The Best Mind Mapping Software in 2020
30 Jul 2020 • 4 min read
To capture your ideas and turn them into tangible products, mind mapping software is a must. During the brainstorming process, ideas happen quickly, and if not appropriately tracked, can become overwhelming.
There are many reasons that mind mapping software is the best solution for this. To fully understand the benefit it can provide to your organization, it’s best to explore the concept of mind mapping and how it helps bring projects to life.
The concept of mind mapping
The concept of mind mapping stems from extracting useful ideas and developing links between them. During the brainstorming process ideas flow freely, but sometimes connections are not immediately noticeable. This makes the process of putting these ideas together and creating plan for an entire project extremely difficult. This is where mind mapping plays a critical role.
The best way to describe a mind map is a hierarchical tree is it shows a natural progression between ideas. A mind map separates a project into modular components and then breaks those down into even more specific tasks.
What is mind mapping software?
Although mind-mapping is possible by hand, utilizing mind mapping software is a modern and more refined way to get the job done. Utilizing these mind mapping tools enables a project leader to visualize and build out their projects. Generating a mind map by hand can take quite a bit of time, so specialized mind mapping apps condense the process and streamline delivery.
Best mind mapping software to improve your productivity
Within the software world, many mind mapping solutions exist. It isn’t difficult to find software for any platform, including the cloud. The difficulty comes whenever you’re trying to select the best one for your needs. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular mind mapping apps, and how they can greatly improve your workflow and business strategy.
XMind is a powerful mind mapping software. It is a multi-platform cloud-based mind mapping solution that goes where you need it. This is perfect if your organization utilizes several different platforms as part of their technology. It’s also one of the best pieces of mind mapping software for Mac.
Features of Xmind
- Cloud-based multiplatform support
- Stunning visualizations
- Multiple chart styles including:
- Logic Chart
- Org Chart
- Pricing plans for 6-months and 12-months
Mindmeister is an entirely web-based mind mapping solution. This mind mapping tool allows collaboration in every environment—whether on a mobile or desktop platform. Mindmeister is among the best mind mapping software currently on the market.
Features of Mind Meister
- Cloud-based multiplatform support
- Streamlined project management
- Perfect for a variety of uses such as:
- Note Taking
- Meeting Management
- Idea Management
- Free option supports up to 3 mind maps
Miro is a very advanced piece of mind mapping software. This platform is also used by big-name companies such as Twitter, Spotify, and Netflix. Their innovative mind mapping tools deliver powerful features with exceptional collaboration abilities. The best part about Miro is the platform is free and doesn’t require the user to enter a credit card. Later, users can upgrade to a paid account for more features.
Features of Miro
- Realtime collaboration
- Powerful collaboration tools
- Support for hotkeys
- Presentation mode
- Bountiful design choices
- Free version includes 3 edible boards
Mindmup is unique among all previously mentioned mind mapping software because of the unlimited number of mine maps that come with its free account. The one drawback of this platform is the free version only allows mind maps to be saved for a maximum of six months or 100 KB. Despite this limitation, it’s powerful feature-set places it among the best mind mapping tools.
Features of Mindmup
- Clever user-interface
- Save to your Google Drive
- Create storyboards
- Social media integration
- Project management
- Free version includes unlimited boards
Coggle bills itself as the best way to share intricate ideas out of all mind mapping tools. It has a robust feature set that allows for visually appealing customizations. There are also three pricing options available, which are all very affordable compared to other mind mapping software. The free plan features three private diagrams and unlimited public diagrams. You’ll also get unlimited uploads and a huge icon set.
Features of Coggle
- 1600 quality icons for use in your mind maps
- Unlimited image uploads
- PDF & Image downloads
- Innovative branch visualizations
- Automatic change saving
- Free version includes 3 private diagrams and unlimited public diagrams
How to pick a mind map tool
To pick the best mind mapping tool for your unique situation, there are a few factors that should be considered. Depending on your individual needs, you may find that some software lacks a few essential items that are critical for your purposes. Here are the major factors that should play into your decision.
If you are working on a project that requires multiple team members to access mind maps and edit them simultaneously, you’ll need to consider this. Some mind mapping software does not allow for real-time editing, although it’s supported in most. If you need this feature, then consider Miro or Coggle.
More than mind maps
If you plan on doing more than just mind-mapping for your project, you’ll need to keep this in mind when picking a mind mapping software. While all of the aforementioned software is excellent for mind mapping, some options stand out and are exemplary for other tasks and different diagram types. Mind Meister and Coggle allow for unparalleled customization of charts.
If you intend to integrate your mind maps into social media or utilize existing technologies—such as Google Drive or Microsoft 365—you’ll need to make sure it’s supported with the mind mapping software you choose. Two excellent options for this are Mindmup and Miro.
You’ll also need to consider which platforms are supported by each type of mind mapping software. If your organization is primarily Apple-based, you’ll need to select mind mapping software compatible with Mac. Your best bet is to choose an option that is cloud-based so it works across all platforms and devices.
Your last consideration will be your budget for mind mapping software. If you have a complex set of projects that need many detailed diagrams, you’ll need to make sure that you select a software option that fits with your budget and allows you the mind maps you need.
In conclusion, there are many different types of mind mapping software available that fit a variety of needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s best to make a list of your needs, and then start shopping to find the mind mapping software for you. A great place to start would be to select a few of the options that offer free plans, and start creating a mind map focused on selecting the best mind mapping software. This will give you a real-world view of the features so you can select the software solution that’s right for you.