2.1.5 Mind Mapping tools and Software

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A concept map is a diagram showing the relationships among concepts. Concepts, usually represented as boxes or circles, are connected with labeled arrows in a downward-branching hierarchical structure. The relationship between concepts can be articulated in linking phrases such as "gives rise to", "results in", "is required by," or "contributes to". The technique for visualizing these relationships among different concepts is called "concept mapping". Mind map is a graphical tool for organizing and representing knowledge of concepts.

Mindmapping is the process of drawing up diagrams that show relations between various ideas, tasks or information. For many of us this shows to actually be a way of taking notes that can be more useful than just writing down keywords or sentences like we do on a to-do list.

By drawing mind maps you actually visualize your tasks and how each task can influence each other in a better way, making your brain remember more easily and/or come up with new ideas. There are various tools for mind mapping out there, both free and paid versions. In this unit covers few popular free tools listed in following table.

S.No Mind map Tool name & Website Highlights
1 MindMeister A web application with several options; there is a free account and several commercial options.
2 Bubbl.US Web application. Without an account you begin brainstorming right away and are able to print or save your mind map as a jpeg or png. Sign up (free) to be able to save the mind map for later use.
3 FreeMind Free application quick to install and very easy to understand, which is probably why it is one of the more popular.
4 Xmind Xmind has a more professional business-like look compared to FreeMind. Also available in a "pro" version with several customizable features, like brainstorming mode.
5 Mind42.com Browser based mindmapping tool. Colorful and intuitive with great possibilities to sharing with others. Requires free registration.


This one is Windows only. Easy to use and collaborate, you can insert many different file types to your projects/maps as well.

Map Myself

This web application creates completely organic looking mind maps. Many ways to customize, including adding images.
8 Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) Flexible and simple. Open Source project aided by Tufts University.

Edraw MindMap / Free Mind Map

A windows only vector based favorite with some really good templates and examples to work from.
10 ThinkGraph 2d drawings specialized for mindmapping and related tasks. Hasn\’t been updated for some time but very easy and intuitive to use. (parts of the site are in French)


Mind2Map is a virtual play ground for Mind Mapping, Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge Management.