A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is purely a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas then draw lines that branch out into new “nodes,” each with a new word or idea that’s related to the first.
Simple enough. And you can certainly mind map on a blank piece of paper, but digitizing the technique lends convenience and flexibility to the process. With a digital mind map, you’re not confined to the size of your paper and can easily move ideas around with little effort.
We tested dozens of mind mapping tools, and here we will present the 3 best to help you decide which is right for mapping that mind of yours.
Top 3 Best Mind Mapping Tools
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 mindmapping 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 features 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 it well. Their native mobile app 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’s 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.
Coggle is arguably one of the most aesthetically pleasing and intuitive concept map makers on the market. This application supports real-time collaborative drawing online, allowing multiple team members to co-create mind maps and flowcharts.
Coggle’s useful features include auto-arranging branches, image uploads/attachments, a full change history, and collaborative drawing. You can download your mind maps as PDFs or image files, and you can also export as .mm and text as well as export to Microsoft Visio. Another way to share your mind maps is through embeddable diagrams, meaning that you can display your Coggle diagrams on a webpage and make any changes to the diagram from within the mindmapper tool.
This tool doesn’t offer stacks of mind map templates (instead, you can search and repurpose the public diagrams in their gallery), nor does it support the creation of more technical diagrams like network, engineering, and architectural diagrams. However, if you’re looking for a simple, beautifully designed, easy-to-use mind map creator, Coggle should be at the top of your list. This is some of the best mind mapping software for people who are new to mind mapping and want access to all the essential tools.
Coggle costs from $5/user/month. They also offer a free mind map software with unlimited public diagrams and up to 3 private diagrams.
Lucidchart is a concept map creator and general diagramming tool well-suited to businesses of any size who want to present data visually, scaling from a few users to enterprise organizations. It’s offered as a SaaS that allows users to easily and quickly create online mind maps as well as flowcharts, technical diagrams, wireframes, floorplans, process maps, org charts, ER diagrams, and dozens of other graphical representations.
This tool covers all of the bases: real-time collaboration features, easy export of projects into many different file formats, revision history, and hundreds of templates to speed up the diagramming process. You can also embed your Lucidchart diagrams into your wiki, website, or blog, and they’ll automatically update when you make changes in Lucidchart.
Overall, Lucidchart is some of the best mind map software for those who want something easy to roll out and learn to use. It’s positioned similarly to SmartDraw as a more affordable and intuitive alternative to Microsoft Visio, and it delivers. It’s the most affordable of the three solutions, it supplies an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, and its pre-built integrations with Google apps, Confluence, Jira, Jive, and Microsoft Visio make it easy to sync with existing tools.
Lucidchart costs from $4.95/user/month when paid annually. They also offer a “free forever” account with limited functionality and free trials of their paid versions.
Our Final Recommendation:
In conclusion, do we have a clear winner? In just making a mind map…maybe not…we think all 3 are healthy options over the alternatives (online, app and free software). There is something we discovered while moving down this road less traveled. It’s not just about making the mind map. It’s more about what you do after you make the mind map. How do you share the data and how do you manipulate the data without recreating it? In a world of constant throttle and high powered energy drinks…it’s all about productivity and time saving. As a result, Mindomo is not just a mind mapping tool but more of an overall productivity tool.
As a tech experts we feel this refers to Mindomo, we think they are starting to “break the mould” in the mind mapping software world.