mind-mapping-software

10 Best Mind Mapping Software (Pros, Cons, Pricing)

A brilliant idea pops into your mind, but you’re unsure how to bring it to life. After all, there’s only so much you can remember or scribble on a piece of paper!

Have you tried to use mind mapping software? You can implement the mind mapping technique and brainstorm, gain insights, and visualize your idea with unlimited mind maps. 

In this article, we’ll cover what makes a great mind mapping tool and highlight the top 10 mind mapping software to help you choose the right one. 

Let’s jump right in!

What Is Mind Mapping Software?

Mind map software lets you create a diagram or flowchart of your ideas. This helps you easily illustrate the relationships and hierarchy between concepts. 

Most mind mapping tools come in different sizes to suit various needs, offering other functionality.

Generally, your average mind map maker falls under one (or more) of these categories:

  • Diagramming: a technical diagram such as engineering flowcharts, architectural designs, network diagrams, etc.
  • Brainstorming: problem-solving sessions to organize and present an idea visually
  • Business intelligence: visualize data as charts by importing it from business applications
  • Software development: prepare site map diagrams, software wireframes, etc.

Our curated list of the best mind mapping software includes a mix of these tools to help you determine the best fit for your needs.

If you’re interested in mind mapping, check out our articles:

Why use mind mapping software?

Useful for any brainstorming session, mind mapping apps helps you plan and organize ideas for better clarity and understanding. It can also help you easily identify the best idea or solution from all the potentials you have.

So why not use a pen and paper instead? That would be like making a sandcastle on the shoreline, waiting for the waves to wash it away. 

Unless you want to lose your mind map to the ocean of other things you have to remember, using a piece of paper for mapping may not be the optimal way. If your idea has many moving parts, mapping it on a piece of paper can make it seem scattered and disconnected. 

Also, using tons of paper to draw concept maps isn’t the best way to fight #climatechange. 🙅‍♀

Not only will a mind mapping app help you map out complex ideas quickly, but you also won’t have to worry about misplacing them.

What makes a great mind mapping software? 

When choosing an excellent mind mapping tool, here are three key features to look out for: 

  • User-friendliness: using the mapping tool should be as easy as drawing on paper. You shouldn’t have to dig through multiple menus to create a simple mind map
  • Large canvas: a large digital canvas ensures that you never run out of space to draw. After all, you can’t put a limit on creativity and ideation 🖌️
  • Collaboration: essential for agile and scrum teams, real-time collaboration features let you share your mind maps with your entire team. This keeps everyone in the loop about the project  

What is the best mind mapping software?

ClickUp, XMind, ConceptDraw MINDMAP, and all the other software covered in this article are the best mind mapping software available today. 

They’re user-friendly, offer sufficient canvas for mapping your ideas, and also support team collaboration functionalities. 

10 Excellent Mind Mapping Software  

Here’s a closer look at the best mind mapping tools available today:

1. ClickUp

Download ClickUp on any device

ClickUp is one of the highest-rated productivity tools and mind mapping tools used by productive teams in small and large companies.

From helping you overcome virtual team challenges to tracking in-house or remote team performance, ClickUp is the ultimate tool for remote project management

But wait… how will a project management software help me draw a mind map?

Its unmatched versatility lets you bring ideas to life with the Mind Maps feature.

What’s ClickUp’s Mind Maps feature?

ClickUp’s Mind Maps is a free mind mapping software that helps you create beautifully professional mind maps out of your brain dumps and share them effortlessly with your team. 

Whether creating a team plan, organizing ideas, or visualizing task structures, use ClickUp to structure thoughts on a massive scale! 

What’s a diagram without pretty colors, right? ClickUp lets you denote different ideas with different colors. 🌈

Mind Mapping in ClickUp

Adding colors to your Mind Maps in ClickUp helps important tasks stand out on your project timeline

To create a mind map in ClickUp, you can choose the Task mode or the Blank mode.

