Did you know that the roots of mind mapping can be traced back to the times of Aristotle? Yes, and even billionaire Bill Gates is more worried about mind maps than his coffee.
When it was first tossed in 1974 by Tony Buzan, everything we get our hands on – notes, scheduling, and visualizing changed forever.
If you don’t know what mind mapping is, it’s a simple diagram to visually present information. It’s a powerful, research-backed tool you can leverage to convert your thoughts precisely into visual pictures.
There are just too many benefits of this simple yet extraordinary method. Mind mapping boosts your productivity, helps you recall more and faster, and improves effective learning.
Pen-paper-based mind mapping was famous when there were no computers. But, these days, a lot of mind mapping software and tools are gaining popularity due to their incredible features.
There are dozens, and if not hundreds, of mind mapping tools out there, so we’ve tried to save you time by providing a summary, features, and basic info for each tool to get you started.
We’ve curated a list of mind mapping tools that entails only the best ones.
Here are our recommended ones:
With 14 Million users worldwide, affordable pricing, and excellent features – MindMeister is going to break the ice for you.
It’s a web-based app with cross-platform functionality to organize your thoughts and share them visually with your team.
On top of that, the built-in templates, thousands of them, make the mapping process even easier. Not to mention, the drag-and-drop editor is a real gem that lets you upload logos and images with a single mouse click.
By any chance, if using Google slides or Microsoft Powerpoint is too much work for you, then let MindMeister take care of it.
With its additional feature, you can turn your ideas or mindmaps into presentations with the royalty of modern design touch.
As an entrepreneur, the first thing you’d wish is to have everyone on the same page. More often than not, your wish isn’t granted, but MindMeister has got you covered.
You can access its collaboration tools so your team can comment, edit, and view your project in real-time.
It’s quite easy to get familiar with this app, especially due to its easy-to-use interface and quick support. The app isn’t overloaded with too many choices that make it easy to use for beginners as well as experts.
MindMeister also comes with many popular integrations such as GSuite, Microsoft Teams, and Dropbox.
The basic plan is free, and you can create up to three mind maps. Still, you can test out most of the functionalities and get additional team support.
- Personal plan – $4.99/per user/mo
- Pro plan – $8.25/per user/mo
- Business plan – $12.49/per user/mo
Miro mind mapping software offers a ton of powerful features designed to turn your mind maps into reality.
Its uniquely designed interface is easy to use and suitable for both individuals and teams to unleash their creativity.
Trusted by over 15M+ users, Miro is an intuitive and robust mind mapping tool. It allows your teams to concurrently brainstorm, map out information architecture, plan projects, create various charts, and developed sales strategies.
Miro offers a variety of features such as pre-built templates, mind mapping canvas, sets of widgets, retros, wireframing, and much more.
Additionally, it helps you enable synchronous and asynchronous collaboration across various formats, tools, and channels.
One thing we’d like to put here is Miro, even with its low pricing, excels in providing great features and functionality. With a minimal learning curve and little to no pricing, it’s truly recommended for both individuals and teams.
Furthermore, you can experiment with its typography and vast color selection functionality. The tool offers various integration such as Onedrive, Zapier, Dropbox, Google Suit, ZIRA, and many others.
In short, if you’re looking for a feature-rich tool at an affordable price, then Miro is the tool for you.
The basic plan is free and contains unlimited team members. The team plan starts at $8 per month, while the business plan costs around $16 with additional premium features.
Inspired by the traditional pen-paper-based mind maps, Ayoa comes with a variety of mind mapping styles and organic mind maps for smooth, curved branches.
It’s an all-in-one platform to create beautiful mind maps, make collaborations, to-do lists, and monitor project ideas together with your team.
And, by chance, if you’re running behind schedule and want a quick mind map, then you can choose Speed mind maps from Ayoa to capture your ideas quickly.
Surprisingly, they’ve added a new feature called – “radial maps.” Using radial maps, you can add a custom pie-chart into your mind maps and add structure to your goals and ideas.
Moreover, the auto-hide feature is specially built for you if you don’t like messiness in your work area. It allows you to focus on selected branches.
Ayoa supports many integrations such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Google calendar, Google contacts, and Evernote. In short, the app has many great features.
It’s also easy to navigate around the app and switch between different features and styles for quick mapping.
The basic plan is free and comes with five boards with fifty elements per board. It even allows real-time collaboration and chat, personal planner, and whiteboards.
The below rates are for a monthly subscription and per user. However, if you decide to buy the annual plan, you can save almost 33% on both plans.
- Pro plan – $13.33/per user/mo
- Ultimate plan – $17.33/per user/mo
ClickUp is more of a freemium mind mapping tool that lets you organize and plan projects, share ideas, and make creative branches.
Its collaborative feature helps you edit and comment on workflows, tasks, projects, and much more in real-time.
With ClickUp, all you need is a visual roadmap, and you can easily visualize workflows and projects, create meaningful relationships between tasks and ideas, and manage everything easily at your fingertips.
What’s more, its drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create and link several tasks within the mind map. Moreover, its free-from diagrams and multiple nodes can be your go-to features to efficiently convert nodes into tasks.
Like any other mind mapping tool, ClickUp also offers various integration such as Dropbox, GSuite, Slack, as well as over 1000+ integrations through Zapier.
While everything is good about ClickUp, the app gets slowed down on mobiles. So, if you’re more of a mobile user, this may not be a good choice. But, again, there are a lot of primary features and additional functionalities – worth checking out!.
- Unlimited plan – $5/per user/mo
MindGenius is a superb combination of project planner and concept map creator. Equally suitable for freelancers, entrepreneurs, individuals, small businesses, and almost everyone who wants to boost creativity and productivity.
