11 Best Free Mind Mapping Software Tools

In our search for the best free mind mapping software tools, we looked for easy to use programs with a plenty of good options.

The software to create mind maps can be also called brain, concept, idea management or even brainstorming software. Available for Windows, Mac, Linux or online, they are great solutions to visually represent, analyze, and recall your ideas.

On this page, we collected 11 of the top free mind mapping makers that are:

  • Freeware: on-premise solutions for free download
  • Portable and online tools and apps

All of them can help you organize your personal or business concepts and ideas at no price. In addition, they can be great tools in the hands of the students.

1. Coggle 

This is one of the most popular idea management software tools out there.

Actually, this is an online tool for exploring and sharing thoughts, brainstorming, making plans, visualizing ideas and doing it with others collaboratively.

This program allows you to create and share mind maps in an easy and fun way.

Coggle is not just a mind map maker. It is also a way of documenting with many applications in educational and business organizations, project teams, and many others.

Coggle comes with free and premium plans.

The free plan features include:

  • 3 private diagrams
  • Unlimited public diagram creation
  • Full change history
  • PDF & Image download
  • Unconnected text boxes
  • Over 1600 beautiful icons
  • Unlimited image uploads
  • Auto-arrange branches
  • Shared folders and others

Website: https://coggle.it

2. Canva

Canva is my favorite.

Canva is an impressive free online graphic design tool that allows you to create almost any visual, from mind maps and whiteboards to marketing presentations and social media visuals, without any experience.

Start by yourself or collaborate with others.

You can design anything (including fascinating mind maps) with the help of thousands of free templates.

You will bring your ideas to life with a super simple drag-and-drop editor and then share your designs with a simple click.

Moreover, Canva provides an extensive media library of free stock photos, graphics, audio tracks, videos, and more.

Key benefits and features:

  • High-quality Mind Maps templates
  • Very easy to create professional mind maps and share them
  • No design experience is required
  • Publish, share, and download high-resolution mind maps
  • Embed your mind map in reports, presentations, and more
  • Team folders to help you stay organized and manage your content
  • Create and publish your social media content directly from Canva
  • Convert files for free with a PDF converter
  • Make wonderful photos with Canva Image Enhancer
  • Beautifully-arched texts
  • Content management system

Website: www.canva.com

3. MindMaster

MindMaster is a full-featured collaborative mind mapping and brainstorming tool.

Whether you need to work online or offline, any time and from anywhere with any device, MindMaster offers complete flexibility with a selection of apps available to download and to use directly.

It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS and Web.

MindMaster provides both free and premium plans.

Key features and benefits:

  • Stunning presentation
  • Group & online real-time collaboration
  • Project management & Gantt chart
  • Knowledge Management
  • Various Stickers & Cliparts
  • Smart Layout
  • Brainstorming mode
  • Hyperlinks & Attachments&Notes
  • Timeline & bubble & & fishbone & sector map
  • Export to PDF, image, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, MindManager and Evernote

Start your free mind map trip at https://www.mindmaster.io/

4. Mind42

This is absolutely free online mind mapping software that allows you to create mind maps and structured diagram to visually organize information.

Actually, Mind42 is not the most visually appealing, but it can be a very useful tool.

It is a free, fast and simple solution. And the best part is that it allows you to collaborate and share your mind maps with others.

Key benefits:

  • Simple and fast
  • You can easily create to-do lists, organize events, and brainstorm ideas.
  • Completely free mind mapping software tool.
  • You can share your mind maps with others.

Website: https://mind42.com/

5. FreeMind

This premier open source and free mind mapping software written in Java, can run on a broad range of platforms – Windows, Mac, Linux.

FreeMind is a surprisingly powerful mind-mapping program that will allow you to plan projects, revising for student exams, organize personal and business concepts.

You might think FreeMind has some kind of outdated interface. But don’t let the appearance fool you. This tool is very easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

Key benefits and features:

  • Fully functional following of HTML links stored in the nodes.
  • Fast one-click navigation, including folding.
  • Smart Drag and Drop.
  • Export of map to HTML, with folding.
  • Possibility to use and edit long multiline nodes and to decorate nodes with built-in icons, colors and different fonts.
  • Low costs of risk of switching away.
  • You can link to files elsewhere on your PC.
  • A portable mind mapping version.

Website: http://freemind.sourceforge.net

6. XMind

We can not talk about best free mind map makers without mentioning XMind.

Millions of people work XMind because of its usability, friendly interface, and great features. Actually, this is the most popular professional mind and idea management tool.

XMind 8 is an integrated open-source platform that comes with freeware and paid extensions for the leading operating systems – Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux and also has a portable version.

Besides the basic Mind Map structure, XMind also offers Org-chart, Tree-chart, Logic-chart, etc. and all of these charts can be used within one map!

XMind Free plan includes:

  • All kinds of diagrams
  • Sync to XMind Cloud

Website: http://www.xmind.net/

7. WiseMapping

WiseMapping is for those who need simple online mind mapping apps for personal, business or education needs.

This open source tool helps you to quickly create a map of your ideas, to add additional content and share your maps with others.

