Mind Mapping Software

Best Mind Mapping Software include:

MindManager, MindMeister, and Xmind.

Mind Mapping Software Overview

What is Mind Mapping Software?

Mind Mapping software (or Concept Mapping software) refers to visualization tools that facilitate brainstorming, enabling the production of schematics for ideas. It facilitates the organization and charting connections between thoughts. Mind Mapping software is most useful for designing ideas and conceptual maps that illustrate how different ideas are connected.

While mind mapping is a useful concept for individuals to organize their own concepts, it's increasingly common to use mind mapping as a means to facilitate collaboration. Leading mind mapping software supports collaboration by allowing multiple users to work within the same maps in real-time. Mind mapping can be used in various scenarios and settings ranging from project management, meeting management, knowledge management, note-taking, and of course brainstorming and idea management.

Mind Mapping Software Features & Capabilities

To get the most fruitful experience out of Mind Mapping software, look for these key features:
  • Drag-and-drop design
  • Interactive maps
  • Pre-formatted maps by use case (including charts & diagrams)
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Variety of export options and integrations
  • Version tracking

Advanced features

  • Data discovery
  • Team chat
  • Comments and voting
  • Extended map types (org charts, kanban boards, etc.)

Mind Mapping Software Comparison

To compare different Mind Mapping software products, consider these aspects of each software offering:

Some mind mapping software will not sync easily with common suites of services or IT infrastructure. These applications are more stand-alone use cases. If more coordination with suites like Microsoft Office or Google's ecosystem is needed, assess if the software has pre-built functionality for these dynamics. Also, note file type support capabilities.

Ease-of-use between users may be desirable depending on the intent of the mapping project. Make note of how the maps can be shared within a toolset. Also, pay attention to presentation options, view toggling, and version control.

Data Type and Layout
Different mind map platforms will diagram and connect in unique ways, so consider what types of flows will work optimally. Some will represent a more wireframe or sitemap style, while others accommodate live datasets and higher levels of complexity. Avoid inefficiency by matching the power of the program to the intensiveness of the business need.

Start a Mind Mapping software comparison


Mind Mapping software can be an affordable addition to your existing tech stack. For paid Mind Mapping software, plans can start as low as $5 per user a month. Premium packages can cost as high as $250.

If you're new to mind mapping and would like to try out a free solution before committing to a paid plan, there are several free and open-source mind mapping tools available. These prove useful when you would like to try out Mind Mapping software beyond the time constraints of a free trial.

Mind Mapping Products

(1-11 of 11) Sorted by Most Reviews

101 ratings
113 reviews
Top Rated
MindManager is a mind mapping and project management tool that aims to boost users’ productivity. It is designed to facilitate a wide range of project types, and includes cross-platform functionality and 3rd party integrations.
62 ratings
35 reviews
Top Rated
Lucidchart is a presented by the vendor as a flexible yet powerful flowchart and diagram software that integrates with other collaboration tools, enabling visual collaboration for teams.
21 ratings
12 reviews
MindMeister is an online mind mapping tool that lets users share maps with an unlimited number of users and collaborate with them in real-time. The vendor says more than 11 million people around the world use MindMeister to brainstorm ideas, plan projects, take meeting minutes, develop business stra…
11 ratings
9 reviews
SmartDraw is a diagramming and flow chart building tool from SmartDraw Software in San Diego, California.
6 ratings
3 reviews
Miro in San Francisco offers their eponymous visual collaboration tool, usable as a shareable whiteboard, mind mapping tool, or presentational aid, used for general idea sharing, UX research, and agile development.
3 ratings
3 reviews
Hong Kong based Xmind offers their diagramming tool featuring a range of templates, alternate brainstorming and presentation modes, a clip art library, and export to a wide variety of file types (e.g. PDF, JPG, Word or Excel, etc.).
Ayoa is presented as an all-in-one collaborative whiteboard software where users can brainstorm ideas, work together & get things done, from OpenGenius in Wales. Ayoa is available free, and paid plans add task assignment, Gantt view, file storage, and integrations with Zoom and Google Calendar.
MindMup is a mind mapping tool from Sauf Pompiers, a small company headquartered in the UK, that supports collaboration, storyboarding, story writing, attachments (documents and images), with free plans, and paid plans with additional features for teams, and more cloud storage.
Coggle is an online tool for creating and sharing mindmaps and flow charts from the company of the same name in Cambridge. It works online in a browser with nothing to download or install.
Scapple is a mind mapping app designed to help users get thoughts onto the page, and make connections, from Literature & Latte, a small company headquartered in the UK and the maker of the Scrivener writing app.
According to the vendor, companies can transform their meetings company-wide with Stormboard's innovative digital workspace. Users can set up meetings beforehand, capture, organize, and discuss ideas in real-time, and then assign tasks and monitor progress in a digital workspace that you can return…

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mind mapping software?

Mind mapping software (also called concept mapping software) packages brainstorming tools, enabling the production of schematics for ideas. It facilitates the organization and charting connections between thoughts.

How does one use mind mapping software?

Mind maps can apply to virtually any mental task. For example, The Asian Efficiency blog offers these scenarios for consideration: create a knowledge bank (since mind mapping software lets you attach files and links), solve problems (such as selecting a credit card), write book summaries, or set goals. Teams may also interact in a shared map.

What are some free or open-source mind mapping tools?

To sample mind mapping software, either out of curiosity or on a budget, here's a list of free or open-source mind mapping software to check out:

  • 3D Topicscape
  • Coggle
  • Compendium
  • Docear
  • Edraw Mind Map
  • FreeMind
  • Freeplane
  • Mind42
  • Mindmeister
  • Semantik
  • VUE
  • Wisemapping
  • Xmind