The Task mode lets you visualize your existing ClickUp task structure, helping you map out a project’s workflow. Then, you can create, edit, and delete tasks and subtasks directly from your view for easy use. 

Want to design a mind map from scratch? 🖍️

Try the Blank mode! Create as many nodes as you want and convert them to tasks in your Workspace instantly.

Creating a Mind Map in ClickUp

Designing a Mind Map from scratch in Blank mode and converting nodes into tasks in ClickUp

Other key ClickUp features

  • Docs: collaborate with your remote or in-house team to easily create company and project-related documents, knowledge bases, wikis, blogs, and more 📄
  • Notepad: capture ideas the moment they cross your mind with ClickUp’s Notepad
  • Comments: each ClickUp task comes with a dedicated comment section to help teams have streamlined task discussions. Assign comments to specific members to ensure ownership
  • Chat view: from sharing code to planning happy hours have all sorts of team discussions in this internal chat 🍻
  • Gantt Chart: manage your project timeline with our intuitive Gantt chart
  • Dashboards: stay on top of your projects with customizable burnup, burndown, velocity, and cumulative flow diagrams
  • Proofing and Annotation: add comments to PNG, GIF, PEG, WEBP, and PDF files
  • Mobile App for Android and iOS Devices: manage your projects and documents on the move with ClickUp’s feature-rich mobile app

ClickUp pros

ClickUp limitations

Don’t worry! At ClickUp, we’re constantly brainstorming ideas to update our platform. 

Check out our roadmap to see what’s brewing. 🧙

ClickUp pricing

ClickUp offers a Free Forever Plan. Its paid plan starts as low as $5/user per month. 

What people think about mind mapping in ClickUp:

“I like the different ways I can visualize my project and related tasks. I can mind map my project, see it as a list, on a Kanban board, as a Gantt chart, or even in a table view. The app works with all the different ways I like to think and plan out my projects and tasks, giving me the freedom to plan in a way that works for me.” – G2Crowd

“I didn’t realize how much I’d benefit from the different visual representations, specifically the mind map, ClickUp offers.” – G2Crowd

ClickUp customer ratings

  • G2: 4.7/5 (3,320+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (2,270+ reviews)

2. XMind

XMind home page

XMind is a simple mind mapping software that helps generate ideas, goals, and tasks. 

While this mind map software sounds like a psychic mutant from the X-Men series, XMind isn’t that extraordinary. 

XMind key features

  • Zen mode helps you focus on a single mind map
  • Equation feature lets you add mathematical and chemical equations
  • Mind map template available for various needs
  • Multi-branch colors to identify different nodes

XMind pros

  • Protect your mind map files with passwords
  • Export the mind map as PNG, PDF, or markdown files
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android devices available

XMind limitations

  • Large mind maps can take a lot of time to load properly
  • No free plan available
  • Not suitable for agile or scrum teams as XMind lacks project management features

XMind pricing

The pricing plan for this mapping software starts at $39.99 for six months.

What people think about mind mapping in XMind:

“Some of the most important features, such as sharing the Mind map with others over the internet, are not available with the free version. This is a little disappointing, however understandable. The company wants to motivate you to purchase the full software.” – Capterra Verified Review

“Very easy to learn and teach to others. Has all the basic functionality of a mind mapping tool.” – Capterra Verified Review

XMind customer ratings

  • G2: 4.3/5 (30+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (70+ reviews)

3. ConceptDraw MINDMAP

Conceptdraw Mindmap download page

ConceptDraw MINDMAP is an idea management and diagramming tool that can help organize your free-running ideas. 

But at its core, this basic mind mapping tool is just Microsoft Office Word with extra functionality. 

You don’t need X-ray vision to see that!

