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Best Free Mind Mapping Tools


    I have been mind mapping since Tony Buzan promulgated the concept – it was a huge bonus to my corporate work and enabled me to take rapid notes in meetings, sketch out projects, outline courses and capture daily to-to’s.

    Usually I’d do these the old fashioned way with pen and paper or on a whiteboard. They work great but like everything these days there’s now an app for that. In fact, lots of apps. There’s heavy competition in the field of mind mapping software.

    These days I work across PC and Mac environments so finding mind mapping software or apps that would be platform independent has been important. Buying one means I’m often only able to use it on one system thereby reducing my flexibility.

    So I’ve been checking out what’s available and thought I’d share what I found with you.

    1. Freemind. My old standby has been a little tool called FREEMIND. It was uncomplicated and worked seamlessly on Windows. It’s a tad more upmarket these days with colours and icons but as a skinny option that can be portable it still holds its own. There is a Mac, Linux and Windows version. Download it here –

    2. Coggle. This is an online platform. It is a paid service but has a free option. One big advantage is that you can work on mind maps with others so if you collaborate or have an outsourced this might suit you.

    3. Xmind. I know a number of internet marketers who use this as their referred tool. Again it’s a paid system with a free option and it is easily downloadable. Lots of great features make the premium version tempting, like syncing across devices.

    4. Text2Mindmap. I’ve not come across this one before but I quite like it. Again it’s an online software though its https is not as secure as some. The best thing about it is that you can just type your thoughts in a linear fashion and then it will create the mindmap for you. I find that much quicker.

    5. MindMup. What I like about this online service is that you can use it straight out of Google Drive through an app. That’s nifty. MindMup has a free and a paid version. It has a traditional mind mapping facility and another neat thing is you don’t need to sign up to start using it.

    So, these are just five of the better choices for free mindmapping software, either installable or online. Each work a little differently and some have more features than the others. I intend to stick with Freemind for now but I do like Text2Mindmap for its speed of use. It doesn’t render as beautiful a graphic map as others but if convenience is key I reckon this is definitely worth using.