Currently, WiseMapping is only available as an online solution. Despite that, WiseMapping is planning on releasing integrated iOS and Android support.

It is absolutely free software without any restrictions!

Key benefits and features:

  • Web-based tool – you don’t have to install it on your computer.
  • For personal, business and student needs – you can use it internally in your company or school.
  • Collaborative – share your maps with your friends or team members.
  • You can embed your mind maps in any webpage. No plugins needed.
  • Import/Export from/to FreeMind

Website: http://www.wisemapping.com/

8. MindMup

This is a remarkable online free mind mapping software program. Setup is very simple and the cloud storage features are effortless to use.

This tool allows you to create, share and publish mind maps, hassle-free in no time.

You are able to create unlimited mind maps at no price, and store them in the cloud.

In addition, you can create presentations, brainstorm, and document outlines with mind maps. Finally, you can publish your ideas online and to social networks.

MindMup comes with free and premium but affordable plans.

The free plan includes:

  • Unlimited number of maps.
  • Save maps up to 100 KB to MindMup storage, for up to six months.
  • No account/login required.
  • Save larger maps to Google Drive.
  • Export maps up to 100 KB.
  • Publish maps for up to six months.
  • Community chat help and support.

Website: https://www.mindmup.com/

9. ThinkComposer

If you are a professional, student or just a creative person, who is searching for best free mind mapping software for Windows, this tool can be your solution.

Thinkcomposer is a comprehensive visual tool that allows you to create concept maps, flowcharts, models and other kinds of diagrams immediately after installation.

It is an open source solution, so you can also share, modify or extend ThinkComposer as needed!

Key features and benefits:

  • Help your mind to organize and visualize complex thoughts.
  • Presentation tool that helps you to clearly present your ideas.
  • Semantic Mapping Define graphic and semantic elements for your specialized domain.
  • Open source and free download for Windows.
  • Generate complete Reports from your Compositions.
  • Predefined templates, custom file/code generation, and version updates.

Website: http://www.instrumind.com/

10. Docear

Docear is a good solution to academic literature management. This tool is for creating, organizing, and discovering academic literature.

What makes Docear unique is its integration of mind maps. With Docear you can create new mind maps at any time to draft your own academic literature.

You have all the features you can expect from a mind mapping software and that comes in handy when drafting documents. You may insert pictures, add formulas (LaTeX), format nodes (with HTML if you like), create additional notes, and so on….

Docear is entirely freeware, instantly to download for Windows, MacOS or Linux.

Key features and benefits:

  • Unique concept for organizing literature.
  • Multi-Language.
  • Open Source (GPL).
  • Powerful mind mapping.
  • Open data formats such as PDF, XML, and BibTeX
  • Mobile version
  • Real-time Collaboration
  • Synchronization between different devices

Website: http://www.docear.org

11. Lucidchart Version for Students and Educators

I am sure you have heard of Lucidchart before. No doubt, it is one of the best paid and free mind mapping software tools out there.

And the good news for the students and teachers are that Lucidchart is absolutely free for them. For the others – it is a paid solution.

Lucidchart combines ease of use with robust functionality. It is a great solution for all students: from those in elementary school to those in advanced engineering courses.

You can simply start from scratch to create your mind maps, or you can pick from their range of templates.

Key features and benefits:

  • Compatible OS: PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook.
  • Shape libraries: Advanced (iOS, Android, wireframes, timelines, mind maps).
  • Lucidchart runs in the cloud.
  • Collaborative – teachers can teach their students with the power of teamwork.
  • Fully integrated.
  • Clean, straightforward editor that is intuitive for students of all ages.
  • Easy to share.

Website: https://www.lucidchart.com

12. Freeplane

And last but not least on our list of the best free mind mapping software tools is Freeplane.

It is not only idea and mind mapping but also a whole knowledge management software.

Freeplane is a freeware and an open source software app that supports thinking, concept creation, sharing information and getting things done at the office, in school, and at home.

Freeplane runs on any operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac) that has a current version of Java installed. It is also a portable mind mapping tool that can be run from removable storage like a USB drive.

Key features and benefits:

  • Easy and speedy tool with a simple interface.
  • Freeplane is intended for non-programmers. However, the project offers potential programmers a versatile scripting language.
  • Supports add-ons
  • A lot of features to make almost any type of map you want.
  • Password protection.
  • Searchable node lists.

Website: https://www.freeplane.org

Want more free mind mapping software tools?

Here is a list of some other good programs:

  • TheBrain – impressive freeware mind mapping program. They have a Free Edition (free download for Windows) and Pro Versions. Also available for iOS and Android.
  • Dia Diagram Editor – an open source program to draw structured diagrams.
  • View Your Mind – is licensed under GNU GPL tool to create and edit maps which show your thoughts.
  • Manage My Ideas – a simple web application for keeping track of your ideas.
  • Innovation Cloud Startup – free, easy to use idea management software for business startups or small teams.
  • Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) – an Open Source project based at Tufts University.

If you are a fan of free solutions, then our posts: best freeware document management software and freeware database software, can be of use for you.

What are your thoughts and suggestions? Which software to create mind maps do you recommend?

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