ConceptDraw MINDMAP key features

  • Brainstorm mode with a built-in timer to help you focus
  • Hypernote feature for adding multiple hyperlinks and notes to a single map
  • MINDMAP editing tools help build presentations easily
  • Graphics functionality lets you insert images and icons into your mind maps

ConceptDraw MINDMAP pros

  • Supports 20+ mapping themes to help create a mind map template quickly
  • Can add attachments to a mind map
  • Can transfer mind mapping data with MS Office and other mind map software

ConceptDraw MINDMAP limitations

  • Expensive pricing plan
  • Outdated interface that resembles MS Word
  • No mobile device support

ConceptDraw MINDMAP pricing

The pricing plan for this mapping software starts at $199 for a single-user license. 

What people think about mind mapping in ConceptDraw MINDMAP:

“Great to use when I’m starting a project. An excellent way to get all of the unorganized thoughts out of my head, and into an organized fashion.” – Capterra Verified Review

“I’ve used several MindMapping programs and this is one of the better ones. As with the rest, my main criticism lies in that it is somewhat more time consuming to use an electronic system, however, the benefit is that you are not bound by the dimensions of a piece of paper. Depending on the nature of your project, the better option between these two is readily apparent.” – Capterra Verified Review

ConceptDraw MINDMAP customer ratings

  • G2: 3.4/5 (10+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.9/5 (10+ reviews)

4. MindManager

Mindmanager home page

MindManager is a mind mapping app best suited for extensive brainstorming sessions. Its drag-and-drop functionality lets you create a central idea and draw related new ideas easily. 

However, it’s challenging to demonstrate hierarchies with this mapping software. 

MindManager key features

  • Start a diagram from scratch or choose from 25+ in-built templates
  • Gantt chart functionality to map project timelines
  • MAP 3 add-in lets you use algebraic calculations and other functions
  • Co-editing feature for real-time collaboration

MindManager pros

  • Easy onboarding with step-by-step tutorials
  • Allows creating an org chart, flowchart, and concept map 
  • Supports keyboard shortcuts for creating mind maps quickly

MindManager limitations

  • No free plan available
  • Limited Gantt chart functionality 
  • Limited selection of images and icons to choose from 

MindManager pricing

The pricing plan for this mapping tool starts at $99/year.

What people think about mind mapping in MindManager:

“I don’t think that I’ve used it enough to uncover any particular issues. The only problem I had was learning how to use it quickly enough and that was helped by the tutorials which can be accessed within MindManager itself.” – Capterra Verified Review

“It’s helped me organize, brainstorm and present in my business for many years. It’s solid and dependable.” – Capterra Verified Review

MindManager customer ratings

  • G2: 4.5/5 (60+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (60+ reviews)

5. Edraw Mind Map

Edraw Mind Map home page

Edraw Mind Map (formerly known as MindMaster) is a collaborative mind mapping tool that helps give your ideas a much-needed structure. 

But will this free mind mapping software help you become a mind master, like Jean Grey from X-Men

Let’s take a look… 

Edraw Mind Map key features

  • Brainstorming mode for a practical brainstorming session
  • 12 different mind map layouts, like radial, treemap, and fishbone
  • Gantt chart functionality helps create one out of a mind map
  • Presentation mode lets you show your mind map as a slideshow

Edraw Mind Map pros

  • Supports different node shapes and connection styles
  • Export mind maps as JPG, PNG, and PDF files
  • Available as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices

Edraw Mind Map limitations

  • Gantt chart mode available only in the pro version 
  • Limited flexibility with mapping layouts as everything is based on a template
  • Can only import files from XMind, MindManager, and Edraw Max

Edraw Mind Map pricing

This mind mapping software offers a free version with limited features. The paid plan starts at $4.92/user month.

