, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS.
Key Features of MindManager:
- Creating visual framework maps
- Compatible with Microsoft Office and Apple productivity apps
- Present ideas in a structured way
- Mobile apps
- Easy to use
- Helpful keyboard shortcuts
- Can link with other maps
- A bit clunky to edit
MindManager Pricing Plan
MindManager has three pricing plans:
- Perpetual License (one-time cost) for 349.00 USD
- Annual Subscription for 169.00 USD/year
- Contact support for a custom quote
Michael Hollauf and Till Vollmer launched this platform in 2007, and as of now, it has over 70 members team working from Munich, Vienna, and Seattle. MindMeister is the world-leading mind mapping solution.
MindMeister is a cloud-based mind mapping tool that lets you capture, develop, and share ideas visually. It is cloud-based, i.e., it lets you share and collaborate with mind maps among friends or colleagues in real-time.
Key Features of MindMeister
- Beginner-friendly inbuilt templates
- Media files can be easily uploaded
- Import and exports facility
- Easy to use
- Customizing the map is effortless
- Available on all platforms
- Formatting is clunky and difficult
- Even paid plans require additional payment to export extra ppt
- Changing map type is not easy
MindMeister Pricing Plan
MindMeister has four pricing plans:
- Personal for 4.99 USD/month
- Pro for 8.25 USD/month
- Business for 12.49 USD/month
StormBoard was initially known as Edistorm (Thomas Edison + brainstorm). It was founded by Reg Cheramy and Michael Bollman in 2009. It is a Canadian company with a head office in Edmonton, Alberta.
It is a popular mind mapping software used all over the world by thousands of different companies, including more than half of the Fortune 500.
StormBoard lets you record ideas, and then you can attach relationships. Here, brainstorming sessions are interactive and effective. You can add ideas in form of text, videos, files, free-form drawings, images, etc. You can organize them with color, shape, category, or into specific template sections and make decisions all in one place.
Key Features of StormBoard
- Quickly share your ideas, use sticky notes
- Inbuilt templates to kick-start productivity
- Excel, Word, and PowerPoint reports
- Easy collaboration
- Clean interface
- Best reporting
- The mobile view needs work
- A limited number of users allowed on a board at once
- The system slows down with over 20 users
StormBoard Pricing Plan
StormBoard has three pricing plans:
- Business for 10 USD/month
- Enterprise for 16.67 USD/month
MindNode is an award-winning visual mind mapping app that helps to connect thoughts and visualize ideas. It is a product of IdeasOnCanvas, a Vienna-based company founded by Markus Müller-Simhofer in 2008.
MindNode software helps to organize complex ideas through a simple, user-friendly interface. It makes mind mapping easy, fast, and stunning. This software lets you capture what’s on your mind quickly.
This application is available only for iOS and macOS.
Key Features of MindNode
- Add contexts with visual tags
- Quick entry to capture your thoughts
- View the mind map in a linear layout
- Smart layout
- Simple with endless customizations
- Export maps in different formats
- No Windows version
MindNode Pricing Plan
MindNode has one pricing plan:
- 1MindNode for macOS & iOS: 2.49 USD/month or 19.99 per year.
MindNode for macOS & iOS: 2.49 USD/month or 19.99 per year.
TheBrain Technologies is a software company that is located in Los Angeles, California, founded by Ray Kurzweil, David Allen, and James Burke in 1998.
It specializes in mind mapping software. TheBrain is used by more than half of all Fortune 100 organizations. To date, TheBrain has been downloaded over two million times.
TheBrain uses a dynamic graphical interface that maps hierarchical and network relationships. It has the ability to add links to web pages and files, as well as notes and events using a built-in calendar.
Key Features of the TheBrain
- Can accommodate 500,000+ items
- Easily attach files and folders
- Add notes anywhere quickly with the hassle-free multimedia embedding
- Sync across all devices
- Images, PDFs, and web pages load automatically
- Create your own custom tags
- Allow sharing with anyone via the browser without installing any software
- Full context sync
- Secure online backup
- Multi-user editing and sync
TheBrain Pricing Plan
TheBrain has five pricing plans:
- Pro License for 219 USD one time
- Pro Services for 180 USD/year
- ProCombo for 299 USD/year
- TeamBrain for 299 USD/person/year
Karl Sun founded Lucidchart and is the CEO of the company. The first beta version of Lucidchart was launched in 2008, and in July 2010, the stable version was released. It has its headquarters in South Jordan, Utah.