To be more creative, MindGenius includes kanban task views, Gantt charts, and other project planning tools. Moreover, its drag-and-drop editor helps you quickly create mind maps for clearer, better, and faster thinking.
Just creating mind maps is not enough. Getting your message across is the real deal. MindGenius offers various features such as filtering, highlighting, and labeling tools to add missing beauty to your mind maps.
The best part of MindGenius is, they consistently roll out new features and offer numerous integrations to get your idea on the screen.
You can easily export project data and mind maps to Microsoft Office, Twitter, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google.
The only downside with MindMap is the slight learning curve and the awkward RTF editor. Apart from that, the app is user-friendly, easy to move projects, and a quick switch from mind maps to Gantt charts or other tools.
MindGenius offers two pricing models – subscription and Perpetual. The Perpetual plan costs $302, and the Subscription plan costs $188 in year one, followed by $66 annually from year 2 onwards. A subscription includes upgrades to all future revisions of MindGenius.
Whether you’re creating mind maps for yourself or your client, Lucidchart has got everything to create a variety of mind maps.
It even contains numerous shapes and other formats to present data visually and scale it all the way from a single user to enterprise organizations.
Lucidchart is basically a SaaS tool that lets you quickly create mindful maps as well as technical diagrams, process maps, org charts and flowcharts, floorplans, ER diagrams, and dozens of other visual representations.
It’s more than just a mind mapping tool. With its drag-and-drop editor, you can easily connect or draw lines between separate tasks and utilize multiple functionalities easily.
Some of the best features include revision history, different file formats, easy export options, a real-time collaboration process, and hundreds of built-in templates to fasten your diagramming process.
Once you’re done with the basic tools, you can explore other additional features to flesh out ideas and fine-tune the connection between them.
It also offers built-in integrations with Jira, Jive, Google apps, and Microsoft Visio (another mind mapping tool) to easily sync your existing projects.
Overall, it’s a great tool, and for anyone seeking out to create something more technically concrete, Lucidchart is the tool to go.
The free plan offers three up to three editable documents and over a hundred templates. The individual plan starts at $7.95, which offers professional templates and unlimited documents.
Coggle is a web-based, aesthetically pleasing, and intuitive mind map tool in the market. The best part is, coggle comes with cheat sheets of keyboard shortcuts so that you can build, create, and edit maps quicker than any other tool.
Its various features include image uploads and attachments, auto-arranging branches, real-time collaborative drawing, and multiple flowcharts.
The second you sign in to Coggle, you’ll see the main node using which you can quickly add new nodes and ideas. Each time you click on the addition sign, Coggle will consequently pick the heading and position of the new node.
Or, additionally, you can drag and drop nodes as per your liking.
This software doesn’t offer a bundle of templates, nor does it support the making of more technical graphs like engineering, networking, and architectural designs.
However, if you’re sourcing an easy-to-use, beautifully designed, and simple mind map tool, then Coggle should be at the top of your list.
The free plan offers up to three private diagrams. Other than that, the paid plans start from $5 per month, which includes unlimited private diagrams and other additional mind mapping tools.
Finally, a mind mapping tool that can be applied to any industry, including IT, designs, and more.
While it’s simple and easy to use, it’s just as powerful and more affordable when compared to other tools in the market.
Indeed, even with a low price, it gives an instinctive interface and helpful features that are appropriate to basically any industry.
Some of the best features include landscape designs, flowcharts, timelines, mind maps, decision trees, engineering and CAD diagrams, infographics, and others.
Additionally, it contains 70 different types of diagrams and over 4500 templates. Google apps, MS Office, WordPress, Dropbox, and Trello, are few apps that can be integrated into SmartDraw.
In a nutshell, SmartDraw is a powerful tool that stands out among its competitors.
It costs $9.95 per user per month when billed annually or $8.25 per user per month on a plan with +5 users.
The reason for including Mindly on our list is its impressive features and small screen size perfectly build for mobile users (iOS, Android, macOS).
Mind mapping on mobile comes with a lot of challenges but thanks to Mindy’s out-of-the-box thinking. If you’re on mobile, then Mindly is the last app you’d like to give a try before you run out of memory.
Some of the best features of Mindly include various attachments, visual clipboards, customizable color schemes, element hierarchy, and various mind map exports.
Surprisingly, Mindly doesn’t offer much in terms of integrations. However, you can synchronize existing mind maps with Dropbox.
The free version of Mindly includes up to 3 mind maps, each with 100 elements. Other than that, it costs $6.99 on iOS and $5.49 on Android for additional features, including unlimited elements, passcode, and search; $29.99 on macOS.
Unlike other mind mapping tools where you’re limited, to begin with, the central node, Scapple, gives you more flexibility with nodes and where your mind map leads.
The best part is you can begin with an initial idea, then work “backwards” to find the main idea. And, Scapple lets it all happen organically.
On top of that, it offers a drag-and-drop feature meaning any complex idea or thought can be sketched out easily and quickly without losing momentum.
Scapple’s interface is quite easy to use when compared with other tools. While there are few settings you need to check before you fully customize it, but that gives you ultimate flexibility in the appearance of the mind maps.
What’s great, the 30 days free trial and not consecutive 30 days, which means you can use it a few times a month and still have it for almost a year.
Scapple paid plan starts at $18 for a single license or $14.40 if you’re a student. Pricing is the same for Mac or Windows app but does vary based on your region.
Mind mapping is a powerful concept, and there are unlimited tools to choose from but in the end, it depends on your personal experience.
The main concept revolves around how your mind works and what is your normal routine of brainstorming new ideas and projects.
Think through all possible scenarios and methods you use in your daily routine and take advantage of free trials before selecting the winner.
What mind mapping tools have you used?
Have you used one that’s not on the list? Share your ideas in the comments below!