What people think about mind mapping in Edraw Mind Map:

“There is nothing I don’t like about this software. It will be great if one can import more file formats from other mind mapping software packages, but this is a minor feature.”  – Capterra Verified Review

“There is not much to say about cons in this software. I’d like to see a feature to export diagrams to XMind and Freemind, as some colleagues use these tools. It would be nice to import pictures from the Web directly as well.” – Capterra Verified Review

Edraw Mind Map customer ratings

  • G2: 4/5 (5+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (40+ reviews)

6. Miro

Miro home page

Miro is an intuitive free mind map software with collaboration features. It allows distributed teams to brainstorm, map ideas, co-create organizational charts, and more. 

Is Miro a mind-mapping superhero? Probably not. 

Performing simple tasks like deleting unused boards is difficult in this mapping software. 

Miro key features

  • Supports multiple design styles
  • Built-in video and chat with @mentions
  • Pre-built mind map templates
  • Presentation mode to showcase your map as slides

Miro pros

  • Offers an infinite whiteboard for brainstorming and creating powerful free form diagrams
  • Integrates easily with other tools like Jira, Asana, and Slack
  • Embed documents, spreadsheets, and PDFs in mind maps

Miro limitations

  • Board owners can’t give guests access to editing
  • Presentation mode offers limited designing and transition features
  • Paid plans are expensive

Miro pricing

Miro offers a free plan. Its paid plans start at $10/user per month. 

What people think about mind mapping in Miro:

“I really love the new functionality around Miro smart meetings. But as this is quite new, there is some functionality missing and some other is not yet as polished as the rest of Miro.” – Capterra Verified Review

“The only con I see is that sometimes uploading media like videos can take longer to update. Also the price per license is a bit high for a small company that wants to use it, however the free basic version is quite complete.” – Capterra Verified Review

Miro customer ratings

  • G2: 4.8/5 (2,060+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (490+ reviews)

7. MindMeister

Mind Meister Mind Mapping home page

MindMeister is a popular web-based mind mapping software that lets you collaborate in real-time to brainstorm on ideas, plan projects, take notes, and more. 

But it can be inconvenient to connect different ideas using this tool. 

Guess MindMeister can’t create great mental links like Professor X.

Man saying we're not what you think. Not all of us.

MindMeister key features

  • Full screen presentation mode to display mind maps as slideshow
  • History mode to see how your map evolved
  • Multiple themes with colors, styles, and formatting options
  • Comments and votes features for team collaboration

MindMeister pros

  • Add notes, links, icons, images, or videos to mind maps
  • Export mind maps in PNG, PDF, or Word formats
  • Integrate mind maps into project management with MeisterTask

MindMeister limitations

  • Free plan offers limited features
  • Can’t create free-flowing maps
  • Formatting gets lost when you undo a move

MindMeister pricing

This mind mapping app offers a free basic plan. The paid plans start at $2.49/user per month.  

What people think about mind mapping in MindMeister:

“Mindmeister has been really helpful with story and song planning, mapping out the recording process, keeping track of characters, locations, objects, and their relationships. It’s been a lovely experience.” – Capterra Verified Review

“The user experience on touchscreen devices is a bit iffy. Great to use on desktop, but a bit tricky to navigate and edit on mobile. This may require a different interface entirely? Perhaps workflow is best optimised to use Mindmeister on desktop and MeisterTasks on mobile, but there is a great opportunity to explore for tablet and iPad users.” – Capterra Verified Review

MindMeister customer ratings

  • G2: 4.4/5 (10+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (190+ reviews)

8. Coggle

Coggle home page

Coggle is an online tool with powerful mind mapping and flowchart features. You can use this mapping app to create processes, systems, and algorithms. 

But can it work at lightning speed like X-Men’s Storm?

Unfortunately, Coggle can feel clunky or slow when your mind maps get too big.

Coggle key features

  • Drag-and-drop images onto mind maps
  • Floating texts and images to annotate parts of the map
  • Joint branches and loops to represent different processes
  • Multiple starting points to map related topics together 

Coggle pros

  • Saves all changes so you can revert to a previous version from any point 
  • Supports real-time collaboration
  • Share mind maps with a link

Coggle limitations

  • No whiteboarding feature
  • No dedicated desktop or mobile apps
  • No option to auto-arrange the mind map branches

Coggle pricing

Coggle also has a free plan. The paid plans start at $5/user per month. 

