What are the best mind mapping apps available to download and instal today?
Mind mapping is a great way of getting your thoughts, ideas and concepts out of your head and out onto paper. Mind mapping allows you to better organise everything and it helps you to keep track. Some of the greatest people in history have used mind mapping to help them grow an idea, including Leonardo and Steve Jobs. But the one problem one of us face when brainstorming is keeping everything neat and tidy.
This is where mind mapping tools, such as apps, come in. These apps make brainstorming even easier by helping you to gather your thoughts, develop new ideas – and keep track of them without any hassle whatsoever.
To make it easier to plan your next project, let’s take a look at the 10 best mind mapping apps on the market.
MindJet is not simply a mind map creator – it’s a comprehensive app that has been designed to make it easier for you to brain storm, manage your projects, work together with others on tasks, as well as stay organised. Essentially a project management tool, it is also a powerful mind mapping app that will help you to keep track of your project, as well as delegate tasks to others. It works as well for just one person as it does for a whole team of people, which means you can use it to work on demanding work projects or simple everyday at-home tasks.
Scapple is an app made for the OS X only. It’s inexpensive to download and instal, and looks and feels really simple. There are no annoying formatting rules that can slow you down, and it’s super easy to get the hang of. Developed by the guys responsible for the mega successful Scrivener, Scapple has a few flaws, though. For example, updates are infrequent, which means bugs are left unfixed for a long while. Moreover, too many of its features are reliant on OS X.
XMind is one of the oldest mind mapping tools around that has been around for a number of years. It’s aged well, and continues to be a super flexible app that works excellently on any desktop OS. XMind makes it easy for you to gather your thoughts and ideas, using diagrams, designs and various styles. You could implement complex flowcharts or simple mind maps if you prefer, and you can also include images, links, icons and various multimedia.
For project managers, an in-built Gantt view helps you to manage your tasks better. The app is free to download, but there are premium versions, such as XMind Plus, which comes with enhanced presentation features.
LucidChart is a simple mind map creator that helps you to organize your thoughts. It comes with a neat chat feature, and lets you work with others in real time. There is a basic free version, as well as a pro account that costs $8 per month. To download a team version, you will need to pay $21 a month.
SimpleMind is as uncomplicated as they come. It’s great to look at, and is perfect for people who want to get their ideas out of their heads while on the move. There is both a mobile and a desktop app available, and it’s completely free to download. Pros include its usability, colourful interface, and the fact that there is a free version available, while on the downside of things the free version can’t be downloaded to your mobile, and there is a real absence of bundled documentation.
Coggle is a great, free to download app that lets you create a mind map with ease. It’s really easy to use, and you can log in with a Google account. Once logged in, you’re away. Editing is really easy; you simply need to double-click any item and you’re ready to go. When you’ve finished creating a new map on Coggle, you can download it as either a PNG or a PDF, before sharing it with others. You can also assign them editing duties if you so wish.
As the name might suggest, FreeMind is 100% free to download and use. It’s built into Java, which basically means that you can throw anything at it, and it will still run. It won the life hacker poll for best mind mapping app, and is known for its flexibility, performance, as well as the sheer amount of features that are included. It’s powerful too, and lets you create a mind map that looks great and is super organised. You can employ a ton of branches, icons and graphics to enhance your brainstorming sessions, as well as embed links to your maps for easy reference.
Your maps can be exported as PDF, PNG, SVG or HTML/XHTML, and while it looks a bit dated, it’s still really usable.
WiseMapping is aimed at both individuals and businesses, and lets you easily create concepts before sharing them with collaborators. You can import and export files embedded in blogs, but security is a bit of an issue. However, it can be solved if you download the app onto your server.
MindNode comes with a beautiful user interface, and it’s also incredibly easy to use. Intuitive, responsive and elegant, it’s easily one of the best apps on the market. It works well on various touch devices, but works best with the iPad. It’s really easy to add new nodes, drag branches, share documents, connect nodes and so much more. There is a Mac app available, which is similar in style and which lets you export your projects as PDF.
MindNode makes it really easy to keep track of your maps by hiding images that aren’t related to the ones you’re working on presently. You can also embed image, as well as develop links on nodes. It costs $10 for the iPad version and $20 for the Mac version.
Mind42 is a browser-based app that lets you create, keep track of and edit your mind maps with more ease than ever. It’s simple to use, and all you need to do is set up an account before getting started. Totally free, it’s one of the best mind mapping tools around.