Ninety-six percent of the Fortune 500 use Lucidchart, and customers include Google, GE, NBC Universal, and Johnson & Johnson. Its partners include Google, Atlassian, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, and Microsoft.
Lucidchart helps to brainstorm, to sketch, and to share flowchart diagrams. A visual workplace combines data visualization, diagramming, and collaboration to accelerate understanding and drive innovation. With this cloud-based solution, anyone can build flowcharts, mockups, and UML diagrams.
Key Features of Lucidchart
- A well-organized intuitive user interface
- Enterprise-level security
- Integration with Google Apps, Confluence, JIRA, and Office 365
- Real-time collaboration with colleagues
- It helps to publish to PDF, JPG, and PNG
- Easy and efficient Visio import and export
- It easily and efficiently embeds documents
- Wireframing / iOS mockups
- Group chat and comments
- Easily get started
- Edit multiple documents in real-time
- Many pre-defined inbuilt templates
- A large list of export diagram options
- Little helpful documentation
- Difficult to make a connection between two nodes
- Lack of many visual features
- No Gantt Charts integration
Lucidchart Pricing Plan
Lucidchart has four pricing plans:
- Free single user
- Individual for 7.95 USD/month
- Team for 6.67 USD/month/user (three users maximum)
- Enterprise: Contact the sales team
Paul Stannard launched SmartDraw in 1994.
SmartDraw is the only diagramming app with an intelligent formatting engine that helps to create professional-quality diagrams automatically. You can add, delete, or move shapes, and your diagram will automatically adjust and maintain its arrangement. It lets you create flowcharts, mind maps, project charts, organization charts, and other business visuals.
Its customers include Coca-Cola, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Kent State University, Nortech, and the US Department of Justice.
Key Features of SmartDraw
- It is the only diagramming app with an intelligent formatting engine
- Integrates with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
- Apps for the Atlassian stack: Confluence, Jira, and Trello
- Vast templates, diagram types, and symbols
- Draw and print architectural and engineering diagrams to scale
- It imports and exports diagrams
- It works in any web browser on any platform
- Integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.
- Easily create a complex flowchart
- Easy to use
- Provides a variety of modules
- Consumes abundant resources
SmartDraw Pricing Plan
SmartDraw has two pricing plans:
- Single User: 297 USD one-time purchase for one user
- Multiple Users for 595 USD/year
Tom Fortes Mayer founded the FreeMind Mind Mapping Software in 1999. It is a consulting group that works with academics and industry. Its headquarters is located in Boston, Massachusetts.FreeMind is a premium quality free mind mapping software written in Java. It enhances productivity and is easy to use. It helps to create and organize mind maps through an automatic shifting of branches.
FreeMind Pricing Plans
FreeMind is free, open-source software.
ClickUp was founded in 2017 by Zeb Evans and Alex Yurkowski. It is headquartered in San Diego, California.
ClickUp is a complete project management collaboration tool and also lets you design mind maps to plan and organize your ideas. You can establish relationships among project tasks and visualize the workflow. You can easily convert map nodes into tasks.
You can share your mind maps with your team for collaboration and get their input in real-time. ClickUp provides many integrations to make your job easy, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Slack. It also provides Zapier support so it can add thousands of more integrations.
- Generous free plan
- Constantly updated with user requests
- Easy to use
- Mobile app
- Too many features can confuse the user
- Cannot edit with a free plan
- Slow mobile app
ClickUp Pricing Plan
ClickUp has two pricing plans:
- Unlimited for 5 USD/month/member
Ayoa was developed by OpenGenius and is owned by Chris Griffiths.
According to Ayoa, “Ayoa is an all-in-one online whiteboard where you can brainstorm ideas, work together and get things done.”
Ayoa not only allows you to create mind maps, but also lets you manage your tasks and monitor project performance. You can use Ayoa as an individual or team. It is useful in both cases.
You can invite your team members to collaborate in real-time and design mind maps. You can share your maps with team members even if they do not have an Ayoa account.
Ayoa provides many direct integrations such as Google Drive, iMindMap, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Contact, Google Calendar, and Zoom.
- You can create tasks from emails
- Great auto-layout feature
- Fewer templates
Ayoa Pricing Plan
Ayoa has three pricing plans:
- Pro for 10 USD/user/month
- Ultimate for 13 USD/user/month
Milanote was founded by Ollie Campbell. The platform started as an internal tool for the founders’ UX agency, but later on, they opened and launched it in February 2017.
The key feature of Milanote is to add feature-rich media to your mind maps. You can add images and video links to mind maps and add the hierarchy level.