What people think about mind mapping in Coggle:

“Very nice program, with room for improvement as well. Even with its few faults, it is still an important part of the creative planning process for me.” – Capterra Verified Review

“For an easy overview of any complex task, you should create a mindmap. I’ve tried a lot of software and I like Coogle the most. It is an online tool for making spectacular mindmaps. In the free trial version you can try the tool. If you need more extra feature you can get it for an affordable monthly price.” – Capterra Verified Review

Coggle customer ratings

  • G2: 4.4/5 (5+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (30+ reviews)

9. Lucidchart

Lucidchart home page

Lucidchart is a diagramming tool for visualizing complex processes, systems, and organizational structures.

However, this mapping tool can be confusing for new users. 

Lucidchart key features

  • 500+ mind map templates
  • Shape library to drag and drop shapes on your maps
  • Automated layout to create diagrams based on data
  • Collaboration features like co-authoring, shape-specific comments, and in-editor chat

Lucidchart pros

  • Cloud-based platform that’s accessible from any device
  • Integrates with productivity platforms like Google apps & Workspace and Slack
  • Import data from other apps like Excel, Zapier, and Salesforce

Lucidchart limitations

  • Doesn’t work offline 
  • Basic plan has limited features
  • Interface feels outdated

Lucidchart pricing

This mind mapping software has a free plan. The paid ones start at $7.95/user per month. 

What people think about mind mapping in Lucidchart:

“Lucidchart is one of the best drawing software in the market right now. I’ve been using it for over two years and have not regretted my purchase. I love that it’s so easy to use, even if you are newer to diagramming or visualizing concepts. The only downside is that it lacks more advanced features like more shapes to make more detailed drawings with.”  – Capterra Verified Review

“Overall pretty good and easy to use software for business process mapping for anybody that needs to pump out process maps fairly quickly. You can quickly churn out process maps with a relatively small learning curve and can access your saved diagrams through any browser.”  – Capterra Verified Review

Lucidchart customer ratings

  • G2: 4.5/5 (670+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (1,200+ reviews)

10. Mindly

Mindly home page

Mindly lets you create beautiful online mind maps for brainstorming, idea collection, project planning, meeting preparation, etc. 

However, Windows users would absolutely mind Mindly. 

Why? There’s no dedicated app or web version for Windows systems!  

Mindly key features

  • Different color schemes for map elements
  • Option to attach notes, images, or icons to any element
  • Visual clipboard to reorganize your ideas and map content
  • Passcode to protect your maps and ideas

Mindly pros

  • Create an infinite hierarchy of elements 
  • Supports multiple devices
  • Export mind maps in PDF, OPML, and text formats

Mindly limitations

  • Limited integration options
  • No task management capabilities
  • Free version limits the number of maps and elements you can add

Mindly pricing

Mindly has a free version. The full version costs $6.99 on iOS, $29.99 on the Mac app store, and $5.49 on Android.

Mindly customer ratings

  • G2: N/A
  • Capterra: N/A

Which App Is Truly a Mind Mapping Superhero?  

While you can always draw a mind map on paper, it doesn’t give you the flexibility or right canvas for your ideas to run wild.  

However, with the right mind mapping tools, that isn’t an issue. 

With features ranging from real-time collaboration to concept mapping, mind mapping software helps break down even the most complex ideas. 

And while tools like XMind and MindManager are decent mind mapping software solutions, ClickUp is indeed the best mind map software of the list. 

With powerful features for mind mapping, project planning, and even remote team management, ClickUp is the only tool any project manager needs.

Get ClickUp for free and give life to your new ideas! 🧠 🌈 ✨

guy opening his eyes sci fi

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