On the Internet, “free” used to mean you were getting a crappy dummy down version of a pricey software… or you were just plain getting a free piece of junk. Even if that is still true in some areas of productivity, it is decidedly not true in the generous new world of mind mapping software.
Mind mapping software is to some extent a matter of personal taste. You like the interface. You don’t like the interface. You like how you create the branches. You don’t like how you create the branches. You like the look of the final output. You don’t like the look of the final output… and so on.
I recommend you visit these free software websites and decide for yourself. Imagine being able to go to a car dealership that offers you free test drives of all the cars they have — and then gives you the car for free! Well, mind mapping software does not cost as much as a car, but the high-end paid stuff can still run you around 400 bucks. So great free stuff like this is a considerable savings.
Naturally, the new trend is making these tools available to iPhone, iPad and Android mobile platforms.
Bubble.us is a great place to start. Simple and easy, there is plenty of free training available, too. You can start creating right off the bat. You don’t even need to create an account.
Mindomo comes in a free and paid version. The free version limits the number of private mind maps to three and sharing is disabled. The output looks terrific, though. The mobile app is free. If you’re okay with paying for the mobile access, this may be just right for you to do your mind mapping on the run.
Why do I love Mind42? It’s first class, it’s free, it’s fun and it’s fully featured. Publish, collaborate, brainstorm, import, export and revise. Mind42 does it all at no cost to you.
Labyrinth is a simple basic easy to use mind mapping software for Linux and Windows. Widely available, it’s small in size, automatically saves your work, makes it easy to add images and offers a simple way to add notes (not all mind mapping software offers this). It’s a great free way to give your brilliant thoughts a bright colorful new visual dimension. The best thing to do is just give it a try.
WiseMapping is another cool tool in the mind mapping arena. It is one of the newer players. It is open source and unlimited. Since it is a web app, you are not chained to any particular computer. Like I said, there is an embarrassment of riches here.
This is another offering with a free and paid version. Some sources say it is the most intuitive of all the mind mapping software today. Plus it enthusiastically asserts that you can organize and manage your entire business and personal life with — you guessed it — one of their mind maps. Intriguing stuff, to be sure. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux. This software was previously called PersonalBrain.
Blumind for Windows is another fully featured mind mapping software with all the basic stuff you need. It has been around for awhile and has many fans. Track your thoughts. See new connections between them. I like the clean colorful look of the Blumind mind maps.
FreeMind describes itself as the “premier free mind-mapping software written in Java.” Even if you’ve never mind mapped before, you have almost certainly seen somebody presenting live or on a webinar with a FreeMind mind map. More than 4,000 people download FreeMind every day. It’s hard to argue with that kind of popularity. Plus people who use mind maps are smart to begin with.
They’ve been around for ages in Internet years and are still going strong. FreeMind was a finalist for a 2009 Community Choice Award in the category “Most likely to change the way you do everything.”
Open source and ready for Windows, Mac and Linux, XMind may be the best looking of the crew. While there is a paid version, the free version should be robust enough for all your needs. XMind and FreeMind are the top dogs of the free mind mapping software kingdom. So be sure to check them out!
(10) MindMeister has free and paid options but like most of the others, the free version is adequate for all but high voltage power users. It verges on being too simple, but that is its advantage. The controls are minimal. Take it for a test drive.
ExamTime is a 100% free online mind mapping tool that is loaded with a ton of useful features including the ability to access your mind maps from various devices such as tablet & mobile device. ExamTime also has sharing options to easily share maps with your fiends via URL, social media, etc. This free mind mapping platform has many great features so be sure to check it out!
MindGenius is the leading business mind mapping software for brainstorming and planning all tasks, activities and projects. Includes a free 30 day trial.
LucidChart is a web-based mind map platform that allows you to make not only mind maps, but also allows you to make floor plans, wireframes for software, UI mockups and many many other things. I’m very excited to try LucidChart for my next software wireframe mockup!
Okay, that’s the top
10 13 free mind mapping software. In another post I recommended Edraw MindMap from Edrawsoft, so check that out, too. It’s completely free and the quality is excellent.
Believe it or not, there are even more free mind mapping software available online. When you add to them the various free note-taking, planning, organizing and other similar software, we are overwhelmed with good choices. It would seem that not only do we have information overload, we have free information organizing software overload, too.
Happy mind mapping!