It provides you with many templates so you can start quickly. It is a cloud-based mind mapping platform, so you can invite your team member and collaborate in real-time.
- Can link different boards
- Insert images, videos, and links
- Light and fast platform
- Free plan limited to 100 elements
- Cannot hide comments
Milanote Pricing Plan
Milanote has three pricing plans:
- Pay Per Person for 9.99 USD/month
- Upgrade Your Team for 49 USD/month
16. Microsoft Visio
This mind mapping software is a Microsoft product. It is very useful if you are using Microsoft 365 as it is tightly synced with Microsoft 365 and pulls data from Microsoft quickly.
Visio provides you with many templates to design mind maps, flow charts, design, etc. You can share your work as an attachment or link.
Being cloud-based, you can collaborate with many users simultaneously.
- Over 250,000 shapes
- Huge templates
- Microsoft 365 integration
- Steep learning curve
- Complex user interface
- Cannot customize blocks
Visio Pricing Plan
Visio has two pricing plans:
- Plan 1 for 5.00 USD/user/month
- Plan 2 for 15 USD/user/month
MindGenius is a Scotland-based company specializing in mind mapping and project management software. It is a part of Gael Ltd and was launched in 2008.
MindGenius is a complete project management software platform that lets you create mind maps. MindGenius integrates with Microsoft Office and can easily pull data from it.
It also allows you to connect with Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, etc.
- You can switch from MindMap to Gantt Chart or timeline
- Easy to use
- MS Office integration
- Steep learning curve
MindGenius Pricing Plan
MindGenius has three pricing plans:
- MindGenius20 Subscription for 160.00 USD/year
- MindGenius20 Perpetual for a one-time fee of 256 USD
- MindGenius Online Subscription for 16 USD/month
Andrey Khusid is the CEO and co-founder of Miro, and he founded Miro in June 2011. It was previously known as RealtimeBoard; however, in March 2019, they changed their branding to Miro. Miro is an online cloud-based collaborative whiteboard platform.
It has a mind mapping tool that offers an infinite mind mapping canvas and many pre-built templates, wireframes, etc. This makes your job less stressful, and you can build your mind map quickly.
It provides many integrations such as Google Suite, Dropbox, JIRA, Slack, Sketch, OneDrive, and Zapier.
- Free version
- Huge collection of templates
- Easy learning curve
- Slow while loading large boards
Miro Pricing Plan
Miro has four pricing plans:
- Team for 8 USD/member/month
- Business for 16 USD/member/month
- Enterprise: Contact support for a quote.
James Crosby founded coggle in 2013, and it is located in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Coggle is a simple cloud-based mind mapping software that allows you to design mind maps with collaboration. You can auto-arrange your map branches, images, etc. It enables you to download maps as a pdf, image, .mm, or txt.
- Free version
- Tight Google integration
- Easy to use
- Maps are public on a free account
Coggle Pricing Plan
Coggle has three pricing plans:
- Awesome for 5.00 USD/month
- Organization for 8 USD/member/month
Benefits of Using Mind Mapping Software
Mind mapping software helps illustrate ideas and concepts visually. It helps you structure gathered information and then analyze, understand, blend, and generate new ideas in a visual format.
The following are a few benefits of using mind mapping software:
- Solves problems by consolidating information from multiple sources.
- Presents information in a visual and easy-to-understand format.
- Avoids dull and linear thinking.
- Increases creative thinking.
- Is fun for users.
Criteria to Select the Best Mind Mapping Software
Keep the following points in mind while selecting the best mind mapping software for your personal use or a team:
- It should be cloud-based so that you can access it from any location.
- It must offer collaboration in real-time so you can join team members to develop your mind maps. Please note that if you are a solo user of the application, you can ignore this requirement.
- It should offer mobile apps for easy and quick communication and collaboration.
- It must allow attaching media as well as exporting, importing, and sharing mind maps.
- It must allow integration with tools you are using in your organization.
- It must provide enough templates to get started.
Which One is the Best Mind Mapping Software?
If you are looking for mind mapping software, Coggle, MindManager, or MindGenius are good choices.
If you want wireframes, Miro is a good choice.
If you are looking for advanced mind mapping software that includes live collaboration, you can go for Miro, Mindomo, Lucidchart, or Smartdraw,
If you are looking for a more advanced mind mapping platform, you can go for Microsoft Visio or SmartDraw.
What mind mapping software have you selected for your needs? Please share your thoughts through the comments section.